JAN HOSSE: Cooking in Nashville since 1968

Dirty Page: Brownies

photo: Andrea Behrends

photo: Andrea Behrends

Jan Hosse’s 35-year-old Southern Living cookbook falls open to the brownie recipe like a natural bookmark. It’s dusted in cocoa powder and spotted with vanilla and has been part of her family life since her children were small. 

“Sarah’s the younger one,” she says of one of her two daughters. “She was born in 1979 and this cookbook is 1980, so pretty much her whole life we’ve been making these brownies.”

Jan grew up the eldest of five children and came to cooking early.

“My mother doesn’t love to cook. So when I got to be about 12 or so my sister and I had dinner responsibilities. And my sister doesn’t like to cook…so I did the cooking and she did the cleaning up, and it worked out beautifully that way.”

When Sarah had children of her own, the brownies would go into the oven a couple times a month with the girls making them on occasion, too. “If we would go out, we’d come home to brownies,” she says.

And do her daughters expect these brownies when they come home with the grandchildren? 

“Yeah, they do,” she says smiling. “And that’s okay.”

Cindy Wall