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Creating in the kitchen

An interview with Anythink's newest board member

Lynne Fox is the newest member of the Rangeview Library District Board of Trustees. As a health science librarian and former Ward 3 Thornton City Council Member, Fox brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the position. But library services aren’t her only passion. Fox is an avid cyclist, an admirer of art and architecture, and a food enthusiast. 

We caught up with Fox to chat about her culinary inspirations and why cooking is a transformative experience. 

Q: Tell us about how you first became interested in cooking.
Lynne Fox: I hated home ec, and when Mom made us take a turn cooking, I was a disaster. I once set our oven on fire! I did learn the basics, though. But when favorite dishes prompted an “I love you, Mom” [from my son], that was the positive reinforcement I needed to be a better cook. 

Q: What are your go-to dishes that you enjoy creating?
LF:
I make scones that everyone loves, mostly because I love traditional English tea. My son loves my Pioneer Baked Macaroni and Cheese – it’s not like any other because it uses chunks of cheddar rather than a sauce. And I love using my pressure cooker. I started with a 1940s-era model that my grandmother used. I’m an impatient cook so it’s perfect for me. I make risotto and pork green chili (with peppers from our garden) and shredded pork for BBQ. I make my own stock to use in my pressure cooker recipes. 

Q: Where do you find culinary inspiration?
LF:
Everywhere – cookbooks, the Internet, Facebook, friends, the PBS Create channel... I love to experiment, and I’ll see a recipe or taste a dish I like, then think about how to adapt or change it. I think I’d be great on one of those shows where they give you ingredients and you have to cook a meal. I’ve cooked enough now that I can improvise without too many disasters.

Q: Any favorite restaurants?
LF:
Just about anything locally owned. Our favorites in our neighborhood are Sushi Tokoro and Pho 7 at 120th and Colorado. We have semi-regular Sunday breakfasts with our nieces at Pete’s Cafe and Lisa’s Place (both on Washington Street, south of 102nd). My husband and I love Via Toscana in Louisville for special occasions. 

Q: Do you listen to music while you cook? If so, what?
LF:
I have 4,000 songs on my iPod, so I’ll put it on shuffle and see what comes up. There’s a bit of everything: classical, ragtime, blues, folk, rock, ’80s and local artists. It’s always a surprise.  

Q: What are your favorite food-inspired books or films?
LF:
Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast is an all-time favorite of mine. He savoured great food when he could get it as a starving young artist in Paris. I recently read Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, and I love how Cromwell’s interest in good food plays a part in the story. Some novelists can make the food seem like a character in their story, like J.K. Rowling in the Harry Potter series. She actually inspired entrepreneurs to recreate some of her foods like Bernie Botts’ Every Flavor Beans and Butterbeer frappuccino at Starbucks. There’s so many great movies – and they are usually upbeat and put me in the mood to cook. I recently watched Chef (2014) starring Jon Favreau. An all-time favorite is Mostly Martha (2001). And of course, Como Agua Para Chocolate (1992) is a classic. Cooking is a transformative experience so it’s no wonder writers and filmmakers want to build their stories around it. 

Send your feedback and questions to ithink@anythinklibraries.org