BALDWYN – Kathleen Nabers is happy to share her recipes with anyone who asks for them, even though she doesn’t do a lot of cooking anymore.
“I cooked a full breakfast for 40 years,” said Nabers, who lives in the Palestine community in Itawamba County, but has a Baldwyn address. “Not cereal either. The whole thing. Biscuits, eggs, meat – whatever anybody wanted.”
She also used to cook big Sunday dinners for her two children, Donald and Sandra, and their families, and for her husband, Julious, who died in 2006. Fried chicken, green beans, mashed potatoes, candied potatoes, salads, rolls and cornbread, and pie often graced her table.
“It’s been a while since I’ve cooked one of those,” said the 78-year-old. “I just can’t get around like I used to. Now, if we have Sunday dinner, it’s something easy, like a Crock-Pot roast.”
Nabers doesn’t even cook for herself much anymore, preferring instead to grab a sandwich.
“My daughter worries that I don’t eat enough,” she said. “I tell her not to worry. I eat when I get hungry.”
The grandmother of four and great-grandmother of three still dabbles in desserts, which are her favorite thing to make. She tries to keep a frozen caramel pie in the freezer for unexpected guests, and sweets are what she’s always asked to take to church at Ozark Methodist in Marietta.
“We have a Seniors Day Out at church on the first Monday of every month and we might have spaghetti or hamburgers with all the trimmings or pizza, but they depend on me for the desserts – the pies and the cakes,” she said. “I used to eat desserts, but I’ve gotten now to where I don’t care for them much.”
One dessert Nabers won’t turn down is fried pies, especially if they’re made by her dear friend and neighbor, Irene Ryan, who is now in poor health.
“Irene would bring them to church and she’d say, ‘Kathleen, I brought fried pies,’ and I’d go put me one back for later,” Nabers recalled.
After Nabers retired from Marietta Manufacturing, where she worked for 35 years, she and Ryan had a standing date every Friday afternoon.
“We’d go to the beauty shop in Marietta and then head to the grocery store in Baldwyn,” Nabers said. “Irene would always want to stop at the Bumpers and get a milkshake on the way. I kept telling her I didn’t think I needed a milkshake every week, but we stopped anyway. She’s not able to do that anymore. But we sure had a good time.”
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 e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal