SHOWCASING LOUISIANA: Owner of Red Stick Spice Company draws inspiration from her mother

SHOWCASING LOUISIANA: Owner of Red Stick Spicy Company draws inspiration from her mother

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Have you ever tried to cook one of your mom’s recipes? Somehow, even if you follow it to the letter, it’s never quite the same...

One local cooking instructor says the missing ingredient is a pinch of love.

Class is in session at the Red Stick Spice Company, and on the menu is an old family recipe, but with a new twist.

“Right now, we’re doing a lot of Zoom classes,” said Anne Milneck, owner of Red Stick Spice Company.

These days, Milneck brings her classes right into her students' kitchens.

“We have this camera here, and then we have an above camera,” Milneck said. “If we zoomed out, it’s like boxes everywhere.”

Anne Milneck has been teaching cooking classes via Zoom.
Anne Milneck has been teaching cooking classes via Zoom. (Source: WAFB)

Behind the boxes is a love letter of sorts, to the woman who made all of this possible: Anne’s mom, Betty Jo.

“She worked for Louisiana Power and Light, the power company, who was really pushing for folks to install electric appliances. Her job was to demo appliances and get homeowners comfortable with using their appliances, especially cooking on them,” said Milneck.

Betty Jo kept thousands of recipes and hundreds of cookbooks.

Betty Jo loved to make delicious meals for her family.
Betty Jo loved to make delicious meals for her family. (Source: WAFB)

“She always types her recipes on this pink manual typewriter,” Milneck recalled. “I just remember her constantly collecting new ideas.”

So when Milneck needed to decorate her new classroom, it only made sense to share those recipes with her students right on her kitchen wall. Recipes and cookbooks from a bygone era are displayed with love for everyone to see.

Milneck's cookbook wall draws lots of attention and is a throwback to a different era.
Milneck's cookbook wall draws lots of attention and is a throwback to a different era. (Source: WAFB)

“It’s really sort of kitschy and nostalgic pictures, and I just love the way it turned out,” Milneck said.

There’s an ode to the electric can opener, and the title page of Julia Child’s first cookbook.

“Every day, I come in and stare at it and I find something new,” Milneck said. “I’ve had so many people wander in and just stare at the wall and take pics and talk to me about, ‘Oh, my mom had that cookbook’ or ‘I got that from my aunt.'”

“She felt a real passion about bringing great meals to the table,” Milneck said of her mother.

It’s a passion that has been handed down from mother to daughter, and now to the world, because no matter the recipe, dinner is always better when it’s cooked with a pinch of love.

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