COOK OF THE WEEK: Young Myrtle teacher has soft spot for sweet treats

MYRTLE – Just try to slow Bre Anna Heard down and see what happens.
The 23-year-old just finished her master’s degree at Blue Mountain College in May, which gives her both a bachelor’s and a master’s in five years.
“I’m not a whiz kid. I’m just determined,” said the daughter of Penny and Brian Heard of West Union. “I love school. I’d go back now. I get bored. I just like to be doing things.”
In the fall, Heard will teach science to seventh- and eighth-graders at Myrtle Attendance Center. Last year, she taught third-graders.
“I’m looking forward to the older students,” she said. “Third grade can be stressful.”
About three years ago, Heard did slow down long enough to help her grandmother, Charlsey Goolsby, in the kitchen.
“I’d always been interested in cooking, I just never had the time,” she said. “My mother doesn’t cook at all. Not even boil water. My grandmother does all the cooking.”
Even though Goolsby taught Heard how to make things like homemade biscuits and chicken salad, it’s sweets that have won the young woman’s heart.
“I’m a big dessert person,” said Heard, who will also help coach girls’ basketball this fall at Myrtle. “I’ve cooked a good deal of strawberry cakes. I like to make birthday cakes and I make wedding cakes for family and friends. I took a cake decorating class at Itawamba Community College.”
Heard doesn’t care to cook meat, vegetables or casseroles.
“I just like to stick to the sweet stuff,” she said. “I did a lot of cupcakes last year for my students, because they were easy. They always liked a little sweet treat. I’ll make them for the seventh- and eighth-graders next year. There’ll just be a lot more to feed.”
No pies, please
Next, Heard wants to learn to work with hot sugars that have to be molded.
“I just like to try different things,” she said. “I know some people have to try and try new techniques and new recipes. I’ve been lucky. My recipes usually turn out the first time I try them.”
Except for two.
“Carrot cake is my favorite dessert in the world, but I do not make a good carrot cake,” she said. “And when I try to make caramel pies, I cannot get my sugar to do right. Then, I have to fuss with the meringue. I don’t do well at pies with meringues. Don’t ask me for a pie.”
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 ginna.parsons@djournal.com.

Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal