“It’s a good thing I learned to cook very young because when I married Wayne, I had a whole world of opportunities opened up to me–usually with large groups!” said Tillie Nolan Gullett of Vardaman.
Camille Gober of Bruce made up her recipes for Manicotti, Popcorn Chicken and Meatballs, which are all favorites of her family. She calls the Popcorn Chicken niece Taylor’s (Haire), and says she has a “sixth sense” when she makes it, because Taylor just seems to “show up at the house.”
“Best Brownies are a lot of trouble, but good,” said Laura Bryant Baker of Pittsboro. She got the recipe from Lois Schibler of Oregon, while on a mission trip there.
Satrina Massey of Bruce likes to start holiday traditions with food–Gingerbread and sugar swirl cookies at Christmas, and pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. She started making gingerbread cookies about three years ago, and last year made swirl cookies with blue food coloring, but will use red this year. She makes a pumpkin pie every Thanksgiving for her dad, Joe, and wants to make monkey bread this year on Thanksgiving morning.
Rebecca Grier of Calhoun City continues to make the Butterscotch Chewy recipe she got from her mom that came from a 1956 Pillsbury Bake-off book. She learned to cook from her mother and grandmother, but says when she really started cooking by herself was while in home-ec class. There she learned to make a chocolate sheet cake that she still makes.
Brittany Griffin of Bruce learned to cook and make candy from her grandmother, the late Frances Weeks, who was known for her Christmas candy. While she and her mother, Joy, enjoy making some of their favorites of Mrs. Frances’ candy (peanut butter fudge, pecan log roll balls, peanut butter balls), Brittany has branched out into biscuit making.
The ladies of Bruce Fine Arts Club have been making homemade ice cream for the Sawmill Festival for the last 13 years.
In 1995, Beth Dean and husband, Johnny, Hilda and Del Hemphill, Brenda and Danny Hawkins, Jane and Charles Hardin, all of Calhoun City, were at an out-of-town restaurant, and someone in the group said, “We can cook this kind of food!” And so began their couples’ supper club held once every month for the next 10-12 years. Joining them later were Judy and Chodie Myers and Judy and Paul Moore Jr.
Former Calhoun City Home Economics teacher Rose Chandler was always looking for recipes that her class could make in their time frame that would be a good serving size for them. The chicken casserole recipe she got from the late Jessie Phillips proved to be a good one. “It fit the class size and time, and we used it a good bit,” adding that she still makes it sometimes for church meals.
Nina Watts of Pittsboro says she changes every recipe to how she or her family likes it. She’s been “on a kick” the past 12 years and has been trying to cook more healthy. Her family has a history of heart issues and high cholesterol, so she uses light, sugar free, or fat free (condensed soup, Jello, etc.)