By Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal
Miriam Moore is not your typical 85-year-old. She teaches sewing classes and cooking classes and she volunteers in the community.
“I love the life the Lord has allowed me to have at this late age,” said Moore, who worked at Blue Bell before retiring from Sears in 1990.
Moore said she’s lived in the Peppertown area of Itawamba County her whole life.
“Where I live is where Samuel Branch Moore homesteaded in 1823,” she said. “No one but the Chickasaw Indians and the Moore family have ever lived on this land. We built this house in 1946 when my husband returned from World War II.”
Moore learned how to cook from her mother-in-law, Avo Moore, while her husband, Ellie Wayne, was in the service.
“My husband and I got married when he was on a two-week furlough and then he went away for two years and I lived with her,” she said. “After about a month, I asked her if she’d teach me how to cook. She was the best overall teacher a young girl could have.”
Moore said her mother-in-law had a Home Comfort wood burning stove with six burners, a warming closet on top and a reservoir on the side for boiling water.
“She had a huge table and she filled it with food every day,” Moore said. “I’m a lot like her. Cooking and feeding her family were her priority. That’s where I got my love of cooking.”
Sugar and coffee were both rationed in those war days, and Miss Avo liked to make pies and cobblers.
“Mr. Moore was the only one who drank coffee, so we traded most of our coffee coupons with other people for their sugar coupons,” Moore said. “Today’s cooking is so different, but I still make those pies and cobblers.”
Moore is happy to share her food with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, as well as friends, neighbors and her church family.
She’s also happy to share her recipes, but if you want your dishes to turn out as tasty as hers, you have to follow the directions to the letter.
“I’m very meticulous about measuring and following instructions to the nth degree in a recipe,” she said. “If a recipe calls for three large eggs, I’m not going to use anything but three large eggs. If it says to use a whisk, I use a whisk, not a spoon. If it says three minutes, I don’t guess at it. That goes for baking and stovetop cooking. I’m a perfectionist when it comes to cooking and sewing.”
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.