P . 12 | JANUARY 2022 | THE HAMMONTONIAN
Cooking with the talented Susan Watson Leiser
It is a schedule that works for the family .
Leiser finds inspiration for new recipes from cookbooks in her collection and in the well-worn recipes from her family . She has cookbooks from popular chefs such as Lidia Bastianich , Nigella Lawson , Ina Garten , Giada DeLaurentis , Julia Child and Philadelphia favorite Michael Solomonov .
“ I am an avid reader of cookbooks ,” Leiser said .
She tries to make two new recipes by GINA RULLO
When you walk into Susan Watson Leiser ’ s home , you first notice the delicious aroma of something cooking .
IN THE KITCHEN
The fragrant aroma draws you right into the kitchen in the back of their Hammonton home . The kitchen is clean and bright with minimal amount
SUSAN WATSON CHECKS ON HER ROSEMARY FOCACCIA .
of knickknacks on the counters .
It is an organized and functional space . It is obvious this well-used and well-loved space is where her family gathers daily and for holidays .
For Leiser , cooking has been part of her life forever .
“ My grandmothers were always cooking . My mom , too ,” she said as she checked the next steps on her recipe for Pasta e Fagioli .
Her kitchen is home to cooking implements from her relatives including vintage pizza plates from her grandmother .
Leiser is a popular piano teacher with 60 students on her roster . Most of her lessons are in the afternoon and the evening , leaving Leiser the mornings to cook for her husband , Mark and son , Evan , age 11 .
“ I ’ ll cook in the morning . I don ’ t get a chance to eat until after 9 . We don ’ t get takeout a lot ,” she said , offering that her family eats what she had prepared earlier without her .
Popular with Mark and Evan are stir-fries and roast Italian chicken .
“ I freeze things . I eat soup a lot for dinner ,” Leiser said .
FINISHED ROSEMARY FOCACCIA
per month . “ I cook all different types of food ,” she said adding that Greek , Italian and French foods were among her favorites .
There is even a family cookbook in her collection that Leiser created for her relatives jam-packed with pictures and recipes for all occasions .
Their home is often host to major holidays like Christmas Eve , Thanksgiving and New Year ’ s Eve , her husband Mark said . And his wife handles the majority of cooking with other family members bringing contributions .
See KITCHEN , P . 13