“My husband is addicted to red salmon fishing,” said Lothenore, a retired nurse anesthetist. “So every summer for about the last 10 years we’ve traveled to Alaska to fish. We have a pavilion, a vacuum sealer, a freezer and a picnic table. We sleep in a camper we keep there year-round.”
The limit most days is three salmon per person, with each fish weighing between 9 and 12 pounds. Millard cleans and processes the fish as soon as they’re caught. At the end of the trip, the couple usually comes home with about 300 pounds of frozen and smoked salmon.
“That doesn’t count what we send home with family and others who come to visit while we’re there,” said Lothenore, 67, who lives in the Blackland community just outside Booneville in Prentiss County.
Grilled or roasted salmon is a much-requested dish at Cornerstone Christian Fellowship Church in Corinth, where the couple worships. It’s also what Lothenore takes to Master Gardener potluck dinners and what she serves to guests in her home.
“It’s a real treat for them,” she said. “We’re used to it. We probably eat it once every other week. But my husband’s picture should be in the paper instead of mine. He’s the one who has perfected the salmon recipes we use. He likes to experiment.”
Fish and more fish
Lothenore herself did a lot of experimenting before her two sons were born. She had no real cooking skills when she first married because her mother didn’t care for her to be in the kitchen.
“I could make salads and desserts and that’s about it,” she said. “I couldn’t cook peas or cornbread or meat – any of the essential food. But I didn’t know that I didn’t know how to cook until I got out on my own.”
When she first married, her mother-in-law, Mae Dell Ross of Corinth, would come to her home every day before lunch and teach her how to make something new to serve her husband. Then her mother-in-law would leave before Millard got home for lunch so Lothenore could impress him with her culinary skills.
“Wasn’t that sweet?” she said.
Lothenore, who also enjoys heirloom sewing and smocking, said she pretty much cooks the same way she always has, she just doesn’t cook as often. Everyone still enjoys her pinto beans with ham, slaw and cornbread. If her sons and their families visit, she might prepare beer-battered fried halibut, slaw, roasted potatoes and hushpuppies.
“I know you’re not going to believe this,” she said, “but my husband doesn’t like chicken. So we eat a lot of beef and fish.”
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 .email@example.com.