‘Love Is Blind’ star shares grandmother’s recipes
For Cameron Hamilton, cooking is about taking care of yourself as well as the people you love. Hamilton — a data scientist and cast member on the hit Netflix reality show “Love Is Blind” — remembers preparing meals with his mother, Pam, while talking about their day.
“My mom felt it was very important for both me and my sister, Alaina, to learn how to cook, because later in life you never know if your partner will know how,” says Hamilton.
Self-reliance is a trait Pam passed down from her mother, Priscilla, who lived with Alzheimer’s disease. One of the first women to graduate from the University of Maine at Farmington, Hamilton’s grandmother was a former school principal who enjoyed spending time in nature.
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“She was a really avid lover of the outdoors and she believed in living off the land,” Hamilton says. “Grandma would go into the woods and pick berries to make jams, and she had a huge garden.”
Hamilton says his mom loved eating Priscilla’s delicious homemade crescent rolls while growing up, but the recipe she cherishes most of all has nothing to do with food. As a gift on Pam’s wedding day, Priscilla gave her daughter a recipe titled “To Preserve a Husband,” which was filled with advice for the newlyweds.
“This recipe has always been very special to my mom; she thought it was pretty clever,” says Hamilton. “Mom gave it to my wife, Lauren, when she spent her first Christmas with us in Maine.”
Priscilla died of Alzheimer’s disease in 2001. Sadly, the family faced another neurodegenerative disease together when Pam was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2014.
“My mom takes medication for Parkinson’s, and I am concerned about Alzheimer’s and other dementia, knowing that family history plays a big role in neurodegenerative diseases,” Hamilton says.
To help make a difference, Hamilton hosted a fundraiser for The Longest Day®, an Alzheimer’s Association event held annually on the summer solstice. Hamilton honored his grandmother by going live on Instagram and preparing family recipes — including his mom’s lemon blueberry pound cake — and inviting viewers to donate.
“I want to approach Alzheimer’s disease from all angles,” Hamilton says. “From raising public awareness and funds to contributing my insight as an artificial intelligence researcher to help translate the data that already exists, I want to help work toward a cure.”
As a couple, Hamilton and Lauren are starting their own traditions by cooking together. Hamilton says one day they hope to have kids and would pass down Pam and Priscilla’s recipes.
“Being in the kitchen with my family is one of those core bonding experiences,” Hamilton says.
2 cups milk
1/2 cup shortening, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 packages dry yeast
4 cups flour
1. Scald the milk, then add the shortening, eggs, sugar and salt. Beat for one minute, then let the mixture cool for a few minutes.
2. Fold in the yeast while the mixture is warm and let it stand until the yeast comes to the top.
3. Add the flour to the mixture. Add more flour if the dough is not firm.
4. Let the dough rest for one hour, then divide it into two parts. Roll out the dough, cut it into small triangles and roll each piece from the largest to the smallest end.
5. Let the dough rise until it doubles in size, then bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.