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Diane Clemons is the wife of Toronto Argonauts head coach Michael (Pinball) Clemons. Diane, who was born in Clearwater, Fla., began singing at the age of seven. Along with her seven siblings, she formed a group that performed at various churches. She continues to sing today and her debut gospel album will be released later this month. The Clemons also run their own charitable foundation, which focuses on youth. Diane will host the Diane Clemons and Friends Gospel Explosion as part of Grey Cup week events on Nov. 23.
Q: What is your fondest memory from your family kitchen?
A: I come from a family with six girls and two boys. My mom was a great cook. We would look forward to gathering around the dining room table every night together and having dinner. The dining room table was the place in the house friends and family would gather to talk, laugh, and enjoy each other’s company.
Q: What kitchen aroma brings back fond memories?
A: Whenever I smell something sweet in the oven I remember my mother’s love of all things sweet. She was a sweet freak! She would prepare a different dessert for us every night. I remember coming home from school, opening the front door and smelling something baking. I couldn’t wait for dinnertime to arrive so I could eat the dessert she had prepared.
Q: What is your favourite food to cook?
A: I love to cook. I cook all the time for the Argonauts. They always request my macaroni and cheese and sweet potato pie for dessert. We carry on the tradition started at my parents’ house, now my house is the gathering spot for friends, family and especially the team.
Q: Do you use cookbooks?
A: I use my mom’s recipes. They are all stored in my memory.
Q: How did the first meal you prepared turn out?
A: Everybody in the family had a day to cook. I was about 13 years old and I cooked fried chicken, homemade gravy and my mother’s favourite, corn bread. It was delicious!
Q: What kitchen gadget can’t you live without?
A: I have a knife I’ve used since I’ve been in Canada (15 years). It’s not very sharp but I use it for everything.
Q: What ritual from your background involving food do you partake in?
A: For every holiday everyone gathers at my home. We enjoy a huge meal.
Q: Is there a dish that you prepare for gatherings?
A: My macaroni and cheese, sweet potato pie and my husband’s favourite German chocolate cake!
Marcy Cornblum is a freelance journalist. She began her career in radio. After 25 years of celebrity-filled adventures, she is using her experiences to enlighten others in understanding the media.