Freelance writer and longtime home chef Jennifer Rude Klett says she’s learned something from every food article she’s ever written — whether about farm-raised beef or butter.
Her first cookbook, “Home Cooking Comeback: neighborly advice & 40 pleasing recipes from the farm kitchen of a Midwestern food journalist,” was published earlier this month. All of Klett’s recipes feature traditional Wisconsin ingredients in addition to advice for novice and seasoned cooks alike.
Q: Talk to me a little bit about your background. You freelance for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as a food writer. Have you always liked to cook as well?
A: The first time I wrote a food article was about how World War I changed our diet. I also wrote a book about that called “Alamo Doughboy.” I pitched that idea and (my editor) said “Sure, let’s make it a food article. Can you do some recipes too?” And I said “Sure!” That was 2015. I always loved to cook. There are so many things to write about in the state of Wisconsin.
Q: What made you want to write a cookbook?
A: The reason I did “Home Cooking Comeback’’ was because I sensed this sort of trend toward cooking at home. A lot of it was pandemic driven. I had done story after story … where people kept saying the same things to me: Home has become much more important. Cooking at home addresses your basic, primal needs. Cooking at home provides some of the best memories you could possibly have in life. Home cooking always tastes better. A lot of the other reasons were really intensified over the last 18 months. People are looking to save money more than ever. Restaurants were closed. How long can you eat take out and how long can you eat gas station grub before you really start looking at things. (Cooking at home) improves health and boosts immunity.