By Ginna Parsons
Bobbie Pitts of Tupelo doesn’t get around as easily as she used to, but she can still make her way to the kitchen to fix dinner every fourth Sunday for her family.
“I was cooking every Sunday but they stopped me from that,” said Pitts, 79. “Now they let me cook on the fourth Sunday only. We used to average about 12, but there’s not that many now because they’re all scattered.”
Pitts has three children, six grandchildren, one great-grandchild and another on the way.
“They like my lasagna and they like my fried chicken,” she said. “And I always make a dessert on Sunday. I grew up on that. We always had a dessert on Sundays and usually through the week, too.”
Pitts was raised in the Bay Springs area. Her family moved to Itawamba County when she was 10.
“I grew up on a farm – most everybody did at that time,” she said. “We grew cotton and corn and we had a garden. We had chickens and cattle and hogs that we raised for food so we always had meat in the wintertime.”
Pitts learned to cook from her mother.
“Being in the kitchen was a necessity back then,” she said. “My mother was in the fields and some nights she’d cook and some nights I’d cook. I could cook when I married – that’s what all country girls did back then.”
Pitts doesn’t have many of her mother’s recipes because her mother didn’t write anything down; she cooked from memory. But she’d kill to be able to make an egg custard dessert like her grandmother used to.
“My grandmother was a widow and she’d come visit us on weekends,” Pitts said. “We couldn’t wait for her to get there because she’d make her egg custard pie. I’ve got her recipe somewhere. But when I make it, it doesn’t taste as good as hers.”
Pitts, who moved to Tupelo in the 1980s, worked outside the home most of her adult life and most recently volunteered at the North Mississippi Medical Center.
“I wouldn’t have quit there but it got to where I couldn’t walk long distances,” Pitts said, referring to some balance problems she has. “I liked it out there, though. I made some good friends.”
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.