COOK OF THE WEEK: Legal assistant follows in grandmother’s footsteps

By Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal

Cooking really brings out Susan Robbins’ fun side.
The 52-year-old legal assistant for Tony Farese at the Farese law firm in Ashland said she finds puttering in the kitchen exciting.
“I’ll get in there and talk to myself and gesture and add a little bit of this or that,” she said. “It’s just brings out my personality.”
Robbins, who lives in Myrtle with Jerry, her husband of 32 years, said she learned to cook from her late grandmother, Mary Gray.
“We lived with her until I was 13,” Robbins said. “I had a little red stool I stood on and watched her cook. She was known as one of the community’s best cooks and I just kind of followed in her footsteps, I guess.”
Robbins said her grandmother did country cooking but she also liked to make up her own recipes.
“She was big on casseroles,” she said. “She’d get recipes out of the newspaper and put her spin on them. My grandmother cooked for a pretty big crowd so I kind of learned to cook big.”
When Robbins’ three children were home, she prepared meals every night, but now that it’s down to just her and Jerry, she makes the effort only three or four times a week.
“I might make baked ziti and French bread or we might have burgers and chips and dip,” she said. “Lately, I’ve been trying to do Crock-Pot things.”
She has her children and seven grandchildren over about once a week – usually on Saturday – for a family meal. In the winter, that means soup and cornbread. In the summer, they pull out the grill and do chicken or ribs, potato salad, baked beans and homemade ice cream.
“If I’m making my husband’s favorite meal, though, we’ll have fried pork chops, fried squash, creamed potatoes, peas and cornbread,” she said.
Robbins is active in her church, Faith Baptist Church in Myrtle, which is a close-knit group, she said.
“We eat together every Sunday night and have fellowship,” she said. “That gives us a chance to share recipes. Each week, we have a theme. It might be Italian or it might be sandwiches, but it’s always fun. I really enjoy that.”
She also enjoys spending time with her grandkids.
“They like to pitch washers with their Papaw,” she said. “And they call me Mamoo. I don’t know where they got that. The first one started it and it’s been going ever since.”
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 ginna.parsons@

Click video to hear audio