By Ginna Parsons
GUNTOWN – When Sherry Norman and her husband, David, were dating, he was living in Nashville. On a trip to visit him, she cooked dinner three times for David and his roommate.
“His roommate said, ‘Buddy, you’re going to get fat if you marry her. I haven’t ever eaten food like that before,’” Norman said.
“He was right, too,” David said, laughing. “I weighed 160 pounds when we got married. Now, I weigh 185.”
Norman’s usual guinea pigs are her co-workers at North Mississippi Medical Center, where she has worked as a material coordinator for more than 25 years.
“When I try a new recipe, I always take it to work,” she said. “If they don’t like it, I don’t make it anymore. And so far, I haven’t made anything they didn’t like. They beg for my Turtle Cake. They’ll call me up and say, ‘Sherry, are you mad at us? You haven’t made us a Turtle Cake in a while.’”
Norman was born in Kansas, but raised in Mantachie. She and David, who have been married almost five years, live in Guntown with their five four-legged family members: cats Cleo, Brat, Josie and Sissy, and a dog named Buddy.
Her mother, Carolyn Moore, taught her how to cook when she was a young girl.
“I was with Mama in the kitchen every since I was old enough to get in there,” she said. “I’d have supper cooked for my mom and dad when they got off work every day.”
Norman said she probably tries at least one new recipe a week. She finds them on Pinterest, Facebook and the Food Network. She also has three websites she goes to regularly: chocolatechocolateandmore.com, pillsbury.com and chefintraining.com.
“I still cook the way I did years ago, but I probably cook more desserts than I used to because I think that’s everybody else’s favorite,” she said. “I made an Easter cake out of Peeps and M&Ms and I made a key lime pound cake for St. Patrick’s Day. A fruit trifle is the next new recipe I’m going to attempt. If it looks good, I’ll try it.”
When Norman’s not cooking, she’s likely collecting. A dozen bear-themed cookie jars line a shelf atop the kitchen cabinets, bear magnets cover the refrigerator and two china cabinets hold Coca-Cola bear memorabilia. In addition to bears, she collects frogs and cookbooks.
But not just any cookbooks.
“I buy church cookbooks and community cookbooks,” she said. “You know, those that have good homemade desserts in them.”
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.