Chicken Parmesan was the first main dish Amanda Collins Vanlandingham of Bruce learned to cook, saying she and husband, Jay, “lived off of it for awhile!” She still makes it sometimes and their kids, Trey, almost 7, and Dani, 2, love it.
Velala Langford of Calhoun City uses Old Plantation sausage seasoning when making chicken and dressing, as her mother Dottie Parker, did, and has stayed with it. The seasoning makes the dressing hot, and her family likes it that way.
One of the first dishes Delinda Hodge of Calhoun City learned to cook that she really liked and still makes after 26 years, is Hawaiian chicken. She describes herself as “a not very adventurous eater.”
Maggie Rennie calls herself a “perfectionist.” The Calhoun City eighth grader likes everything “nice and neat” from her room to her raspberry tarts. She adapted a fruit tart recipe to her liking, using her favorite, raspberries, and drizzles “a pretty design” on them with a chocolate glaze.
Kathy Quarles Baker of Banner home-schooled their three children, Christopher, Rebekah and Benjamin, and she liked to incorporate cooking into some of their work, especially at Christmas time when she makes a lot of candy and cookies. Now she says that Rebekah cooks a lot; Benjamin, a little, and Christopher is their griller.
Two weeks ago Janae Harrelson Winter learned to make her granny, Evelyn Harrelson’s yeast rolls, and, “I have the pictures to prove it,” she said. She was at her granny’s from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. learning how to make the family favorite she has for them every Christmas. The next thing Janae wants to learn to make from Granny is homemade donuts. She has given up sweets for Lent, and after that she will be giving them a try.
“If you’re raised between the Barefoot Contessa (sister Mildred Dauphin) and Paula Deen (other sister Lynn Fales), what do you do?” said Bebe Maxwell of Derma. Because Bebe always baked cakes and brownies, Mildred made her a cookbook of family recipes when she and Jim married.
Lori Longest of Bruce is a meal-planner. Her mother always did meal planning, and Lori grew up eating balanced, healthy meals. She started meal-planning herself when she and Bruce married and has been cooking healthy for years.
When Ken Winter left Bruce almost 40 years ago, he “couldn’t boil water.” He had to call back home to ask his grandmother, the late Maudie “Big Mama”?Winter how to make cornbread, which he stills makes by her directions. He says he learned to cook because of a combination of necessity and “I want to make that.”
Pat Quillen Parvin got out her cookbook notebook and iPad to share her recipes–that’s how she cooks, she said. She loves getting recipes from Pinterest, and because she uses her black iron skillets now more than ever, she gets a lot of information from “Cast Iron Cooking” on Facebook.