By Ginna Parsons
NEW ALBANY – Linda Green grew up the only girl in a household with seven brothers, so you can imagine she got pressed into kitchen duty at an early age.
“I remember my mom and dad were wallpapering the kitchen and Mom said, ‘Linda, I’m going to tell you what to do and the next thing I know, I’m baking chicken, putting on a pot of dried beans and making cornbread,’” said Green, 60.
The next day, Green decided to surprise her mother by making dinner again and having it ready when her mother came home.
“I had the table set and everything and she came in and said, ‘Wow.’ From then on, she would lay out what she wanted me to fix for supper. The challenge came when I went from cooking for 10 people to cooking for two when I got married.”
Green comes from a long line of cooks. Her great-grandmother taught her grandmother, her grandmother taught her mother and her mother taught her. Now, she has taught her three daughters how to cook and she’s also working with her three grandchildren.
“That’s our family time together,” she said. “One daughter might be doing dessert, another a meat dish and another a salad. At least every two weeks, everybody comes here to eat. The girls bring their food here and cook it here. It’s kind of like a project.”
Even though her daughters are grown, Green still gives them safety advice every time they come into her kitchen to cook.
“To this day when we’re in the kitchen, my second daughter always looks like her fingers want to get under that knife,” Green said, laughing.
(For the record, that daughter said that despite a minor burn or two, she and her sisters never set the kitchen on fire and all their fingers are accounted for.)
Green is a rural mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service and her husband recently retired from USPS. They both have learned sign language to help deaf people learn more about the Bible.
“I’m a communicator,” said Green, a Jehovah’s Witness. “I love to get to talk to people. To me, that’s how you gain education. In my ministry, I kept running into deaf people and I couldn’t communicate with them. Now, I can.”
Green loves to be outdoors. She enjoys playing tennis, and when her girls were old enough to hold a racket, they started playing as well.
“That’s what we do in the summertime,” she said. “We’re outdoorsy people. I love gardening. I love watching things grow and being able to walk out there and get things to cook.”
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.