Trisha Yearwood on cooking for family and friends – with or without Garth

Trisha Yearwood: Be open to tortellini

Trisha Yearwood

Trisha Yearwood likes to experiment when she’s creating recipes for one of her cookbooks or her Food Network series “Trisha’s Southern Kitchen.” So she’s often open to suggestions from her husband, fellow country artist Garth Brooks.

“That’s one of the things that I’ve learned really from Garth, actually,” she explains. “I was always like, ‘Follow the recipes to the letter’ and he was always was the, ‘What if you throw tortellini in there? How would that be?’

“Tortellini’s a thing for him,” she adds with a laugh, “but it really did kind of get me to stop being so rigid. … So it’s fun to take something that kind of is basic that you know and then throw in some tortellini and see what happens.”

Now in its 16th season Saturdays at midday, the 30-minute program returns Yearwood to the kitchen to share more of her favorite family recipes. As a skilled home cook with no formal training, she delights in making home-cooked meals when she’s not recording or touring. Whether it’s for family, bandmates or a day with the girls, there is always a story behind each of Yearwood’s recipes.

Interestingly, Yearwood’s culinary career came about as the result of a family project. She was interested in preserving all her family’s recipes in a cookbook. The result was the 2008 bestseller “Georgia Cooking in an Oklahoma Kitchen.” Two other bestselling cookbooks followed, as did “Trisha’s Southern Kitchen,” which won a Daytime Emmy Award in 2013.

It’s been a labor of love ever since.

“I think I cook like most people do,” Yearwood says. “I didn’t think when I was a little girl that I was going to have a cooking show. I just liked to cook and the first book was a chance for me to get the recipes of my mom, my day and my grandparents all together. You know, most of us have those family cookbooks and if you don’t have one I encourage you to do it because when those folks are gone and those things aren’t written down, you’re going to wish you had them. That was really the goal for the first book.

“Never did I dream it would turn into this,” she continues. “But because it comes out of something that I really enjoy and I get to have those people – my sister, my best buddies – on the show, I get to keep my folks alive and I get to make those recipes and tell those stories, and it’s been really a joy. It’s something I really didn’t even know I wanted to do that I really enjoy doing.”

George Dickie

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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