Elaine “Cookie” Reynolds – November 2013
Elaine (“Cookie”) Frances Reynolds was born in San Francisco in 1930. She grew up in an extended family setting with her grandparents, mother, dad and uncle all under the same roof. Her grandmother doted on her and cooked delicious meals for the family every day. When Cookie was 18, her mother, father and brother drove cross country to New York city for a veteran’s convention. Her aunt and cousin had already moved there, and Cookie met her husband-to-be while visiting them. They maintained a long distance relationship for a short while, but eventually Cookie moved to New York and married Bob. After seven years in New York, Bob’s dry cleaning store went out of business and he couldn’t find a job in his field, so they moved back to San Francisco, into Cookie’s parents’ house.
After 8 months, Cookie was in the hospital giving birth to the first of their three children when her roommate told her about veteran’s housing in an area called Pedro Valley (now known as Pacifica). They bought a small house and moved there to raise their three children. Cookie and Bob eventually divorced and Cookie remarried, this time to someone she had known in the community and lived in the neighborhood. Cookie and Chuck were married for thirty-six years, and sadly, he just passed away a few months ago.
Cookie loves to cook, and learned a lot about it from her first mother-in-law who was Hungarian. She always cooked for the family, made breakfast and packed lunches for all the kids and her husband daily. They never ate out at a restaurant unless they were on an occasional family vacation, and even then they rented a room with a kitchen so she could cook. When her kids were teenagers during high school, all the kids preferred hanging out in “Cookie’s Kitchen” where the larder was full and there were always freshly baked cookies or cake. As her daughter Louanne tells us, “mom is a good cook because she invests every dish with the best of intentions, humility and heart.” We hope your taste the love in her dishes this month!