Isa Gardner, Utah Homemaker of the year, 1988, is a collector.

You would expect a dedicated homemaker to collect recipes, canning jars, bread tins, cookie jars, dirty clothes and cleaning equipment - Lisa does.But, more than the paraphernalia related to homemaking, Lisa collects ideas.

"It all started with 4-H, when I was 10." Lisa explained. "I found a new way to do things. I'm always anxious to try a new idea."

Years of 4-H, high school and college courses and sharing with friends has expanded Gardner's idea collection.

`Throughout the years, I did things with a purpose; I needed to improve in some areas and I did. I learned by doing; I learned from watching my mother and my mother-in-law. I couldn't get enough; I always wanted to learn more," she said.

"I've always been a goal-setter," Lisa admitted, "the more I can learn, the easier it is to achieve the goals I set. When I write down the goal, I can visualize it - I can see myself accomplishing that goal."

Gardner studies for her job, too. She boasts a wide collection of "how to" homemaking books. "By reading I find new ideas - there are three or four ideas in each book that solve problems. Every book is worth reading; I've learned something from every book I've studied," Lisa said.

Gardner is efficient in reading style; she marks significant sections, then summarizes the important points in a back-of-the-book listing. "That way, I can glance at two pages and remember the important ideas in the whole book."

Books that have been most helpful to the homemaker are "Sidetracked Home Executive," by Pam Young and Peggy Jones; "It's Here. . . Somewhere," by Alice Fulton and Pauline Hatch; "The Art of Homemaking," by Daryl Hoole; "Clean Your Whole House and Everything in It," by Eugenia Chapman and Jill Major, and Don Aslett's books, "Is There Life After Housework?" and "Clutter's Last Stand."

Lisa adapted a pattern for household organization from the "Clutter" book. Aslett's ideas motivated Gardner to sort, organize and file closet and drawer contents.

"I sorted and inventoried every item in the house. We got so organized it took weeks to find the new locations; but we finally learned. I did throw away two items I regret - a bedroom set and my comic book collection. I had old "Superman," "Mickey Mouse," and "Donald Duck" books. I wish I still had them to share now that the children are older."

Sharing with children is a part of Lisa's homemaking agenda. The Gardner kids, Robert, 12; Abby, 10, and Jennie, 3, follow chore charts, taste-test new recipes and work on family projects.

Like all families, the Gardners have their share of problems, but Lisa's enthusiasm is contagious, even in the face of adversity. Ideas keep generating, and before long, the difficulties are resolved for another day.

Lisa faced a frustrating problem 12 years ago. She joined the Heber group of Utah Homemakers. After attending several meetings, Lisa recognized the organization as a valuable resource - readily available help in expanding her idea collection. Gardner attended a state meeting of the group, then set a goal to become the "Utah Homemaker." The problem: funding was reduced and the Heber Valley group folded.

Still, Gardner had set a goal and she consistently worked to complete it.

Eventually, the Heber Homemakers organization was revived, with Gardner as a charter member. Lisa actively participated with the local group, and continued to work on her preparation for the state homemaker contest.

The years of collecting, refining and applying ideas culminated in March of 1988, when Lisa Gardner achieved her goal. She was selected Utah Homemaker of the year.

Utah Homemakers is a community-based group that function under the auspices of the Vocational Division of the Utah State Board of Education. Supervisor of the program, Maurine Humphries, indicated that 28 local chapters actively involve more than 1,000 Utah homemakers.

Each area group submits a yearly program plan to Humphries. All clubs are required to study seven areas of home economics, participate in a service project and share a family activity. Class subjects are determined by local needs and interests, utilizing nearby professional resources such as extension and social services personnel. Year-long agendas support the organization theme, "Working together to build successful families."

Utah Homemakers also fills a social need in communities. Humphries said that new people relocating in a community often use the Homemakers group as a "get-acquainted vehicle." Membership gives a new resident identity.

"We all need a group where we feel comfortable, and Utah Homemakers provides this service in many state locations," Humphries added.

The state convention of the Utah Homemakers will be held on Saturday at Salt Lake Community College, 4600 S. Redwood Road. The conference is themed, "Lucky in Life? It's Up to You!"

Keynoting the conference sessions will be Dian Thomas, renowned Utah home economist and television celebrity. Also participating on the program are Wallace Goddard and Becky Mitchell of Utah State University.

At the conclusion of the meetings, a 1989 Utah Homemaker will be named; Lisa Gardener will relinquish her official responsibilities.

But Lisa will have spent the day, notepad in hand, jotting down new ideas. After all, according to Gardner, "There's always more to learn, a better way to do things and another goal to achieve!"

Lisa's Whole Wheat Biscuits

1/2 cup lukewarm water

1/2 cup lukewarm water

1 1/2 tablespoons yeast

1/2 tablespoon sugar

3 1/2 cup hot water

1/2 cup oil

1/2 cup honey

1 tablespoon salt

1/4 cup potato flakes

4 cups white flour

About 4 cups whole wheat flour

Mix yeast, water and sugar until it rises. Add remaining ingredients, except for additional four cups flour. Let sit for 20 minutes. Add additional flour, knead to form a smooth dough. Let rise until double in lightly oiled bowl. Punch down and put into pans or form rolls or biscuits. Bake loaves at 400 degrees for 20 minutes; reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake an additional 25 minutes. For rolls, bake at 400 degrees for 5 minutes, reduce heat to 375 degrees and continue baking for 15 minutes. Brush hot loaves with melted butter.

- NOTE: Lisa uses a pizza pan to bake her rolls - a nice presentation to pull apart at the serving table.

Potato Quiche

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped red or green pepper

1-2 large potatoes, cut thin and pre-cooked for 5 minutes

2 cup shredded Swiss or cheddar cheese

3 eggs, slightly beaten

3/4 cup milk

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon tamari or soy sauce

2 tablespoons sunflower seeds

1 9-inch baked zucchini crust

Spread onion, peppers, potatoes and 1 cup of the cheese in layers, evenly over the pie crust. Pour the mixture of eggs, milk, pepper and tamari sauce of the vegetables and cheese. Place remaining cheese on top and sprinkle with sunflower seeds. Bake at 375 degrees for 45-60 minutes or until quiche is solid.

Zucchini Crust

2 cups zucchini, grated

1 small onion, grated

2 eggs, beaten

3 tablespoons whole wheat flour

2 talespoons sesame seeds

1/2 teaspoon basil

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Mix all ingredients, except one egg white. Place ingredients in 9-inch pie tin; brush crust with one egg white (to keep crisp during baking.) Bake crust at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until dry.

Buttermilk Spice Cake

2 cups sugar

1 cup oil

3 eggs

3 cups flour

2 cups buttermilk

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cloves

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4-1/2 teaspoons allspice

1/2 teaspoon salt

Instant vanilla pudding for filling

Whipped cream

Fresh fruit

Cream sugar with oil and eggs. Add dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk. Bake in greased 9-by-13-inch pan or 3 9-inch round pans; 45-60 minutes for the rectangle, 25-30 minutes for the rounds.

Frost between layers with vanilla pudding; for rectangle, spread layer of pudding on top of cake. Frost sides and top with whipped cream; garnish with cherries, bananas or strawberries.

Buttermilk Chocolate Cake

2 cups sugar

1 cup oil

2 eggs

2 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk

5 heaping tablespoons cocoa

1 cup hot water

2 teaspoons soda

1 teaspoon vanilla

Instant chocolate pudding

Whipped cream

Chocolate curls

Blend oil with sugar and eggs. Mix in flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa; blend in water, buttermilk and vanilla. BBake in 3 9-inch round cake pans, 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Place pudding between layers, then frost with whipped cream. Garnish with chocolate curls.

Clam Chowder

2 6 1/2-ounce cans minced clams

1 cups onions, finely chopped

1 cup celery, finely diced

2 cups potatoes, diced

1 quart half and half

3/4 cup butter

3/4 cup flour

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Pinch of pepper

1/2 teaspoon sugar

Drain juice from clams and pour over vegetables. Add enough water to barely cover and simmer, covered, about 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.

In the meantime, melt butter in big pan, add flour and cook until smooth and thick, using wire whisk to blend in half and half. Add undrained vegetables and clams and heat through. Season with salt, pepper and sugar.