Q&A: Grace A. Eckstorm, Better Homes and Gardens Annual Challenge Recipe Winner

Tired of cooking the same old thing? Spice things up with this Holden Beach, North Carolina, reader's flavorful Caribbean Pork Loin with Pineapple Raisin Relish.

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Who have been your greatest influences in the kitchen?

My grandmother, mother, aunts, and uncles got me started in the kitchen. My mother could put a party together and was just awesome in the kitchen. I did a lot of cooking when I was very young. There were six of us kids, and when my mother went back to work I took over some of her duties, like making a menu and a grocery list. Then, I would go with her to get the groceries.

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Today, where does your inspiration come from?

I get a lot of inspiration from magazines I read, and I read a lot of books as well

What is your go-to meal?

For me, it's always pasta. I sauté mushrooms, tomato paste, basil, oregano, and white wine. Then I add a little cream. If you have pasta and vegetables on hand you can't really go wrong.

Any foods you just can't stand?

I hate to say it but I don't like most lamb dishes. I also don't care for liver. But I'll try just about everything once.

What's your dream culinary vacation?

It's a tossup between Germany and Italy, but I would go to Germany. I lived there for a year and wanted to stay longer and try so much more of the food and experience more of the culture. My father, who was a World War II veteran, had been to Germany and always used to have me make German food for him.

Do you make anything from scratch that might surprise people?

I love to make English muffins and English muffin bread. I have a special pan for making my English muffins and everything.

See Grace A. Eckstorm's Caribbean Pork Loin with Pineapple Raisin Relish recipe.

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