At the Keon house in Bruce, the typical response to, “Hey, Mom, how do you…?” is “Go look it up!” according to Ariel and Erin, daughters of Scott and Vonda. Vonda always read the “old Firefox books” (about plain living) and just wanted to pass along the old-timey way to her girls. She wanted them to be self-sufficient, so she taught them how to cook and sew.
When it came time to decide on a topic for the demonstration speech in Jennifer Rogers’ class, Bruce High School ninth grader Nicole Taylor immediately knew what she wanted to do, and that was to prepare her great-grandmother Maude Crowley’s Million Dollar pie.
Retired LPN Nida Weaver of Calhoun City will be 85 in August, and jokes that when she is, she is putting up a “Kitchen Closed” sign. She says she worked all her life, and has done more cooking since she retired from nursing in 1986 because she was home more. “People always brought food to Dr. Farmer’s office,” where she worked for over 20 years, and sometimes brought the recipe, too.
Rebekah Baker Carr always watched her mother, Kathy, cook, and always helped her with supper, which is every night at their house. Rebekah was home-schooled, so she says she got to do more “home ec” than most students do now. She has always been one who liked to cook, also.
Excerpts from a 1989 Pleasant Hill Baptist Church “Cooking With Love” cookbook were submitted by Rose Diamond. It was a “homemade” book, produced on a typewriter and Xerox machine. The book was a project as a fundraiser for the Pleasant Hill Baptist Church WMU, according to Diamond.
“Food is so comforting and can bring joy to so many people,” said Bethany Pratt Flint, and “while I do love food and cooking, my new job will be in the clinical side (instead of food service) of dietetics.” Bethany got her bachelor’s of science in Dietetics and Nutrition, and in May will have her Master’s of Science in Food and Nutrition Services.
Birdie Tidmore’s favorite place to try out new recipes is with the Bruce United Methodist Church women. When she sees a good recipe, especially a dessert, she usually tries it out on them first since her husband, Dorsey, is diabetic. She and the ladies of the church swap recipes often, and most of the time when someone brings a new dish, they also bring copies of the recipe to share.
“I threw away I don’t know how much flour learning to make pie crust!” said Linda Doler of Calhoun City. Then she found a Southern Living recipe that includes egg and vinegar, and has been using it for 35 years. She makes and freezes crusts to keep on hand, as well as chopped bell pepper.
Kristy Barnett of Calhoun City “plays with everything” when she cooks–meaning she never follows a recipe exactly, and “sometimes it’s a disaster, and sometimes it’s a hit!” She enjoys recipe searching on Pinterest, but always makes changes to put her spin on it, and she never makes anything the same way twice. For example, the last time she made a corn dip, she added black beans, and said it was really good.