The best way to anyone’s heart
Julie Longacre holds a tray of asparagus wrapped in ham, one of the many recipes in her book "The Dirty Old Ladies Cookbook." The book is now in it's third printing.
Her most recent painting of The Speaker’s House was presented to the House of Representatives in Washington, D.C., adding to their collection of historic paintings.
It is a fact that well known, Berks County artist Julie Longacre can take an empty canvass and make it come alive with the warmth of a scene from days gone by that flickers a fond memory of a simpler time, or with her words of self-inspiration that encourage us to be a better person. Her creativity also takes us to a new level by motivating us to …EAT!
Last Saturday, Julie took about 25 visitors on a trip of food and friendship at the Walnut Woods Community in Boyertown, and what a ride it was!
The lucky attendees had an opportunity to taste about a dozen different creations from Julie’s “The Dirty Old Ladies’ Cookbook.” The book is full of the how-to’s that create the tasty tidbits representing pieces of the artist’s life.
The creations from Longacre’s cookbook were expertly prepared and presented by Walnut Woods’ Chef Ted Koehle. The food was simple and inexpensive yet extravagant and delicious. Koehle remarked that the dishes were “easy to prepare.”
Each morsel from every plate was delectable. Trying to pick a favorite was impossible. Julie remarked that “Cooking is like painting. No ingredient should overpower another.” The ingredients in her recipes complement each other perfectly and allow your taste-buds to truly enjoy the goodness of each bite.
While the title, The Dirty Old Ladies’ Cookbook, may sound a little risqué, it represents a “teaser” to some of the humorous anecdotes that appear throughout the book. Stealing a phrase from a popular 1982 Dolly Parton and Burt Reynolds movie, “There’s nothing dirty going on.”
Wanting a chance to appeal to the taste-buds of the potential reader, Julie chose the title as an eye-catching way to get you to pick it up. The cookbook is in its third printing, so her marketing approach seems to have worked.
When Julie started penning the recipes, most of which represent special friends, family and moments in her life, she felt somewhat shy about it and chose to write in under the pen-name of Julia Goodbody. The mental anonymity cast aside any inhibitions she might have had. Julie said it “Freed me all up to become more suggestive.” Humor abounds in this creative culinary masterpiece. It’s a cookbook that is fun to read.
As far as this writer’s favorites from the presented dishes, in no special order they were: Hanky Panky (a blend of sausage, lean ground beef, cayenne pepper, oregano, Velveeta Cheese and salt served on rye bread slices; Dipping Canoe (tasty combination of onion, yellow, red and green pepper, dry onion soup, sour cream, and Worcestershire sauce; Asparagus Wrapped with Ham (just like it says); and the Hot Dogs Baked in Brown Sugar (hot dogs, bacon and brown sugar). But, to be honest the Crab-Cakes and Lonely Heart Cookies were right up there too. Okay, I admit it. Everything was my favorite.
Locally, Julie’s books, cards and prints are available at: Longacre’s Dairy Bar, Route 100, Barto; Gehmen’s Store, Bally, Schwenkfelder Library & Heritage Center Gift Shop, Pennsburg, 215-679-3103; and the Mennonite Heritage Center, 565 Yoder Road, Harleysville.