Cookbook with a dash of humor

After some persuasion by her two children and two grandchildren, Helen Ayers decided to sit down and write a book about cooking and her favorite recipes.

“The grandkids think I am the greatest cook on the planet,” Ayers said.

She wrote “Grandma’s Brown County Cookbook” to show the struggle she had in learning how to cook; it includes hilarious events that unfolded in that process, she said.

“I finally, after half a century, have learned that art,” she said.

Writing the book changed her life, she said. She lost 98 pounds over four years by using several of those recipes and changing her eating patterns, going from eating two large meals to six smaller meals a day.

“Amazing what a little research can do for you when you want to lose,” she said.

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Q: Have you written any other books?

A: Yes, I have written four others, beginning in 2006, when I wrote about the exodus of the mountain families from Eastern Kentucky to ours and other areas north of where we lived. Also, the second book was about the southerners who had settled in Van Buren Township before I married but whom I became acquainted with early in my Brown County experience. Another was a murder mystery, and the final one was an exposé of the health care industry.

Q: What’s your day job?

A: My day job is watching game shows, doing what little housekeeping I am able to do and planning our meals with the help of my husband — nothing too demanding at this stage of my life.

Q: What’s your writing ritual? In what environment do you work best?

A: I really do not have a writing ritual. When I think of a good recipe and have tried it and the family likes it, I enter it on my computer. I sit here with my bare feet in a good, warm house and just do my thing.

Q: Where can people buy this book, and for how much?

A: The book sells for $28.99 and can be purchased as a print or e-book from any bookseller, including

Q: Are you planning to keep writing?

A: Yes, I plan to write a book about gardening and preserving your harvest. I have started that one already but I think it will be at least a year before it is ready because I want to show pictures of actual garden vegetables in the different seasons and the people who are raising their own food. I plan for it to be a rather extensive collection about our natural food and the food’s value and merit. I tend to use lots of pictures in nearly all of my books and this one will be the same.

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Suzannah Couch grew up in Brown County, reading the Brown County Democrat. A 2013 Franklin College graduate, she covers cops/courts, education and arts/entertainment.