Anyone can do shrimp on the barbie


Until just a few years ago, Rebecca Ferguson didn’t cook.
She had never used a Crock-Pot or cooked a Thanksgiving turkey for family.
Her specialties were hot dogs and macaroni and cheese.
That is because her husband, Al, took on all the kitchen duties.
But Ferguson has learned quickly with his passing in 2013.
That fall, she planned a turkey dinner to serve at her son’s apartment in Chicago. She took a roasting
pan and read up on how to use it.
That day they ate the pie first, then the salad, then all the sides “and the turkey still wasn’t cooked.”

“I didn’t know the roasting pan was broke,” Ferguson said.
They ended up cutting the bird in half to fit in the oven.
“But the Thanksgiving this year in Chicago, I brined the turkey — it was 13 pounds and absolutely
delicious. I made the stuffing, sweet potatoes, the traditional green bean casserole.
“So, I’ve come a long was in the last few years, but it did not start out well,” Ferguson said with a
Now, she tweaks recipes she finds in cookbooks — she follows them the first time — owns a Crock-Pot and
has made a weekly schedule for her meals.
Mondays are Grilled Shrimp and Asparagus.
“I’m actually liking it,” Ferguson said about cooking. “I love shrimp and I love grilled shrimp.’”
When she moved into her condo on Treetop Place in 2016, the following summer she bought “an itty-bitty
“Before that there wasn’t a lot of cooking going on in this house.”
She tried shrimp and asparagus on the grill.
“When I did it and it was edible, I thought, I could do this.”
She marinades the shrimp in Garlic Expressions vinaigrette dressing and the asparagus in Tuscan Sunset by
Penzeys Spices.
If you can’t find either, olive oil and garlic, and any Italian-style seasoning can be used,
After marinading for an hour each, it takes just 10 minutes on the grill.
Another recipe that she tried was pot roast in a slow cooker. Sounds simple, right?
“When you haven’t cooked your whole life, putting a pot roast in a slow cooker is extremely
intimidating,” Ferguson said.
She now has a food processor, a good blender, and an immersion blender.
“As I’m taking this journey, I’m getting all the tools that go with it.”
She recently made a meatloaf that called for five vegetables pureed.
“I couldn’t have done that five years ago,” Ferguson said.
“You can’t be afraid to fail. I’m not afraid to fail in other things that I do in life, why would I be
afraid to fail in the kitchen?”
Her mother was a single working parent, who took no joy in putting food on the table after work, so
Ferguson said that she never learned cooking skills from her.
There was always a package of frozen hot dogs in the refrigerator, so if guests came over for dinner, her
mother could pull them out. That explains Ferguson’s hot dog mastery.
She has an aversion to baking, from being scolded as a child for the cleanup required afterward.
“How do you bake and not make a mess?”
Both her sons cook well. She shares recipes with her oldest, Benjamin, who lives in Toledo. Nicholas
lives in Chicago.
She is on her third term with the Wood County Board of Developmental Disabilities. She is retired as
chief human resource officer at Bowling Green State University, where she worked for 18 years.
If BGSU sports are not interrupting, she cooks for herself and companion Randy Moody five times a week.

“I like shrimp anyway, but I’ve never had it this way,” Moody said, praising the dish.

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