Cooking for 34: Ann Romney’s Food Brings the Family Together

Deborah Roberts and Julian Quinones
Cooking for 34: Ann Romney’s Food Brings the Family Together

It’s been almost a year since Ann Romney stepped out of the political spotlight with her husband, at the culmination of the 2012 presidential election – so does she miss it?

“Not. At. All.” she answered, without a beat. On her life since the glare of the campaign trail, “It’s wonderful actually, I have to say”

Since then, she’s put together a cookbook, interwoven with a collection of family photos, stories, and memories that take the reader all the way back to her childhood.

“It’s an extension of me. This is how I lived my life. It is my memoir; I cooked – all the time.”

The cookbook is a combination of some of her personal favorites, contributions from her daughters-in-law, and old recipes passed down from her own ancestors, of Welsh heritage. “I know that some of those were passed down from my great grandmother, and my mother and grandmother were absolutely fabulous cooks”

“It’s not really a cookbook - I mean it has recipes in there,” she explained “but it’s more a story of bringing people to the table and what that means, to bring people to the table.”

And for the Romney’s – bringing people to the table is no small feat. As of the latest count, the former Governor and First Lady of Massachusetts have 5 sons, 5 daughters-in-law, and 22 grandchildren.

That count itself, hasn’t been spared any scrutiny from the media.

On Sept. 20th, 2013 Mitt Romney tweeted: “Our 22nd grandchild was officially adopted today: Kieran James Romney. cc: @AnnDRomney” - along with a photo of the newest member of the Romney clan.

Some controversy arose because it was the… second, twenty-second grandchild Mitt had welcomed since July, when he announced their son Josh’s newborn, Luke - also through twitter.

“It’s so silly. [Kieran] was born, as our 21st grandchild in March – but he wasn’t officially adopted” explained Ann “Well, in the meantime we’d had another. Our 22nd Luke was born. And so, Kieran was 21 – we never told anyone about him because he wasn’t officially adopted”

“We certainly knew exactly how many grandchildren we had when and where but people probably misunderstood, that he’d been with us since March.” She continued, “He’s going to bring so much to our family, he already has. And for us, it’s just, it’s all about love.”

So with the Romney count continuing to increase, do they still sit down to eat together?

“Yes, we do!” she answered with excitement “I think there’s a picture of that in the book. In the summertime we set up three picnic tables, long ways with matching tablecloths so it looks like one table. Even now with all of us, there’s 34 of us that sit down at a dinner table”

Sitting down and cooking for so many may have seemed a daunting task 15 years ago, when Romney was first diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. But, she says, lately she’s been able to keep the disease at bay.

“I am doing so well; I feel so, so blessed. I have a wonderful doctor, and because of the new life he gave me, all the proceeds of this book are going to neurological research at Brigham Young Women’s hospital”

“People will know if they buy this book, 100% of the proceeds go to research. Not to the building, not anything else. 100% is going to go to research for neurological diseases.”

For more on Ann Romney, tune in for her appearance on 'Good Morning America' on Tuesday, October 1. 'The Romney Family Table' will be available nationwide that same day.