By Ginna Parsons
BOONEVILLE – When Anne and Bill Caver’s kids were growing up, she always had a hot meal ready in the evenings.
“We had supper sitting at the table every night of their entire lives,” she said. “And it was always good stuff, too, like chicken and dumplings, pot roast or salmon patties. But from all those years, they don’t remember anything else except the eggnog biscuits.”
It seems one night, Caver reached in the refrigerator and grabbed the carton of eggnog instead of the buttermilk. She realized her error after it was too late, so she served the biscuits anyway.
“It was a clear mistake,” she said, laughing. “I was hoping they wouldn’t notice, but they did. They still call them my eggnog biscuits.”
You would think Caver would have learned to cook from her mother, the late Claire T. Ross, who was the home demonstration agent for Prentiss County for 19 years. But that wasn’t the case.
“Mother was tired of talking food all day so we got carry-out or quick stuff,” said Caver, 64. “We didn’t go out, ever. Once, we had Chicken a la King out of the can for about two weeks for supper. It was pretty good on biscuits. She always made homemade biscuits.”
Caver said the last place her mother wanted to be was in the kitchen.
“Mother didn’t like to cook but she could do everything else under the sun – quilt, tat, decorate, sew, knit, smock, make slipcovers,” she said. “As I got older, I pretty much learned to cook and sew by reading about it. I still like to read cookbooks and food blogs, but I don’t care for cooking shows on TV. In fact I don’t watch much TV at all. I like to read much better.”
Caver, who retired from teaching in 2005 after a 26-year career in the classroom, describes herself not as a cook, but as a foodie.
“Even our vacations are planned around where we’re going to eat,” she said. “All my favorite recipes are things I’ve had at someone’s home. I have no original ideas. I have teased Bill’s sister, Mickie, for years that all she can make is her microwave lasagna, but it’s actually one of my go-to recipes. Acknowledging that is my public apology to her.”
Caver will eat just about anything, except sauerkraut, but her favorite foods are desserts, especially coconut pie, tiramisu and creme brulee.
“I love my family, I love my kids, I love America and I try to cook healthy,” she said. “That’s about it. But I hope that when I die, I have a piece of coconut pie in my mouth.”
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 can fax them to (662) 842-2233 or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.