COOK OF THE WEEK: Court deputy likes to entertain in antebellum Aberdeen home

By Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal

Emily Seymer and her husband, Tom, live in Holliday Haven, one of Aberdeen’s largest antebellum homes. Every room is filled with fine antiques, precious porcelain and more lamps than you can shake a stick at.
And the beauty of it is, the Seymers love to open up their home regularly to guests.
“It’s a fun house and it’s fun to have parties here,” said Seymer, 66. “We entertain at least once or twice a month and we have big parties here two or three times a year.”
When Seymer is ready to have guests over, she has to prepare well in advance, because she has three jobs.
She works full time as a courtroom deputy for Magistrate Judge David Sanders in Aberdeen, and on Sundays, she plays the organ for St. John’s Episcopal Church and then the piano for Faith Presbyterian Church.
“Nice cooking takes time, so if I’m going to do something, I have to plan ahead since I work so much,” she said. “If I’m going to entertain, I get the cookbooks out and plan the menu and make sure everything is here that I need to prepare my dishes.”
The Seymers belong to two supper clubs – one meets monthly and the other meets quarterly.
“At the monthly supper club, everybody brings a dish,” she said. “For the gourmet supper club, you do it all. It’s fun to get out all the fine china and pretty things.”
When she last hosted the gourmet club, she prepared bacon-wrapped beef tenderloin, stuffed baked potatoes, ginger-glazed carrots, asparagus soufflé, a congealed salad and a lemon dessert.
“I’m not real creative,” she said. “I pretty much have to have a recipe to go by. I’m all about color on my plate – green, red, yellow and orange. Food presentation is so important to me. It has to be pretty.”
Seymer tried more than once to count the number of sets of china she has. The first time, she said eight. The second count yielded 10. And then she realized she left another two out of the mix.
“I love dishes and my mother loved dishes,” she said. “And I’ve loved porcelain all my life, ever since I was a little girl. It’s amazing to me how some things can be so old and so intact.”
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

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