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franklin county times

In the kitchen…
Tradition is important to Karen Palmer

By Staff
COOKIN' WITH GRANNY Karen Palmer helps her grandsons, Seth Crocker, 5, and Hunter Junkins, 2, make chocolate chip cookies. Cooking is one of Palmer's favorite activities to do with the boys. Photo by Penny Randall/The Meridian Star
By Penny Randall / staff writer
June 9, 2004
Seth Crocker said he knows who makes the best chocolate chip cookies in the world.
Cooking with her grandsons, Seth and Hunter, is a way for Karen Palmer of Meridian to keep tradition alive in her family.
Palmer said she was also inspired by her Aunt Polly's cooking.
Looking back, Palmer said she didn't get to spend enough time in the kitchen with her two daughters, Deanna and Polly, when they were growing up.
Cooking helps her relax and not think about the pain of her illness.
Besides her family, Palmer gets inspiration for her cooking from watching the Food Network. Her favorite chef is Emeril Lagasse.
Palmer said she also gets tips from chefs Rachael Ray, the host of 30 Minute Meals, and Sandra Lee, the host of Semi-Homemade Cooking both shows also air on the Food Network.
Palmer said she desperately wants a set of Lagasse's designer pots and pans. Her daughter, Deanna, just got a set for her birthday.
Another tradition that Palmer has passed down to her grandchildren is a weenie roast.
Sweets are Palmer's favorite dishes to create. She uses a simple store-bought cake mix, but makes the dish her own by adding special ingredients.
Palmer's husband, Jeff, loves her cakes.
Palmer's cooking secrets are simple. She doesn't use salt, lard or baking grease. Instead, she prefers olive oil, chicken broth and fresh herbs from her garden. Her favorite herbs are rosemary, tarragon, chives, garlic, cilantro and bay leaves.
Besides sweets, some of her favorite dishes she enjoys cooking is baked chicken with roasted new potatoes toasted with olive oil and sprinkled with rosemary and chives.