Laura Edwards and Shirley Bratton

Laura and Shirley

Laura Bratton Edwards and her mother Shirley Bratton of Calhoun City say their family “looks for reasons to eat,” and “it’s always potluck.” They have family get-togethers for everybody’s birthdays, and “we give ‘not nice’” birthday cards.”

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Holiday recipes from some of our featured cooks

Ellen Jeffery Shaw

A few previous featured cooks share some of their favorite holiday recipes.

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Kathleen Welch

Kathleen Welch cook

“All Granny’s kids had to cook!” said Kathleen Welch of Pittsboro, who has been cooking most of her life. “If you don’t know how to cook, you’ll never get a grandchild,” her late grandmother, Gracie Pearson, told them.

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Emily Hardin Hicks

Emily Hicks cook

Emily Hardin Hicks of Saltillo and formerly of Vardaman, had a blue ribbon winning recipe this year in Vardaman’s Sweet Potato Cooking Contest.

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Dustin Vance


Dustin Vance said he had been interested in cooking since the 3rd or 4th grade as his grandmother was a dietician at the elementary school in Oxford, but in his school he really got interested in fine cooking.

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Alison Armstrong

Allison Armstrong cook

Alison Armstrong of Bruce learned to cook from her grandmother, the late Estelle Edwards, and her mother, Jennifer Glass, and has been cooking since she was seven.

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Melissa Morris

Melissa Morris cook

White Chili is a favorite of Melissa Morris and her family of Bruce. In fact, she has named it her “award-winning” white chili. It was a second place winner in the third annual chili cookoff at Parker Baptist Church’s Harvest Festival and also at a healthy chili recipe contest at Baptist Memorial Hospital-NM during one of their quarterly celebrations, which had an Ole Miss tailgating theme.

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Judy Doolittle

Judy Doolittle

Judy Doolittle of Slate Springs is a retired history and computer teacher from Vardaman School. She found that for her computer class, typing recipes was a good teaching tool–with using bold print, inserting pages, and other components. The high school class also made a cookbook in the process.

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Stacy McCormick

Stacy McCormick cook

Stacy Hubbard McCormick of Bruce said she will Google recipe instructions if there’s something she doesn’t know before she will call her mother, Pat, or sister, Casey, because “they’ll put it on Facebook!”

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Amber Hurst Phelan

Amber Phelan cook

Amber Hurst Phelan of Germantown and formerly of Bruce did most of the cooking at home from about age 10, while her mother went to school and then after she began teaching. Amber was the “family cook” until she left for MS?School of Math and Science  at age 16. “She spoiled us,” said her mother, Debbye. Amber made chicken pot pie when she was little. It was her favorite to make and something she was most proud of.  A recipe she created that is now made more by mom than her is the  Chicken and Mushrooms over rice.

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