If you don’t recognize her picture, you may recognize her voice. That is if you tune into West Chester radio station WECH 1520 AM to “Libby’s Luncheonette.”
For the past seven years, Libby Mills has been serving up local sustainability from 12:15 to 1 p.m. on Mondays where she shares food, community and nutritional information and tips. I am please to say that I have been a guest on her show twice.
Libby has a long tag following her name — MS-RD-LDN-FAND. She has an out-of-the-box personality.
Her family originated in Oklahoma and moved to St. Louis when Libby was a teen. Her parents are busy and retired in St. Louis. When Libby moved to the East Coast, her sister moved west to Arizona.
Libby met the love of her life while attending a women’s conference in Washington, D.C. Vince (Sam) Graziani singled her out. He was among a handful of men attending the conference of over approximately 40,000. They have been together for 17 years. As he was based in the Philadelphia area, she followed him to the area, first living in Chester County and finally settling in West Chester.
Libby was one of the first cooks for Harvest Wine Bar in West Chester. She stayed there for about 2½ years before moving on.
Vince went into the travel business, starting up Plan It Italy. He has family in Notaresco, Italy. Together, Vince and Libby have made six trips for different lengths of time.
Their home and gardens are a special place to unwind. Growing vegetables and flowers and grilling are a specialty.
Rounding out the household are two cats: Jacques and Gigi (who happens to be a boy).
Grilling is a favorite way of cooking, especially in the summer. Here is one of Libby’s favorite grilling vegetable recipes.
FIRE ROASTED GREEN PEPPERS
4 green bell peppers – whole
½ small onion – sliced thin
1 to 1 1/3 cups cool water
½ cup white vinegar
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
Over a fire, blacken the skins of the green peppers. When done, put in a paper bag folded closed to trap the warmth for five to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a deep bowl, whisk the vinegar and oil; add water, salt and pepper to taste. Remove the charred skins from the peppers, and place the peppers into the vinegar mixture. Cove and chill for at least one hour before serving. Turn peppers during the chilling if liquid does not cover the peppers.
Speaking of pepper, may I add my Red Pepper Relish for you to try. It is a real favorite of mine.
RED PEPPER RELISH
4 small onions
15 large red peppers*
2 cups granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. coarse salt
2 cups cider vinegar
After cleaning, grind or chop onions and peppers coarsely, best to use a food processor. In a large pot, add peppers and remaining ingredients, and simmer until very thick, about one hour. Ladle into jars, and process in hot water for seven minutes. Remove from water, and cool on rack or towels. Make 3 to 4 pints. Make in half-pints for gift giving.
*For a delightful holiday relish, try using 10 red and five green peppers.
Let Bette hear from you: firstname.lastname@example.org. Search YouTube for “Look Who’s Cooking with Bette Banjack,” as well phoenixvillenews.com (search bar: Banjack) for this column. Find Bette on Facebook by searching “Bette Banjack’s Downtown Kitchen.” Her book, “2 Cups of Yesterday,” is available at Gateway Pharmacy or by contacting her.