“Family doesn’t mean just my immediate household, it also includes my parents, siblings, nieces and nephews and so on. My mom’s favorite part of cooking is now mine because it’s time together as a family,” shares Mears.
Mears says she doesn’t wait for the family reunions and likes to gather together at least a couple of times a month.
In high school, Mears got her first dose of cooking. “Mom would show me how to make several small things at a time and would mix them together to create a dish for the family,” says Mears.
It wasn’t until after Mears was married, at age 20, that she developed domestic responsibilities. “When I got married, I moved to California and couldn’t reasonably contact my mother with any questions regarding recipes or how-to,” shares Mears, “so I experimented a lot.” When Mears was able to get in contact with her mother, she started writing down her favorite family recipes in a spiral notebook. She would gather recipes from other members of the family and friends and if she saw a recipe in a magazine or online, she would add it to the collection as well.
When Mears isn’t dishing out desserts at the dinner table, she is working as the Clerk of Juvenile Court, playing tennis, reading, playing in the garden or spending time with her family. Mears is a mother of three and a “GiGi” to one very special little girl, Olivia.
Although Mears says that she’s “famous for her pork chops,” she is sharing her recipes for “Chocolate Sheet Cake” and “Vegetable Casserole”. Mears claims the “Vegetable Casserole” originated from her friend, Veronica Ortenzi, when she resided in Long Beach, California. Ortenzi was the daycare provider of Ashley Rice, the daughter of Mears, at the age of two, to con the little one into eating her vegetables. The recipe has been a family favorite since 1988.