She’s a serious cook and football fan with two great kitchens
It’s the dream of all serious cooks — an up-to-date kitchen that works as hard as they do. One such culinary center wasn’t enough for Judy Mayfield-Scott, however, so her Friendswood home now includes two: a sophisticated red and white main kitchen and a more casual, but equally well-equipped “summer kitchen” adjacent to the outdoor pool area.
“Cooking is a major focus in my life, but I have other interests as well, and I needed a kitchen that could accommodate those, too,” she said. “I have six children and 11 grandchildren; I enjoy watching cooking and home improvement shows; and I am a major football fan, too.”
Completed in 2009, the main kitchen’s most recent remodel was not a first for Mayfield-Scott and her husband, Jimmie Scott.
Their kitchen has undergone a major makeover about every 10 years. This time, however, the couple decided it would be the last.
“We’ve been in this home for 38 years, and we intend to stay here as long as we can,’” Mayfield-Scott said. “As part of planning for our golden years, we wanted to ensure this kitchen remodeling would accommodate not only our ‘wants’ of the present, but also our needs for the future.”
Working with Randy Godeau of Bay Area Kitchens, Mayfield-Scott soon was exploring the possibilities for that future.
“As part of the discussion at one of our first meetings, I asked her to describe her vision for this ultimate new kitchen,” Godeau said. “She thought for a moment or two, then answered simply, ‘strawberries and cream.’”
True to that vision, an array of shiny red Viking brand appliances today is set amid off-white, Wood-Mode cabinetry. Wood-Mode is the “Rolls-Royce” of cabinetry, Mayfield-Scott said.
“These cabinets not only have a lifetime guarantee, the drawers and cabinet doors are designed so that they close themselves automatically — something my husband never does, ” she said.
In addition to a six-burner stove and massive refrigerator, the main kitchen’s state-of-the-art appliances include warming drawers and a separate, oversized burner designed for wok cookery, but used by Mayfield-Scott for the huge, multi-gallon pots she uses for her celebrated gumbo. Three dishwashers include a red Viking model and a “dishwasher in a drawer” combination model by Fisher & Paykel that’s completely concealed behind wood cabinetry, but rolls out easily at the touch of a finger.
Other innovative features include pop-up electrical outlets that rise from a massive, gold-flecked granite counter top and an innovative Viking steamer Mayfield-Scott describes as the “appliance of the future” and a healthier alternative to the microwave.
Elsewhere, the “strawberries and cream” color palette is continued in hand appliances, accessories and decorative items, such as a motion-operated paper towel dispenser and a vintage wall-hung pay phone converted into a bank. A cozy seating area with fireplace and big-screen TV adjoins a breakfast and bar area, also in red and white.
Moving from the main kitchen across the patio to the home’s “summer kitchen,” Mayfield-Scott’s color scheme changes to red, white and blue, the colors for the Houston Texans football team.
A lifelong football fan, Mayfield-Scott was a season ticket holder even back in the “Luv Ya Blue” era of the Houston Oilers. That same dedication for Houston’s hometown team continues today, as evidenced by an assortment of signed Texans football jerseys in shadowbox frames, a colorful counterpoint to an L-shaped arrangement of heavy duty stainless steel cooking appliances similar to those in the main kitchen. A large-screen TV hovers over a cozy fireplace and seating area, and nearby tables and bar stools feature Texans-themed accessories and upholstery.
“I guess you could say that I am a football fanatic,” said Mayfield-Scott, who attended the past season’s Super Bowl and Pro Bowl. Her husband, who coaches a private team for elementary-age students, confirms this statement with a smile.
“I’ve never known a woman who loves and knows football like she does,” he said. “Of course, I’ve never known a woman who could cook like she does either.”
Although Judy Mayfield-Scott maintains she doesn’t usually use recipes and never shares all her secrets, she did give Coast Monthly some general guidance on how to make her acclaimed gumbo. This makes a large amount, so be sure you have a super-size pot ready before you start.
5 pounds medium uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 pound lump crab meat
6 to 7 fresh blue crabs, broken in half
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup salted butter (1 stick)
4 (10-ounce) bags frozen Pictsweet Seasoning Blend
1 (6-ounce) jar whole peeled garlic, chopped in small pieces
2 (14-ounce) packages Chappell Hill garlic-flavored link sausage, sliced into quarter-size pieces
2 (14-ounce) packages Chappell Hill jalapeño-flavored link sausage, sliced into quarter-size pieces
6 (48-ounce) boxes Swanson chicken broth
2 dried bay leaves
3 (10-ounce) cans diced tomatoes with chilies, such as RoTel brand original style
1 (1.25-ounce) bottle Zatarain’s pure ground gumbo file powder
Seasonings to taste: Accent, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, Season-All
1 (28-ounce) bag Pictsweet frozen cut okra
White rice, cooked
To prepare seafood:
Clean and/or devein seafood as required and set aside in cool place or on ice.
To make roux:
Spread dry flour in heavy skillet and bake in 350 F oven for about 3 hours or until golden brown. Do not add any fat, shortening or oil. Stir occasionally to ensure even browning.
To assemble gumbo:
Melt butter in a large pot and sauté Pictsweet seasoning blend and garlic until soft. Add sausage slices to pot, cover and let cook about 5 minutes.
Add chicken broth, bay leaves and tomatoes with chilies and bring to a boil. Add roux base (browned flour) and mix to blend thoroughly. (More or less roux and/or broth can be added, according to personal preference.) Add file powder and other seasonings according to taste. Mix well, then add crabs, cover and cook for 20 to 30 minutes.
At this point, Mayfield-Scott recommends that you taste the mixture again and correct for seasoning, then add shrimp and okra and cook for 10 more minutes over medium heat until okra has just started to turn tender, but remains firm and isn’t soft. Add lump crab meat and cook about 15 more minutes. Remove from heat and serve alone or over white rice with crackers.
Serves a hungry crowd.