By Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal
John Allmond says he began hanging out with his mother in the kitchen as soon as he was old enough to walk, but his love of cake-baking – which is what he’s known for – came along much later.
“I’ve always loved cooking, which is a good thing, because my wife doesn’t like to cook,” said Allmond, 42, who works in the family business, Allmond Printing in Aberdeen.
One of the first cakes he remembers making was the groom’s cake for his own wedding almost 20 years ago. It was in the shape of a big T-shirt and he wrote “I love Emily” on top of it.
“But what really got me started baking was I had a niece getting married and she didn’t have a wedding cake,” he said. “I couldn’t let her get married without one, so I whipped one up, and ever since I’ve had to make cakes for all the others. The only rule is, when they ask me, they can’t tell me what to make. That’s always a surprise.”
Allmond said he makes the cake layers during the week and freezes them, and puts them together the night before and decorates them. He makes layer cakes, sheet cakes and cheesecakes for weddings, birthdays, parties and kids’ bake sales – but only for family.
“I’ve taken one cake decorating class at Itawamba Community College, a beginners class, but that was after I’d already started making them for people,” he said. “I’ve researched them a lot on the Internet and I get books and magazines. It’s kind of like the work I do on computers. When I get to where I don’t know what I’m doing, I do research or ask somebody.”
Sunday at Mama’s
Allmond also likes to cook for his family, which includes his wife, Emily, and their three children, Taylor, Syd and Sawyer. Between the kids’ sports schedules and Allmond’s own schedule as an officiate for high school and junior college football games, he gets the opportunity to cook only once or twice a week at home.
“I make this goulash dish, which is just homemade macaroni and cheese with hamburger meat and cream of mushroom soup,” he said. “My wife can’t stand it, but my kids will eat it until they make themselves sick.”
The one day of the week Allmond isn’t called on to cook is Sunday. That day is spent with Allmond’s parents, Tom and Jean.
“My mama cooks Sunday dinner for us every Sunday unless she’s out of town or we are one,” he said. “That’s the highlight of our week.”
Do you know a good cook? Send your nominations to Ginna Parsons, Cook of the Week, P.O. Box 909, Tupelo, MS 38802. Or you may fax them to (662) 842-2233 or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.