Crazy For Cooking

Rim woman shares years of kitchen expertise



Teresa McQuerrey photo

Shirley Snyder has quite a collection of kitchen tools and gadgets, but her favorite tools are her knives. Snyder’s recipe for Double Meatloaf appears in the 2009 Taste of Home cookbook.

Star Valley resident Shirley Snyder is one of the contributors to the 2009 Taste of Home cookbook, Freezer Pleasers. A few years ago, she was one of the winners in the Roundup’s recipe contest.

Snyder has participated in recipe contests since the late 1950s and has won five televisions and an assortment of other prizes.

Winning a national cooking contest, she brought home a set of very fine copper layered bottom cookware, which she has used for more than 25 years. She still uses the pots and pans preparing meals for her husband, Harold.

Snyder’s recipe for Double Meatloaf is the contribution to the Freezer Pleaser’s cookbook, and she won the Roundup contest with her Latvian Pork Chops. It is a really delicious way to eat sauerkraut, so for those that missed it.

Shirley Snyder’s Latvian Sweet & Sauerkraut with Pork

6 medium pork loin chops (and/or 1

large rack pork baby back ribs, cut

into 2 rib portions and/or 2 Pork

Polish sausage rings, cut into

2-inch pieces)

1 package of fresh kraut (found in the

refrigerated case with the hot dogs

and sausage)

1, No. 2 can peeled, diced tomatoes in


1 cooking apple peeled, cored and

chopped medium

1 medium yellow or white onion

chopped medium

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1 large or 2 small bay leaf

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/2 teaspoon caraway seed (optional)

4 juniper berries (optional)

Drippings from browning the pork

Brown any one or combination of pork to serve six. Remove from pan and reserve drippings.

Thoroughly rinse kraut at least four times — the more the better. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible.

In a large, flat casserole or 13-inch-by-9-inch glass baking pan, mix all ingredients together, except the pork. Once mix is done, top with pork. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake 1-1/2 hours at 350 degrees. If pork chops are fairly thick or if all ribs are used, add another 20 to 30 minutes.

Her recipe in the 2009 Taste of Home cookbook, published by Reiman Media Group, Inc., was for Double Meatloaf.

Shirley Snyder’s Double Meatloaf

1 egg

1 cup beef broth

1/2 cup quick cooking oats

1 tablespoon dried minced onion

2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef

1 pound bulk pork sausage

1, 8-ounce can tomato sauce, halved

Combine egg, broth, oats, onion, parsley, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Top with crumbled beef and sausage and mix well. Using two greased 8-inch-by-4-inch loaf pans, divide meat mixture in half and pat down, and then cover each with the tomato sauce.

To bake immediately, place in 350-degree oven for 55 to 60 minutes or until meat thermometer reads 160 degrees. To freeze, cover with heavy-duty foil.

To use frozen meatloaf, thaw in refrigerator overnight; remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake as directed above.

Each meatloaf should yield from 4 to 6 servings.

Snyder’s love of cooking has resulted in quite a collection of kitchen tools and gadgets.

“Harold says I have every gadget there is, but I still have a few I want,” she said. A doting husband, Harold had the closet where their heater was remodeled to accommodate her pots and pans.

The most recent addition is a professional grade Kitchen Aid stand mixer, with a 600-horsepower motor.

Her favorite tools are her knives. She is especially fond of the French Sabatier cleaver-style knife and the little Henckels bird’s beak knife. “I probably use these two more than all the others,” she said.

Being crazy for cooking, naturally Snyder has a large collection of cookbooks and two large binders of recipes she has taken out of different publications. However, there are a couple of cooking magazines she keeps whole and collects: Cook’s Illustrated and Cook’s Country Illustrated, both are free of advertisements and often have recipes for old favorites that can’t be found elsewhere, plus good step-by-step directions, they also both have a section that compares different cooking equipment and tools. Snyder recommends every cook get a subscription to both magazines.

They can also be found at several area stores’ magazine sections.

Snyder is such an accomplished cook she taught classes at RV Resorts for a number of years when she and her husband wintered in Arizona from Washington. The most frequently asked question she heard was: “Why does it look so good and never tastes as good (as it looks)?”

She said more often than not, the answer was the fact the student was not familiar with the spices used in the recipe and what the combinations of the different spices do.

The Snyders started coming to Arizona in 1991 as snowbirds and moved to the Rim Country in 1994.

“Harold says we looked everywhere for another place to live, but we couldn’t find anything better than here,” Snyder said.

They did the looking during their many travels. They have been all over the U.S. and Canada in their RV and spent a long vacation (two months) in Alaska. The couple has also traveled to Russia and throughout Europe.

While cooking is her longtime passion, Snyder also enjoyed machine knitting, hand knitting, crochet and needlework for many years, but doesn’t pursue any of it much anymore. The 78-year-old is bothered by arthritis in her hands and said she has more needlepoint pillows than she needs.

These days she spends a lot of time on her computer. She is writing a book about her parents. Her father was a genius, she said. He taught aviation engineering in its infancy at MIT when he only had a high school diploma. “He was phenomenal,” Snyder said. Her mother grew up in mining camps where her mother (Snyder’s grandmother) worked as a cook.


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