My mother, Maxine, known as Maggie, was an inspiration and defined the meaning of a great cook and baker. Maggie used fresh ingredients from the bountiful garden she planted and the meat and dairy products from our farm in North Dakota. She took these simple ingredients and could make them something spectacular or would can them for the winter months. Maggie’s cooking and hospitality became well-known in our small town so she always made a little extra just for unexpected guests. Her special dishes are not easy to recreate because she did not follow recipes, but used them as a guide to create something unique from her heart. Our mother’s crowning achievement was her angel food cake that won the grand champion prize each year at the county fair. We have tried to replicate the cake that she whipped by hand but there are some recipes that can only be conjured in our sweetest memories of Maggie in her country kitchen decorated with apples and geese. Chatty Gourmet is dedicated to the loving memory of my mother, Maxine, and her special gift of cooking and baking. I can only hope to continue her legacy.