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‘Divas’ serve delicious family recipes to benefit Homestead

Deanna Watkins (of Sweet Dream Desserts) will serve lobster mac and cheese bites, while other “celebrity” chefs are planning delicious offerings, including Jayne Higgins’ Blue Ribbon Winning Breads, Mary Pritchard’s Mandarin Orange Cake, and Ann Allen’s La Dolce Vita Desserts.

All of the food and fun will be found at the fifth annual “Divas Dish for Glidden Homestead” on April 20. The fundraising and taste-testing event to benefit DeKalb’s Joseph F. Glidden Homestead and Historical Center will be held from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Northern Illinois University’s Barsema Alumni & Visitors Center.

Everyone is welcome to attend and tickets are on sale at two for $50 or $30 each ($21 is tax-deductible). Call 815-756-7904, email or visit

Building on the success of the past four years, this year’s Divas Dish will feature “celebrity” chefs from DeKalb County and beyond dishing up tried and true family recipes. Dishes include a variety of appetizers, soups, salads, entrees and desserts.

The night will include a Silent Auction featuring sports items, gift certificates and an assortment of fabulous items, according to Glidden board president, Svetlana Henrikson.

“We have an incredible assortment of Silent Auction offerings, in addition to baked goods from some of our chefs, and special raffle items,” she said in a news release.

Among the “divas” participating is Sarah Glidden DeMink, great-grand-niece of barbed wire inventor, Joseph F. Glidden. For the April 20 event, she plans to prepare “Sarah’s Special Salad,” featuring greens, dried cranberries, candied walnuts and goat cheese with raspberry balsamic dressing.

“My mother, Irma, and father, Carter Glidden, lived in the house built by Joseph where he invented his barbed wire at 921 W. Lincoln Highway. We grew up there with our Aunt Jessie, who died in 2004 at the age of 92. She was the founder of the not-for-profit organization that still operates today to preserve and restore the Glidden Homestead as a museum and education center,” DeMink said in the release.

ReNew DeKalb’s Lindsey Engelsman will prepare Aunt Joni’s Party Pasta Salad, while Stacie Haugk and Debbie Armstrong (DeKalb County Convention & Visitors Bureau) will treat guests to biscuits and sausage gravy.

Other chefs and their offerings include: Megan Acardo, chicken salad; Linda Anderson, chicken tortilla soup;  Louise Beukelman, 1,000 Island dressing w/salad; Cadette Girl Scout Troop 543, old-fashioned brownies; Gwen Fox, salad;  Katherine Gannon, beef burgundy with rice; Jennifer Groce, Ooey-gooey Mojo de Ajo mac & cheese; Marge Hash, date bars; and Svetlana Henrikson, barley Italian beef with caramelized onions.

Other chefs are: Susan Johnson, butterscotch meringues; Lynne Morel, vineyard meatballs; Fran Osenberg, red bean jambalaya; Dale Osterle, salmon mousse; Claire Personette, Joy Jumping Juices; Amy Polzin, Brussel Sprout casserole; Becky Sisler and Jane Legorreta, coconut-dark chocolate truffles; Natalia Vinokur, salad; Tracie Wells and Li-Hsuan Hau, Thai spicy pork wraps; Patricia White, assorted cookies and treats; and Marcia Wilson, “Not My Grandmother’s potato salad.”

Unique items from the Glidden Homestead’s Gift Shop, including a Divas Dish Cookbook CD, will be available for purchase at the event.

Joseph Glidden was granted a patent for “The Winner” on Nov. 24, 1874. It would become the most widely used barbed wire in frontier America. His wire was invented in the barn next to his red brick home. Both still stand on West Lincoln Highway in DeKalb.

The nonprofit organization works to preserve the home and barn and to expand the museum campus and its offerings.

Tickets outlets include Castle Bank locations, Daily Chronicle, Dolce Vita, Sweet Dream Desserts, and from chefs and Glidden Homestead board members.

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