Kaye Wright of Calhoun City, dietary manager at Bruce Community Living Center, has served in this capacity in various nutrition departments for over 27 years. She is now serving as President Elect-Elect of the MS?Dietary Managers’ Assn. At BCLC she incorporates menus sent to her to include what her residents like.
They let her know through Resident Council meetings about their food preferences. She finds herself thinking about their meals daily, which also includes special event meals they have at BCLC. Her goal there is to make the residents happy, saying “a smile on their face means they are happy. And if the residents are happy, then Kaye is happy.” BCLC residents’ favorites include glazed ham, green bean casserole, and chocolate cobber, a recipe she borrowed from Piggly Wiggly, for their non-compliance meal (chosen by residents monthly).
“Learning to cook was a piece of cake” she says, because she learned from six older sisters. She got a lot of her cooking methods from her mother, Mary Mays, Calhoun City, (who still cooks a lot) and her oldest sister, Martha Harper, Vardaman. By the time it has “her turn” to cook at home, she was a senior in high school. Biscuits were the first things she learned to make, and still does.
Kaye is a “country cooker” and likes simple country food like peas, greens, fried chicken, pork chops, sweet potatoes and chitterlings. Her favorite thing to cook is spaghetti for her grandson, Michael Wallace Jr. of Tupelo, who is her daughter Kayla and husband Michael’s son. Lasagna is her favorite, and she always has it with salad and Texas toast. She does a lot of cooking and coordinating for family events including reunions, weddings, and funerals, and she does some nutrition education.
For New Year’s her family always has blackeyed peas and ham hocks “because?Mama always did” and chitterlings. She always makes a New Year’s resolution, usually about dieting that she doesn’t stick with, but since participating in the “Biggest Loser” program recently in Calhoun City, she plans to go back when they resume in February.
Honey Glazed Ham
1 5 lb. ready-to-eat ham
1/4 cup whole cloves
1/4 cup dark corn syrup
2 cups honey
2/3 cup butter
Preheat oven to 325°. Score ham, and stud with whole cloves. Place ham in foil lined pan. In top half of a double boiler, heat corn syrup, honey and butter. Keep glaze warm while baking ham. Brush glaze over ham, and bake 1 hour and 15 minutes in preheated oven. Baste ham every 10-15 minutes with honey glaze. During the last 4-5 minutes of baking, turn on broiler to caramelize glaze. Remove from oven, and let sit a few minutes before serving.
Green Bean Casserole
2 (15 oz.) cans cut green beans, drained
3/4 cup milk
1 (10.75 oz.) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 (2.8 oz.) can French fried onions
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350°. In medium casserole dish, mix together green beans, milk, cream of mushroom soup, and 1/2 of the can of onions. Bake 25 minutes in preheated oven, until heated through and bubbly. Sprinkle remaining onions over the top, and return to oven five minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
6 Tbsp. butter
1 cup self-rising flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup white sugar
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 c. boiling water
Preheat oven to 350°. Melt butter in 8x8 baking dish while oven preheats. In medium bowl, stir together the first three ingredients, then stir in milk and vanilla until smooth. Spoon this batter over melted butter in baking dish. Stir together remaining sugar and cocoa powder. Sprinkle over batter. Slowly pour water over top of mixture. Bake 30 minutes in preheated oven, until set. Serve slightly warm with ice cream.
Classic Holiday Eggnog
12 pasteurized shell eggs
1 lb. confectioner’s sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup vanilla
4 cups evaporated milk
2 cups heavy cream
Break eggs into large bowl. Beat eggs until light in color. Mix in confectioner’s sugar, salt and vanilla. Add evaporated milk and cream. Blend with egg mixture for 30 seconds. If desired, add in 4 cups dark rum, brandy, bourbon, or rye. Cover eggnog closely and let ripen in refrigerator 24 hours. Stir again and serve sprinkled with freshly grated nutmeg or other garnishes. Yield: 9 one-cup servings.
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 Tbsp. shortening
Line baking sheet with waxed paper, set aside. In medium bowl, mix peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and confectioner’s sugar with hands to form smooth stiff dough. Shape into balls using 2 tsp. dough for each ball. Place on prepared pan, and refrigerate.?Melt shortening and chocolate together in metal bowl over pan of lightly simmering water. Stir occasionally until smooth, and remove from heat. Remove balls from refrigerator. Insert wooden toothpick into a ball, and dip into melted chocolate. Return to wax paper, chocolate side down, and remove toothpick. Repeat with remaining balls. Refrigerate 30 minutes to set.