McCormick#8217;s cookbook for everyday parents

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 14, 2007

PROCTORVILLE - It wasn’t really a desire to become another Robinson Crusoe that spurred Janet McCormick on.

But by the time she finished immersing herself in every facet of how to get a meal on the table, she probably could hold her own with any winner of the Survivor

TV show.

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“I worked with the Mennonites and started watching anything they did,” she said. “I thought we are so dependent on grocery stores and supermarkets, what if we didn’t have those things. I learned to live off the land.’’

That was when the Fairland High graduate was living in Nashville, Tenn., with her family.

“I studied herbalogy for about four years, mostly medicinal herbs and then the culinary herbs,” she said. “I started making my own cosmetics, soaps, deodorants, hair gels. You name it, I made it.”

Then five years ago, after she came back home to Proctorville, McCormick took what she knew and launched her popular Tea Room Caf/ located inside the Finishing Touch Gallery on St. Rt. 7 here.

Now she’s taken that quest for knowledge and desire to push the creative bounds as the inspiration for her latest endeavor, her first cookbook,

“Ten Minute Meals.” And like everything else, pragmatism was the focal point.

“Some of my customers were after me to make a cookbook, but I always said everyone has cookbooks, who wants to have more recipes,” McCormick said.

But after she thought about it for a while, she saw that there was a special niche that she could fill.

That would be women … and men … who work, then have to come and fix dinner for their families.

“I cook all day and when I come home, I don’t want to cook,” she said.

But that didn’t matter because when she first opened her caf/, she’d come home to two hungry boys. At first, like most other working moms, she turned to that old faithful of cuisine: fast food.

“I did that and 15 pounds later, I had to stop,’’ McCormick said.

So she went back to the cutting board and devised what she says are quick and easy recipes of traditional fare.

“There has to be other people like me who come home too tired to cook, but want to have nutritional meals for their family,” she said.

And it had to taste good.

“If it doesn’t taste good, it doesn’t matter how healthy it is, if your family isn’t going to eat it,’’ she said.

Her goal was simple: to come up with healthy meals for her family that tasted good. Dishes like Chicken Pot Pie.

“No one would think you could come up with Chicken Pot Pie in 10 minutes, but I did come up with it.’’

Though she candidly admits, not the first time or two that she tried.

The book is available at the Proctorville caf/ and is expected to be in the Empire Books & News at Pullman Square for holiday shopping. It can also be purchased online at Cost is $14.99