By Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal
Two nights a week, guests at the Holiday Inn Express in Corinth are treated do a home-cooked meal, on the house.
And Bobbie Shadburn is the one preparing it.
“Tuesday and Wednesday nights we’re usually full to capacity with business travelers, so those are the nights I cook,” said Shadburn, who has been with the hotel for almost four years.
Last week, she prepared taco soup with tortilla chips, jalapeño cornbread and a key lime cake on Tuesday night, and on Wednesday she made Ro-tel chicken, rolls and a Snowball Cake.
“I enjoy meeting the people who come here,” she said. “We had eight people here from the Czech Republic that were here for eight weeks training at Kimberly-Clark and they were great. I’ve had people that came here two years ago and ate and they’ll come back and tell me what I fixed them for dinner right down to the dessert.”
Shadburn, 72, who grew up in the Hightown community in Alcorn County, has always liked to cook. She had a restaurant for more than four years called Hinkle Creek, but she leased it out when she went to work at the hotel.
Even on the days she works, she still finds time to cook for Billy, her husband of 55 years. And she’s happy to feed her four children, nine grandchildren and 11 great-grands when the occasion arises.
She also likes to cook for a group of widows she and her husband play cards with every Thursday night.
“Usually I ask them if they have something they want me to fix,” she said. “They might say spaghetti or chicken pot pie or pinto beans, cornbread and fried potatoes. And I always have a dessert.”
In fact, desserts are Shadburn’s specialty. She even took cake-decorating classes at the vo-tech.
“I do love pretty desserts,” she said. “There’s different tips I’ve picked up through the years. Sometimes I’ll look through a cookbook and get an idea and then come up with something on my own.”
Shadburn proudly admits she’s never set her kitchen on fire, but she did once have a pressure cooker explode.
“I was cooking white butterbeans and I put them on and walked outside to do something,” she said. “Our daughter was there and she was expecting, and after it blew up, we had to help her out from under the kitchen table. She was scared to death. My grandson was born the next day.”
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.