Less than a year after his first baking class, Dick Othuse is racking up ribbons at local fairs
When Dick Othuse’s wife Gayle died of rheumatoid arthritis in April 2018, he lost not only his spouse of 59 years, but the person who prepared all the meals.
“She left me with no cooking skills,” Dick said. “She was a wonderful cook and I was the ‘consumer.’ Unfortunately, I paid little attention as to how she made those wonderful feasts.”
Gayle left her husband with hundreds of cookbooks and thousands of recipes, he said, but “not how to use them.”
The couple’s granddaughter Mary Beth Moriarty told Dick about cooking classes at Merrymeeting. He figured he better learn his way around the kitchen or risk going hungry, so he signed up for Deb Arter’s In the Dough, In the Know
class last fall.
“It has been has been a truly rewarding experience ever since,” Dick said.
He’s got the blue ribbons to show for it.
So far, Dick’s Pumpkin Whoopie Pies won the Whoopie Pie Contest at the Topsham Fair. The same recipe came in second at the Cumberland Fair.
It was Dick’s homemade cookies that stood out for judges in Cumberland. First prize went to his peanut butter cookies, second to chocolate chip, and third to sugar.
It’s safe to say Dick knows his way around the kitchen these days.
“I want to express my sincere appreciation for your adult ed program,” Dick said, ” especially great instructors such as Deb Arter who helped me so much!”