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updated: 5/13/2014 6:14 AM

Cook of the week: Inverness mom relishes baking gene

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  • Kim Ault inherited a baking gene from both grandmothers and says it's just a matter of time before the trait comes on strong in her own daughter.

       Kim Ault inherited a baking gene from both grandmothers and says it's just a matter of time before the trait comes on strong in her own daughter.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

  • Cook of the Week Kim Ault displays baked goods and photos of herself with the women who taught her how to make them. From left, her grandmother Margaret Becker's cutout cookies, almond meltaways from grandmother Helen Hatch and sour cream coffee cake from her mom, Anita Hatch.

       Cook of the Week Kim Ault displays baked goods and photos of herself with the women who taught her how to make them. From left, her grandmother Margaret Becker's cutout cookies, almond meltaways from grandmother Helen Hatch and sour cream coffee cake from her mom, Anita Hatch.
    photos by George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

 
By Sally Eyre
Daily Herald correspondent

The women in Kim Ault's family are bakers. We're talking three generations, and as soon as Kim's teenage daughter picks up the bug (which is perhaps inevitable,) it'll be four.

Kim, of Inverness, grew up in a fairly small town in Wisconsin, where she spent a lot of time in the kitchen with both of her grandmothers.

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"I'd go stay with each of them in the summers," she recalls fondly. Both her grandmothers were German and after they were widowed, they would stay with Kim's family for holidays, sharing the basement like old friends.

"They got along really well," Kim remembers.

Kim's mother was the first to benefit from their tutorage and is now known to her own grandchildren as Nana Cookie. Nana Cookie has continued the tradition of baking with the grandchildren and loves to have them stay in the summers.

"She's 79 and she's still baking. She does the cutouts with the grandkids and still likes to try new recipes when she has people over."

Meanwhile, Kim enjoys baking whenever she gets a chance. If she comes across a signup sheet at church, or her daughter's school, she's always quick to volunteer to bake.

"I like cooking, but I enjoy baking more. When I'm stressed I like to bake, because I find it kind of relaxing," she says. And Kim isn't a stranger to making cutout cookies. She inherited two bins of cookie cutters from her grandmothers and uses them often.

"When we make those, it's a three-day deal and then we freeze them.

"I go a little crazy at Christmas. I make about 10 to 12 different kinds of cookies and give them all away to friends and family," she says.

Today, Kim shares one grandmother's beloved sour cream coffee cake recipe, along with two other tried-and-true favorites. Kim treasures the coffee cake recipe that's written on a small dog-eared card in her grandmother's handwriting.

"Between my grandmother and my mother and my sister and me, this recipe has been made hundreds of times. It always turns out well and usually you have most of the ingredients in the house,"

Kim does like to hunt for new recipes and is continually clipping and filing new recipes to try. When it comes to cooking, she is adamant about preparing healthy meals.

"We eat a lot of fish and I try to go organic for the produce with thin skins, like berries."

When the Aults entertain, they usually grill, or they may try one of the Swiss dishes from Kim's husband's side of the family.

"We've made some really good fondue and my daughter loves kalberwurst," a Swiss sausage made from veal and served with mashed potatoes.

Still, Kim would rather be baking.

"It just makes me feel good to bake something for other people," she laughs. "I love to give it away."

• To suggest someone to be profiled here, send the cook's name, address and phone number to food@dailyherald.com.

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