Patrick Crowley

Patrick Crowley

“Don’t say you don’t like it until you’ve tried it!” says Patrick Crowley of Calhoun City,  “Yes, Lord, I like anything. I am not above trying anything.”
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Bill Fleming

Bill Fleming Cook

Retired teacher, coach and administrator Bill Fleming of Calhoun City “always tweaks recipes and loves it. I love to trade recipes and make things better.”
He made his first chocolate cake when he was about four, assisted by his mother, the late Ruth Ann Fleming. In the past, he has made pies, as many as 25 a week, for Cagni’s, which he also learned from her.

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Jan Cook

Jan Ward Cook

Jan Cook of Vardaman always uses the sweet potato casserole recipe of Mrs. Laudrey Alexander that was the first Sweet Potato Cooking contest winner in 1974.
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Haley Bollinger


In the sixth grade at Vardaman, Haley Bollinger did her class “how-to presentation” on making cornbread. She cooked a small skillet of cornbread in a toaster oven for the demonstration.
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Melissa Edmondson


“All of my daddy’s family say that I cook more like my Mamaw Altha Morgan than anyone else in the family,” and that’s why Melissa Edmondson says she always get the task of making the dressing for family gatherings.
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Tania Nelson


Tania Nelson of Vardaman learned mostly on her own to cook, but as an adult she got a lot of help from Jeannie Winter. Growing up eating peas, butterbeans, tomatoes, and salt and pepper, Tania said Jeannie taught her to “throw a little garlic salt in everything!”
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Award winning pies

Jan Cook, Melissa Edmondson, Peggy Whiteside

Recipes released for award winning pies in Vardaman Sweet Potato Festival recipe contest.

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Linda Bennett


Linda Mosley Bennett says she is “old-fashioned” about Christmas. She likes to make Christmas candy like her mother, Dorothy Mosley, and her grandmother, Mary Hubbard. She likes the old-timey “fat colored Christmas lights” on the tree with icicles.
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Sweet Potato Festival’s award winning cakes

Winning ribbons in the cake division of the Sweet Potato Cooking contest, were Mary Keyser of Calhoun City, Melissa Edmondson of Vardaman and Lyndsey Wade of Oxford.

The follow are the winning recipes from the Annual Sweet Potato Cooking Contest held in conjunction with the Sweet Potato Festival last month. More winning recipes will be printed as space allows.

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Mary Joy Tedder


Mary Joy Tedder could not cook when she and Chris married. He sent her to his grandmother, Ruby Dean Tedder’s, to learn to can tomatoes, but the first thing she had to learn was how to peel one! Now during the summer she puts up her own corn and peas, and she cans tomatoes.
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