Fort Wayne – Ron Stebing considers himself a lucky man.
This Tuesday, Stebing and his wife Bonnie will celebrate their 41st anniversary. Together the couple have two children, a daughter Kelli and a son Ryan, and one granddaughter, Elizabeth.
She’s such a good girl. I’m such a lucky guy, he says about his 10-year-old granddaughter.
Besides his family, there’s something else which Stebing, 65, adores – his two kitchens, one inside his Grabill home and the other outside.
I feel I have the best of both worlds with my indoor and outdoor kitchens, he says. My indoor kitchen has all of the new Frigidaire Professional series appliances including a hybrid induction range. Induction is my favorite way to cook. You can boil water in less than 2 minutes and simmer immediately. I love it!
My outdoor kitchen has a Jenn-air grill, refrigerator and four sink units, I only use the units as a sink – the rest are used for food prep and for keeping beer, pop and wine cold for parties. I have recently added two new pieces to the outdoor kitchen – a 36-inch Blackstone griddle with a U-shaped table surrounding the griddle and a 40-inch Masterbuilt smoker.
Inside and just off his kitchen, Stebing converted a small bedroom into a pantry. He bought solid wood cabinets from Grabill Cabinet Co. . Now all his cookware and foodstuffs are just a few steps away.
I decided to buy the metal racking. The wood cabinets, I got from where Bonnie works. It took five guys (to put them in). It’s solid oak, he says stopping in mid-thought.
I think. I’m a wood guy. I should know that, he adds with a laugh.
Whether he’s whipping up his Blue Cheese Burgers outside on his griddle or baking an Oatmeal Cake in his indoor oven, Stebing says he loves to take recipes and put his own twist to them.
I like to get outside the box and try something different. Sometime the recipe works, and sometimes they don’t, he says.
Stebing worked for SuperValu for 12 years then 31 years for the Private Label company before retiring.
Since retirement, Stebing says he spends time on his watercolors, woodwork, scroll work, wood burning and cooking.
What’s the saying? A jack of all trades, but a master of none.’ All I know is that I like to have fun, he states.
With a laugh, he says, I was told by my dentist, Bolinger Dental LLC, I have to come in more than once a year. One pie or cake is not enough. I take those to them.
Stebing says one of his favorite recent memories of cooking was with his granddaughter.
We were pretending we were working in a restaurant. She was a serve,r and I was the cook. I sat down for a few minutes, and she came up to me with her hands on her hips and said, Grandpa, it is not your break time.’ We laugh about that all the time. Lizzie and I love to cook together and I think I’m the luckiest Grandpa in the world, he says adding, The last words out of my mouth (at night) are, I love my granddaughter.’
Q. What’s your favorite cookbook?
A. Recipes from Grandma Marie’s Kitchen, this cookbook was created by Marie Delagrange from Woodburn.
Q. What’s one thing people would not find in your refrigerator?
A. Raisins. My mother used to put raisins in everything, and I do not like them.
Q. What’s one word that would describe your cooking style?
A. Fun. Enjoyment and fun. I just have fun with it. Life’s too short not to have fun and see other people smile.
Blue Cheese Burgers
Patty paper or wax paper
6 to 8 ounces crumbled blue cheese, or substitute another favorite cheese
Chopped bacon, 2 slices per burger
Ground chuck (15 percent to 20 percent fat), will need 4 ounces per number of burgers being made (1 pound for four burgers)
Set your egg ring on patty paper or wax paper. Add 2 slices of chopped bacon and press into ring. Add crumbled blue cheese on top and press together. Add a golf-ball size ground chuck and press on top of blue cheese. Take egg ring off and set burger aside. Repeat for each burger. Place burgers, bacon side down, on a griddle. Put meat press on top of burgers. Cook until bacon is crisp; flip burger and cook other side until it is medium or done. Place burgers on your favorite bun, add condiments.
Options: Add chopped green olives and chopped mushrooms to the ground chuck before you place into egg ring to get an entirely different flavor.
1 cup quick oatmeal
1 stick butter
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1 1/3 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
Mix oatmeal, butter and boiling water together. Let sit 20 minutes. Meanwhile, beat sugars and eggs together until light and fluffy. Add baking soda and salt and then add oatmeal mixture and flour. Pour into a greased (bottom only) 13-by-9-inch pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 35 to 40 minutes or until done. Take out of oven, spread topping evenly over top. Return to oven and broil until light brown.
Makes 18 servings.
6 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup canned evaporated milk such as Milnot
1 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup coconut
Mix butter, Milnot, sugar and bring to a boil. Add vanilla; add coconut and pecans.
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
4 tablespoons cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cups butter or margarine, melted
Sift flour and sugar. Add cocoa, baking soda, salt; sift 2 to 3 more times. Add melted butter, buttermilk, vanilla and mix well. Spray a 9-by-12-inch pan with cooking spray and put mixture in pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Cake is done when inserted toothpick comes out clean. Makes 18 servings.
1 pound powdered sugar
1 stick or 1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon cocoa
2 tablespoons milk or more if frosting needs to be thinner
1 tablespoon vanilla
Mix ingredients together. Let cake cook and spread frosting on cake. Keep refrigerated or frosting will melt.