COOK OF THE WEEK: Clothing store owner still finds time to cook large for family

NEW ALBANY – If there is one thing Jane Myers learned from her mother, it would be to cook enough food for those expected at the dinner table as well as those who just happen to pop in.
“My mother never learned how to cook little and neither did I,” said Myers, 66. “You just never knew who was going to drop by. My mother was very talented in whatever she did. I only inherited her cooking skills, though.”
Myers works full time at Something Special, her clothing shop for children and ladies in downtown New Albany. But on Wednesday nights and Sunday afternoons, her main job is to get a meal on the table for her daughters and their families at her home in Myrtle.
“I’ve been doing Sunday dinner for as long as I can remember,” Myers said. “I can’t remember not doing it. Wednesday night dinners started when the oldest grandchild was at Northeast. They’d come home and I’d have a home-cooked meal made for them. If there’s anything cooking, they’re all going to come. Now, we have 15 on Wednesday nights. It’s utter chaos when they all come to my home.”
Myers likes to prepare dishes that fill you up and are easy to make, like home-canned tomatoes with cornbread. And macaroni and cheese.
“I’ve got a couple of grandkids who can look at a table full of food I’ve made, but if there isn’t any macaroni and cheese, then they don’t think I have anything cooked,” she said, laughing.

Meat eaters
One thing Myers has learned over the years is to always prepare two meats.
“I have a lot of picky eaters and what one won’t eat, the other will,” she said. “Meat is the most expensive part of the meal, so I usually buy what’s on sale and buy it in bulk. I try to shop at locally owned stores as much as I can. I know they need the business, just like I do.”
Myers likes to cook most of her meats – beef roasts, pork roasts, ham, oven-baked barbecue chicken – in Reynolds cooking bags.
“It’s always much more tender and there’s no clean-up,” she said.
A favorite Sunday meal includes baked ham, hamburger casserole, black-eyed peas, lima beans, potato salad or slaw, deviled eggs, peach or pear salad and cornbread.
Myers very seldom makes desserts. She and her husband, Bill, are both diabetics, which is one reason she shies away from sweets.
“Plus, we’ve got so much else to eat that we don’t need dessert. Plus, I’m not a very good baker. It either crumbles or falls apart.”

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 e-mail them to ginna.parsons@ djournal.com.

NEMS Daily Journal