A Southern cook who has gone extremely viral over the summer will soon be able to place her own book right next to the pile of blue ribbons she has placed on her shelf.
TODAY Food can exclusively reveal that Linda Skeens, the 74-year-old grandmother who won a Blue Ribbon sweep at the National Fair and followed internet fame, is writing her first book. Her jams, desserts, cornbread and more are immortalized in the pages of her very own cookbook, “Blue Ribbon Kitchen: Recipes and Tips from America’s Favorite County Fair Champion”, which should be released in the summer of 2023.
For those unfamiliar with Skeens’ recent rise to prominence, last June at the VaKy Fair (a county fair comprising Wise County, Virginia and Letcher County, Kentucky), a Facebook post showing all of the winners of the show’s many cooking and housekeeping categories has gone viral for containing one key name: Linda Skeens. It topped the baked goods category, won numerous spots in canned foods, and even ranked in the non-food categories of embroidery and wall decor.
Beating his competition and achieving internet virality, scoring an appearance on TODAY and “The Kelly Clarkson Show” with an ever-devout fan base, Skeens takes the next step in his year of culinary genius and becomes a published author. .
“I’ve always loved cooking and my mom is a really good cook,” Linda Skeens told TODAY Food, on the phone with her daughter and social media assistant Cathy Johnson. “But actually when I got married – 58, next month – I couldn’t cook anything. I taught myself and just loved cooking. I like doing it.
Skeens, a native of Russell County, Virginia, is pleased that her first-ever published collection of Recipes and Family Stories will include more than 30 of her award-winning recipes like her peach and raspberry jam, jalapeño salsa, Buttermilk Cookies with Pumpkin Butter, Pineapple Zucchini Bread, Piña Colada Fudge and more, including many more canned recipes, which the new author hopes to revive a dying art.
“I actually hope a lot of people want to get back to canning and cooking and crafting again because it’s dying,” Skeens said. “Now there aren’t many people except those my age who can still do stuff. Most young people don’t know what you’re talking about, so hopefully people will take inspiration from the book and want to do it more.
Skeens’ upcoming cookbook will also include more than 70 other family favorites that she said she cherishes from her mother and grandmother, including oven-fried green tomatoes, molasses cake, rolls Slow Cooker Cabbage, Fried Catfish with Tartar Sauce, Loaded Red Potato Casserole and many more.
Her daughter also added her personal favorite recipe.
“Lasagna. That’s all I ask for for my birthday every year,” Johnson told TODAY, adding that the key to her mom’s recipe is the homemade tomato sauce. “Keep the cake, keep the ice cream , keep the gifts. Give me my lasagna.
Skeens said her personal favorite recipe was her Chicken Parmesan, a recipe she said she planned to include in the book. When AUJOURD’HUI asked her what her husband’s favorite recipe was, we heard him shout “Everything!” from another room. Good man.
Skeens has also opened a TikTok account, sharing her home life and cooking process online for the very first time. functioning as @lindaskeensblueribbonthe Appalachian grandma already has over 45,000 subscribers since launching on September 23. Her first recipe video on the account, a video where she shows how to do it fudge reelgarnered almost 400,000 views over the weekend.
As for how Skeens is handling her newfound fame, she’s still getting used to being recognized. In fact, she had her own diva moment last weekend.
“We went on a cruise that looks like a car show last Saturday, and about 40 or 50 people came up to me,” Skeens said, adding that they all called him a celebrity and wanted to be picked up. picture with her. . “They wanted an autograph and it was crazy.”
Still, Skeens is nothing but happy and grateful for the attention her recipes are receiving, and hopes people will be inspired to cook and spend time with their families as they prepare the hearty recipes she includes.
“I’ve always wanted to do a cookbook and never had the chance until now,” she shared. “I just want to thank everyone who has followed me and talked to me because it means a lot to me. I’m not on Facebook, but I read everything people put on it — my daughter doesn’t care. I appreciate all of that.