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Home Cooking with Regina Kenner

We hear today from Regina Kenner, Cancer Navigator for Mary Washington Healthcare and mother of two grown children. If you’d like to participate in our Home Cooking feature, e-mail me.

Name: Regina Kenner

In a couple of sentences, tell us who you are and why you cook.

First and foremost, I am a wife and mother of 2 adult children. I have a very rewarding nursing career

at Mary Washington Healthcare where I work as the Cancer Navigator. I cook to balance my work with

my home life. I love to create a meal that brings my family together to enjoy.

Describe your cooking style in three words.

Uncomplicated, comforting, satisfying

How did you learn to cook?

From my parents: Growing up, my Mom cooked during the week, but on the weekends, my Dad took

over the kitchen. Mom grew up during the depression in a family of 10 children. Cooking chores were

assigned mainly to her older sisters. She was assigned household cleaning responsibilities. Therefore,

her meals were simple and not always very ‘inspired”. We often joked that our house was so clean,

you could eat off the floors, if only she cooked something we really wanted to eat. Dad was the son of

Italian immigrants. His style of cooking was rich with flavors and textures. I make a big batch of a fairly

close version of his spaghetti sauce about every 8 weeks and freeze meal size portions for an ‘anytime’

meal. Unfortunately Dad passed away from cancer at age 49 and many of his best recipes were never

written down.

Favorite cookbook (or online recipe source) of all time, or just of the moment?

I love cookbooks that are a compilation of recipes….church or community organizations that ask for

contributions from their members.

What is one dish on your menu this week that you’re excited about?

I’ve been thinking about what I want to prepare for our family Christmas dinner. We will gather a

little early in December this year while our son is home visiting from Denver. I want to make a roast

tenderloin of beef…’s always a crowd pleaser.

What is one thing that must be in your pantry at all times?

Pasta, but of course!!

What one kitchen gadget could you not live without?

A good sharp knife

It’s 6 p.m., the people in your household are hungry and you just walked in from work and need to get something satisfying on the table as soon as possible. What’s your favorite thing to whip up in this situation?

We love breakfast for dinner. Eggs, sausage (turkey sausage, when I can slip it by my husband), English

muffins and grapefruit.

It’s a snowy Sunday, you’ve just done the grocery shopping and have the rest of the day to spend in the kitchen cooking a meal that will bring comfort. What’s for dinner?

Chicken and dumplings. I’ll season up a small roasting chicken and let it cook a few hours. Then I’ll

make a gravy from the stock, shred half the chicken and simmer, make a dumpling dough and plop it on

top and cook until they are nice and fluffy…..mmmm.

What is your favorite dish to make for pot-luck dinners?

Macaroni and cheese…it doesn’t spill in the car.

Do you have a favorite food source in the Fredericksburg region?
We have shopped at Giant for 30+ years and continue to do so. They have locally grown produce and a good selection of my kitchen ‘staples’.
Wegman’s, however, has an outstanding cheese department that I usually visit it for those special Italian meals.

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