Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 5, 1999

DONNA KEATING / L’Observateur / December 5, 1999

GARYVILLE – Diana Duhe has lived in Garyville all of her life. She grew upin a large family with her two sisters and six brothers, and all helped their mom around the house.

Duhe started cooking when she was in the fourth grade as a member of the 4-H Club, where she learned to make biscuits, and in a home economics class at school.

However, she learned most of her cooking skills from her mother, the late Clara Heltz, and her mother-in-law, the late Helena L. Duhe.Her mother taught her how to cook stews, red beans and gumbo, she said.

Duhe is married to Manton J. Duhe and has four children – GaryvilleVolunteer Fire Department Chief Farren “Slim” Duhe, Galen Duhe, Clint Duhe and Shan Duhe.

Her sons Clint and Shan were both in the 4-H Club and have won many 4-H cooking awards. Clint has a “secret praline” recipe that he won first placefor in a 4-H cooking contest – he won’t give out the recipe though, she said. Now that they are both married they help out by doing the cookingsince both of their wives work, Duhe added.

Duhe still cooks for her children, who like to come over and eat often. Shesaid they work and don’t have a lot of time to cook so “I like to help them out by feeding them.”Her family’s favorite meal is her beef stew.

Her daughter-in-law Billie Jo Duhe is a hygienist. Duhe said when Billie Jowas in college she always requested she cook red beans “because she always passed her exams when she ate my red beans,” Duhe explained.

Duhe said she enjoys trying new recipes and said everybody likes her food.

She prefers cooking over baking and says it brings the family together.

Duhe said she is known for her big cooking pot.

Chocolate and vanilla melts are a traditional favorite, and she makes them for different holiday occasions. Her most requested recipes are vanishingoatmeal cookies, red beans, jambalaya, gumbo, spaghetti and dirty rice.

Duhe keeps busy – she has been the president of the St. John HomemakersClub for the past nine years and has been part of the club for 12 years.

During her first three years in the club she was the safety chairman. Shesaid all the club members are her step-mothers because she loves them all.

Besides cooking for her family, Duhe has cooked for the fire department’s monthly meetings, Junior Leader Club training meetings and for many potluck luncheons.

She has also judged food contests for the 4-H Clubs in St. John, St. Jamesand St. Charles parishes.Here is a sampling of Duhe’s favorite recipes:


1 cup (2 sticks) margarine or butter, softened 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed 1/2 cup granulated sugar 2 medium eggs 1 tsp. vanilla1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 tsp. baking soda1 tsp. cinnamon1/2 tsp. salt (optional)3 cups quick or old-fashioned oats, uncooked 1 cup raisins (use baking kind) 1/2 cup pecans, chopped 1/2 cup coconut, grated

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Beat together margarine and two sugars untilcreamy. Add eggs and vanilla, beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda,cinnamon and salt; mix well. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls ontoungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Coolone minute on cookie sheet; remove and place cookies on a wire rack.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Note: For bar cookies, press dough into an ungreased 13X9-inch metal baking pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes.


Gravy: 3 tbsps. oil 1 cup onion, chopped 1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped 1/4 cup shallots, chopped 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped 1 clove garlic, minced 2 15-oz. cans tomato sauce1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes1 15-oz. can prepared spaghetti sauce2 bay leaves 1/4 tsp. black pepper2 tsps. sugar4 cups water

Meatballs: 1 lb. lean ground meat1/4 cup season bread crumbs 1 large egg 1/2 tsp. worcestershire sauce1/4 cup onion, minced 3 tbsps. green bell pepper2 tsps. fresh parsley, chopped1 tbsp. parmesan cheese1 tsp. black pepper

Other meats for sauce: 1 lb. mild fresh sausage, cut into circles 1 lb. mild smoke sausage, cut into circles4 qts. cold water1 tsp. salt

Also: 2 16-oz. No. 4 packaged spaghettiparmesan cheese (garnish) garlic bread

In a large sauce pan, combine the 12 ingredients to make the gravy and add the water. Cook for 45 minutes on medium heat, until all seasonings startto get tender. Lower heat.While sauce is cooking, combine the beef, bread crumbs, egg, worcestershire sauce, onion, bell pepper, parsley, garlic, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Mix all ingredients well. Roll into 2-inchmeatballs. Add raw meatballs to the gravy. Cook over low heat for 45minutes. Fry fresh mild sausage and smoke sausage in a large skillet.Drain fat. Cook both types of sausages and add to the meatballs and gravy.Cook over low heat for 15 minutes.

Bring 4 quarts of water to a rapid boil; cook spaghetti uncovered for about 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently. Drain and rinse spaghetti under coldwater to stop the cooking process. Serve gravy over spaghetti. Serve withgarlic bread.

Serves eight. Preparation time about three hours.


5 lbs. chicken leg quarters ( or 6 cups diced chicken)6 eggs, hard boiled 2/3 cup celery, minced 2/3 cups sweet pickles, diced 1/2 cup dill pickles, diced 1/3 cup pimentos, diced 1 1/2 tsps. salt1 tsp. pepper1 tsp. sugar1 tsp. lemon juice1 1/4 cups mayonnaise parsley (garnish) lettuce (garnish) paprika (garnish) stuffed olives (garnish) pickles (garnish) crackers or bread

Rinse off chicken and put into a large pot. Add water to 4 inches abovechicken, cover with lid and boil until tender. When preparing chicken toboil, also boil eggs in medium pot. Bring the water and eggs to a boil,cover, reduce heat to low for 12 minutes. Remove eggs and place into coldwater, peel and mash the hard boiled eggs with a fork. Remove chickenfrom water and place in a large pan and let cool. Debone chicken and placeinto a food processor and chop or dice. Put chopped chicken and eggs into alarge mixing bowl. Add celery, sweet pickles, dill pickles, pimentos, salt,pepper, sugar, lemon juice and mayonnaise. Mix well until all theingredients are covered with mayonnaise. Line serving platter withlettuce leaves. Spoon chicken salad on top of lettuce, sprinkle withpaprika. Add garnish as you desire. Serve with crackers or bread.Eight to 10 servings.

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