Adele's Love for Cooking
Story by Jon Bennett
Photography by M. Schleif Photography
Born and raised in the Blueridge Mountains in Virginia, Adele Leslie comes from a large family of seven siblings. At a young age, Adele found her love for cooking from her mother, whom Adele is named after. Not only was her mom passionate about cooking and baking for her large family, she was often featured on a local cooking show in Virginia teaching other's her passion. After graduating high school, Adele attended Radford college, which was an all girls school at that time. During this time, she worked for a large tobacco company as the assistant to the head of research before meeting her husband and starting a family of her own. Adele started her family in Winnipeg, Canada, before making their home in Fargo, North Dakota, in 1992.
Making Her Home In Fargo
If you are familiar with the Leslie name, you think of hospitality in our community. In 1994, she played a key roll in building the Ramada Plaza (Now Delta) and convention center, which was a first of it's kind for our area. Adele played a large roll in the interior design of the hotel, adding personal touches to make each guest feel welcome and at home. One of her favorite places was the large fireplace in the lobby where people love to gather and share time together, which has always been important to her and her family. When Basie's opened, Adele wore many hats, from greeting guests, making sure the food was perfect for each guest, checking on tables to make sure everyone was happy and passing on her glowing smile and genuine care to others. As the business grew, they began to add on The Crystal Ball Room & Convention Center to accommodate more people which she looked forward to, continuing to make sure everyone was happy and taken care of.
It's Holiday Season Time!
Christmas is a time of year that has always had a special place in Adele’s heart. Not only getting ready for the holidays at home, but she was “the planner” at the hotel. She strongly believes in celebrating each holiday at the right time, she is a firm believer in waiting to decorate for the holidays until after Thanksgiving is celebrated. She had many 13’ Christmas trees at work, and had the maintenance crew make them portable so each guest could have the tree they liked for their event. Hospitality comes naturally for Adele, and anyone who meets her sees it shine from within her. A welcoming smile, a warm hug and she can make anyone feel like family.
Raising A Large Family Of Her Own:
Adele has five grown children, four of whom live in Fargo and one in Canada. It brings her the most joy to see everyone together, laughing, cooking, eating and celebrating whatever the occasion may be. While I spent the day in the kitchen with Adele, we talked about the holidays and how she loves getting everyone under one roof on Christmas Day. Having a large family also means each of her children have another family to spend the holidays with as well, so she has a plan each year that allows her family to be with both sides of their own families. Most Christmas Eves have been with her family at her son Norman's house - having a traditional dinner including a turkey, Virginia Ham with pineapple dressing, stuffed grape leaves, cabbage rolls and, of course, cranberry sauce made from scratch. She never makes a dinner without pouring her compassion and love into each meal.
Reminiscing On Years Passed
As we spent the morning in the kitchen of her son Robert’s home with his and wife, Melissa’s, four children, Adele shared some fond memories of when her own kids were growing up and still living at home. They enjoyed cooking together and making memories in the kitchen. Some of the meals that came to mind were a few traditional Lebanese dishes, Italian spaghetti from scratch, and one of her favorites was getting the kids in the kitchen and making homemade, individual pizzas with an array of toppings they could choose from. As times have gotten busier, schedules more demanding and more activities for everyone, Adele cherishes her time around the table with her family, catching up on each other's lives and watching each family member do what they love. She truly is a one of a kind gem with a warm smile and a woman who genuinely cares about everyone she meets.
Just watching Adele surrounded by her four grandchildren in the kitchen at her son Robert’s home while baking together was such reminder of what life is all about. Robert’s children were so excited, proud and full of love being along side their beautiful Grandma Adele and sharing in one of her many passions.
Instant Hot Cocoa Mix
Streusel Nut Coffee Cake
Midwest Nest Magazine is a monthly print and digital publication that focuses on culture around the upper midwest.