Marilyn Bosso has been involved with food all her life. This Lee’s Summit cook, and her husband of 66 years, Louis, raised three children and now enjoy their six grandchildren.
Q: You have made a career of food service. What are some of your career highlights?
I was raised in mid-Missouri and as a teenager, worked at the local grocery store for my great aunt. After earning a degree in foods and nutrition, I worked for Scruggs, Vandervoort and Barney, a department store in St. Louis. It was a wonderful experience and while working for them, I opened the tea room in the department store in Clayton.
Once we moved to the Kansas City area, I earned my teaching degree and taught for one year. Then I became the director of food service for the Independence School District, a job I retired from after 28 years. It was the best job in the whole world and at one time, we served 18,000 meals each day. I started the first nutrition council for the district and was able to mentor students.
Q: You mentioned being active with various groups and professional organizations. Tell us about your involvement.
It is great to be involved as I enjoy the people, especially the students, and value giving back to the community and my profession.
Just for example, I served on the advisory board for the National School Food Service Association, as well as supporting the county and state associations. I was on the state board for the University Women, was active in the Greater Kansas City Family and Consumer Sciences organization, and the University of Missouri Alumni Association, among other groups. I am also an avid golfer and we own classic cars, so I am involved with those groups.
While working and raising our children I was active, but after retirement, I was able to be more involved and take on more leadership roles.
Q: Do you still enjoy cooking? What is one tip you share with those just starting to cook?
I love to cook our meals, as well as cook for family and friends. I enjoy cooking all kinds of food, from main dishes such as chicken or pork chops to baking cookies and cakes.
My tip for anyone starting to cook is to begin with a simple recipe and to follow it exactly.
Q: What recipe are your sharing?
A friend of mine shared this recipe with me, then we traded it back and forth as we tweaked and perfected it. Finally, we named it the Best Ever Pound Cake.
My Bundt pan is a cherished possession as it is about 40 to 50 years old. This pound cake does not need frosting, as it forms a delicious, crunchy crust, which is my husband’s favorite part. It is perfect to serve topped with fresh strawberries or other fruit.
If you take this cake to events, you can cut lots of slices and put out bowls of fruit so guests can top it as they want.
Best Ever Pound Cake
Makes 1 (10-inch) tube or Bundt cake (12 to 15 servings)
1½ cups (3 sticks) butter, at room temperature (do not substitute margarine)
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
3 cups sugar
6 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon lemon or almond extract, optional
2 cups cake flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Spray a tube or Bundt pan with nonstick baking spray with flour.
In a mixing bowl, using an electric mixer at medium-high speed, beat together the butter and cream cheese until well combined. Add the sugar and beat on high speed at least 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Stir in the vanilla and if desired, the lemon or almond extract.
In a separate mixing bowl, sift together the flours. Add the flours to the egg mixture, a little at a time (about 2 to 3 tablespoons at a time), beating until blended.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 2 hours or until the cake is lightly browned and crusty on top and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool, in the pan, for 20 to 30 minutes, then invert and remove from the pan.
Roxanne Wyss and Kathy Moore are cookbook authors and food consultants that make up The Electrified Cooks. They have published over 12 cookbooks and thousands of recipes. They are members of Les Dames d’Escoffier and blog at pluggedintocooking.com. Email them at KCComeIntoMyKitchen@gmail.com.