By Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal
Lorie Moore says when you grow up cooking for a crowd, it’s hard to change your ways.
Moore, 46, is the second of four children born to Randall and Joyce Trantham of Thrasher. When she turned 10, cooking became one of her daily chores.
“I grew up in a large family so I’m accustomed to cooking for a bunch,” said Moore, a registered nurse and the MDS coordinator for the Baldwyn Nursing Facility. “When I make my grape salad, I make 25 to 30 pounds of it at a time in a big dishpan. It’s so heavy I can’t hardly lift it by myself.”
Moore began cooking the family’s meals when her mother went to work.
“I even remember the first meal I cooked by myself,” she said. “It was sauerkraut and wieners and cornbread. I overcooked the wieners and scorched the cornbread, and my mother said it was the best meal she’d ever had.”
A couple of years later, Moore went on to teach her younger sister how to cook as well.
“Mother supervised us at first, but I guess my sister was kind of my little sous chef,” Moore said. “She still cooks and we cook together a lot. We’re always sharing recipes with one another.”
Moore said some of her earliest food memories stem from her grandmother, Bernice Bridges of Booneville, who died in 2008.
“She was really brave,” Moore said. “She used to keep all four of us children at one time on the weekends. And then on Sunday, she’d cook a big dinner for all of us. I can’t ever remember going to a dinner at her house where we didn’t have fried chicken. I didn’t see how she could put that whole big meal together, but over the years as I watched her, I figured it out.”
Moore tries to prepare a home-cooked meal at least three times a week for her family, which includes her husband, Russell, 18-year-old daughter, Kelsey, and 16-year-old son, Rusty. She also regularly cooks Sunday dinner for her in-laws, Raymond and Marie Moore, who live next door to her in Wheeler.
Weeknight meals might include dough burgers and oven-baked french fries or potato soup and cornbread. Sunday dinner is likely to be a pork roast with carrots, mashed potatoes and gravy, English peas, yeast rolls and an angel food cake.
“I usually stick to something real simple on Sundays,” she said. “But I like to try new recipes at least a couple of times a month. If I’ve got a few minutes on the weekend, I’ll watch the Food Network. I like Sandra Lee, the semi-homemade show. I like things that are fast because the ones at my house are always hungry.”
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.