“I sure have done a lot of cooking in my lifetime,” said Barbara Cain Lantrip of Banner, who said she’s been cooking since she was eight, and “always for at least 20-25 people.” She learned from watching her mother, Ethel Leachman Cain. The first things she remembers cooking were English peas, fried potatoes and cornbread.
“If you can’t cook with your heart, don’t bother--it won’t come out the same. I love to cook, and I love to be around people,” said Martha Thompson of Calhoun City. “I am an old school cook” she said, but not as much as her grandmother, Naomi Kilgore, who raised her.
Usually starting in November and going through January, Vickie Todd Harrell of Vardaman and formerly of Bruce, continuously makes batches of sourdough bread.
Wanda Meadows of Sabougla got a recipe for Teacher’s Delight cake from Calhoun Academy when her daughter, Kim, was in school there. She makes them a lot for Christmas gifts and always includes a written copy of the Bible verse, “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24, because she says this is true, and she has had such a good and blessed life.
Phyllis Camp of Banner does her cooking on a General Electric stove bought in July of 1950 from Pryor in Calhoun City. She has been using it since 1986, when her mother-in-law, Hazel Camp, died. Her husband, Donald, said they still have the owner’s manual and that it cost $369 new.
Calhoun Academy senior Lonnie Morphis says he was inspired by his grandmother, the late Nettie Bumgart of Derma, to cook. He learned to cook biscuits and breakfast foods from her first, and has been cooking ever since he was little.
“A lot of people have complemented my life and taught me a lot,” said Tracy England King, “and a lot of my cooking experiences came from some sweet, sweet people.”
4-H Kids in the Kitchen is in its 14th year in Calhoun County. The group meets once a month at the multi-purpose building in Pittsboro under the supervision of Extension staff members Trent Barnett, Emily Rennie and Stephanie Hitt. At each meeting, they prepare a meal that was decided on the month before.
“I did not take an interest in cooking until I was in my 30’s,” said Beverly Ruth of Bruce, “I started out frying a lot of food and making casseroles.”