Olive oil and fresh garlic are key ingredients in Gina Webb's home


There are two ingredients that go into most meals at Gina Webb's Perryville home.

"My family is Italian and we cook everything in olive oil and fresh garlic," says Webb, a Philadelphia native.

She points out that it's important to let the minced garlic sit for at least 15 minutes before cooking.

"It lets the healing qualities in the garlic come out."

Evidently garlic and olive oil have healthful qualities, Webb says.

"I didn't know until the last 10 years that growing up this way might make you fat, but you never have high cholesterol."

An employee at Wal-Mart since 1995, Webb's recipe for Italian Vegetable Saute was included in the "Wal-Mart Family Cookbook." It was the second time for Webb to have a recipe in the company's cookbook. Her White Chocolate Delights appeared in an earlier edition. A fellow employee, Melynda Milburn, also had a recipe, Cajun Crab Fettuccine, included in the most recent cookbook. The book sells for $4.96.


Webb says her saute is more a style of cooking than a recipe. The White Chocolate Delights are excellent for sleepovers, says Webb, a mother of two.

"A bunch of little girls can get in the kitchen and put anything they want in them. They can put pieces of candy bar they bring home. Anything. Anything," says Webb, whose children, Bryan, 18, and Laura, 16, are juniors at Boyle County High School.

Most of her Wal-Mart co-workers know about her cooking skills

Webb says many of her co-workers know about her cooking skills because they plan gatherings around food. She says Danville Wal-Mart's 475 employees feel close.

"We have bake sales and lunches for associates in need," she says, noting that many of them rallied around her when her husband died in a car wreck in November. Donna Russell and Brenda Lane were especially helpful by bringing food and offering shoulders to cry on.

"We take care of each other," she says.

Webb definitely enjoys working in her department of crafts and fabric. When not at work, she sews flags that are sold at Perryville Battlefield. She is friends with the park superintendent, Kurt Holman, and his wife, Dawn, and decided last summer to sell them there. It was a big success with tourists.

"They sold more flags than I could sew," she says, noting that she probably made 40 flags with the Confederate replica.

Her Confederate flags are not Braxton-Bragg's Tennessee Army battle flag that has stirred much controversy.

"I don't do the one that's on bumper stickers. It causes bad feelings," she says.

She recently used her skills to make the flag for Boyle County High School.

"My son is in a computer class and they asked them to go on the Internet and find the cheapest supplier. The cheapest one they found was $375," she says, noting that her bid was much lower.

Her family had an upholstery shop

She learned sewing while growing up in her family's upholstery shop, but decided she did not want to stay in the family business.

"I ran away as fast as I could. I wasn't (going to be) sewing all the time."

It's ironic how Webb, whose flag business goes by the name of The Flag Lady, has come full circle in the sewing realm. She also is cooking all the dishes she enjoyed while growing up. She says the vegetable saut makes a quick supper.

"In a second fry pan, you can cook something that's really good with it, like Italian sausage."

A gardener, Webb is likely to use fresh tomatoes from her garden. Zucchini she harvests also may be dipped in batter and fried because that's her favorite way to eat them.

After making a quick dinner, Webb can devote more time to -what else? - sewing. Right now, she's busy making the costumes for her and her daughter because they've become civilian re-enactors with the 7th Kentucky.

"They call it the Society of the Golden Wreath," she says of the women who provided supplies to soldiers.


Italian Vegetable Saute

1/3 cup chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 cup chopped green bell pepper

2 medium potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch chunks (3 cups)

4 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch slices

One 4 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

In a large skillet cook onion and garlic in 2 tablespoons of the oil until tender. Add remaining oil, bell pepper and potatoes to skillet. Cook and stir for 10 minutes.

Add zucchini; cook and stir about 5 minutes more or until potatoes and zucchini are crisp-tender. Stir in tomatoes, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Serves 8.

White Chocolate Delights

2 cups (12-ounce package) Nestle Toll House Premier White Morsels

2 teaspoons shortening

1 3/4 cups chopped nuts, broken pretzels, flaked coconut, crisp rice cereal, miniature marshmallows and/or almond brickle pieces

In a heavy, large saucepan cook and stir morsels and shortening over low heat just until smooth. Do not overheat. Remove from heat. Fold in nuts, coconut, cereal, marshmallows or brickle.

Drop by rounded teaspoons onto a wax-paper-lined cookie sheet. Cool.

Makes 24.

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