COOK OF THE WEEK: Tupelo woman derives joy from cooking for family and faithful

By Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal

Betty Gable Raines was sitting in her playhouse when she spied her future husband. “We were just country kids,” she said. “We’d known each other forever. I was still playing in the playhouse when I first noticed him. He’d ride by and wave. I knew one day I’d get him. And I did.”
Gable didn’t have to wait long to snag Troy. She was 15 when she married, and that was 56 years ago.
“We’ve been blessed,” said Gable, who has two children, five grandchildren, three great-grands and another one on the way. She and Troy also had a foster child.
“We were house parents at both the Alpha House and Faith Haven for many years,” she said. “We had one foster child for eight years and I don’t know how many others along the way.”
Raines, the middle of nine children, was born and raised in Lee County, where her father was a farmer.
“Everyone who was old enough to work went to the field,” she said. “I stayed at the house and kept the small children and cooked. When I got it ready, I had a big white towel I’d hang outside the door and they knew to come eat.”
Every Sunday would find the family in church at the Assembly of God in Saltillo.
“We had to walk and it was about a mile,” she said. “Can you imagine how dusty we were? We didn’t know the difference, though. We had a good mama and a good daddy. We didn’t have much of anything, but we had a lot of love.”
Raines, 71, shows her love for her family by cooking for them. She makes breakfast and supper every day for herself and Troy, and they usually have sandwiches for lunch. But on holidays, all the kids come home.
“They call and tell me what they want,” she said. “We don’t have anything fancy. We just have good food. They were all here Easter. The next time they’ll be back is Mother’s Day.”
Raines, who also likes to sew, quilt, make scarves and do handwork, is known for her caramel pie, especially at Emmanuel Baptist Church, where she and Troy have worshipped for 50 years.
“Every Wednesday night we eat at church and a lot of them request my caramel pie,” she said. “My Sunday school buddy, Martha Lucius, died last month, and after she got sick, she’d ask me to make her one of those pies. I still miss her. It’s hard on Sunday mornings.”
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

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