Born in 1927 to immigrant parents from Slovenia in northern Yugoslavia, Martha Jasbec grew up on the south side of Chicago in a predominantly Slovenian neighborhood. Martha’s parents John and Frances raised her and her three sisters with deep traditions from the old country. John and Frances tried hard to learn English to get jobs
to care for their family. The girls had to help with household chores, laundry and getting the meals started and on the table. Martha learned at a young age to be very comfortable in the kitchen, helping her parents make homemade noodles, sausage, bread, traditional baked goods and even a little wine. It was a great way to spend time together as a family and it started a lifelong love of cooking as well.
Living close to a predominantly Polish neighborhood, Martha also picked up on traditional Polish foods and baking. This may have been an asset when she met her future husband Ralph Jaszkowksi. With Polish in-laws, Martha began a family, making sure she kept their lives deeply embroidered with the rich flavors of both heritages. Caring for foster babies and raising four children of her own, Martha had a lot of mouths to feed. She canned fruits and vegetables, made homemade breads, jams and every meal was made virtually from scratch. As time passed, Martha began to expand her culinary skills with lots of cooking classes, even a cake decorating class from a woman who made cakes for the Queen of England. Things started to steam, flame, crust, sizzle, reduce, and glaze. Everyone took notice! Martha has often said that her gift is her hands and cooking is how she shows her love. There is no place she would rather be than in the kitchen, and at all family gatherings that’s where she is, loving everyone.
Spinach, Apple & Toasted Almond Salad
with sesame seeds & an apple cider vinaigrette
Chicken Scallopini with Sausage & Cheeses
breaded chicken cutlet topped with italian sausage, sautéed mushrooms, melted mozzarella & provolone cheese, served with a side of linguine
Chocolate Malt Marble Cheesecake
in a chocolate cookie crust, served with white & dark chocolate sauce