Meet Meg Cadoux Hirshberg
It started with a friend inviting me over for homemade soup. I was in college. I had never cooked anything more complicated than spaghetti, and I remember being amazed and the tiniest bit appalled that someone would make soup, versus pour it from a can or add water to a dry mix.
The soup was not only delicious, it was transformative: I fell in love with simple cooking. Soon after college, I moved to California and apprenticed on an organic farm with about twenty others. We alternated cooking responsibilities. I was terrified when I had my first turn. My friend Marcus took pity on me and helped me make miso kale soup, rice, salad, and chocolate peanut butter pie (his specialty). I learned to make bread and was twice astonished—by how simple it was, and how ambrosial. Truly the staff of life.
Back on the East Coast, I was hired to run an organic farm in New Jersey. I cultivated four acres of organic vegetables and cared for 100 hens. Living in this paradise of wholesome food, I kept cooking and baking. Later, when I moved in with Gary at Stonyfield Farm in New Hampshire, I was introduced to another cooking ingredient, new to my palate and my recipe box: yogurt.
We held a recipe contest at Stonyfield, and received hundreds of recipes. We tested scores of them, and so many of them were delicious that we were hard-pressed to pick winners. After we did so, we looked at one another and realized that we had to share them—all of them—with the world. Many had come from people who’d been handed these recipes by parents and grandparents in India, Greece, Iran, and England. The recipes were diverse and delightful, and arrived with rich histories.
So for the next two years, I sampled yogurt recipes. Poor Gary would come home and not only have to try everything, but give me adjectives to describe his dinner. Why exactly do you like it? How would you describe it? Would you want to eat it again? How would you modify it? The net result of all that cooking and experimenting and rating was The Stonyfield Farm Yogurt Cookbook —300 delectable recipes using yogurt. We also asked prominent chefs to contribute, and they added what became some of my favorite recipes in the book.
Since those days, Stonyfield has hired professional chefs to add to our store of recipes. I’m still amazed at how wonderful it is to cook with yogurt. It moistens baked goods; its texture is delightful for parfaits, soups, and spreads; it lightens both the taste and calories of dishes that would otherwise be made with mayonnaise or cream cheese or sour cream. It absorbs other flavors completely, often adding its creamy texture and nutritional goodness but not its taste. Dip or dessert, smoothie or muffin, casserole or cake—the only limit to cooking with yogurt is the bottom of your container.
Meg Cadoux Hirshberg—wife of Stonyfield chairman and co-founder Gary Hirshberg—is a columnist for Inc. Magazine, writing about out the impact of entrepreneurial businesses on families. Read her articles:
- When Family Takes a Back Seat to Your Employees
- When the Breadwinner Gets Crusty
- Gary Hirshberg Finally Gets His Say
- The Family Sabbatical
- Stonyfield Founder: I'm Not Retiring!
- The Small Joys of Family Business
- How Much About the Business Should You Share With Your Spouse?
- When the Business Fails
- Why Entrepreneurs Should Take Sick Days
- When Family Businesses Bungle Succession Planning
- The Romance of Good Deeds
- Why So Many Entrepreneurs Get Divorced
- My Husband’s Next Business
- To Love, Honor, and Report To
- Is it OK to Leave Your Spouse at Home?
- Minding the Kids
- Bed and Boardroom
- 10 Tips for a Happy Marriage
- Brother, Can You Spare a Dime
- If Not Now, When?
- Living with a BlackBerry Addict
- Balancing Marriage and Business
- Hitched to Someone Else’s Dream
Read what people are saying about Meg’s column.
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