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.”
Probably the first thing Jenabeth Peden ever cooked was macaroni and cheese. Now when she makes it, she likes to add garlic and Tony Chachere’s, saying she likes spicy stuff. Her brother Broc asks her to make it for him, but he doesn’t like his spicy.
Hot wings and lasagna are hands down the family favorites at the home of Jeff and Susan Patton, according to their children, Faith and John. Susan makes the lasagna and Jeff makes the wings, which are also his favorite. Both say each other is a natural cook, but she says he is the better cook.
After growing up on mostly peas and butterbeans, Leah Morris McCormick of Bruce has discovered roasted asparagus.
“I just wanna cook!” Taylor Blue told her mother, Lisa, who asked, “What makes you happy?” following a meltdown after an ed psych final. Taylor, of Vardaman, started out as a journalism student, but didn’t think she wanted to be told what she could and could not write, so she ventured into psychology.
“To me, a recipe is just a suggestion,” said Carmon Miller of Calhoun City, and she doesn’t really cook by them. But she has a ton of cookbooks, so many she “needs to quit buying them,” she said, adding that the old ones are her favorites.