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Fort Smith
Tuesday, January 31, 2023

“Just Roll with It” Serving up Recipes and Humor

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By Sheri Hopkins
Lifestyle Contributor

Hello everyone! It’s a blustery day said Pooh Bear. Cool and windy here today. Most of ya’ll know my mom passed away from Alzheimer’s disease. So please do not ever think I am making fun of her when I tell stories. As an Alzheimer’s caregiving, you have to laugh or you will cry. Trust me, I have done both. My mom was always upbeat and cheerful unless she was mad, then look out world. She was a Jones and let me tell ya if she was mad get out of the way. I hate to tell ya that I’m like her in that sense. I rarely get mad, but look out world if I am. Don’t tell her I told ya’ll, but my sister, Pam, whew if she’s mad or someone did one of her kids wrong, she will tear your head off. Needless to say, when mom had Alzheimer’s she got mad at me a few times. She was always good for some laughs.

One day Jimmy was griping because I hadn’t cooked supper yet, and he just kept on asking when it was going to be ready. Without skipping a beat, my mom pipes up and says “Jimmy your lucky to get a glass of water in this house.” We all just died laughing, knowing how much I love to cook. Of course, Jimmy agrees with her to make it worse. I can’t tell you how many times she would get Jimmy’s car keys and put them in her purse. He never could find his keys to start with but it would get really wild when he needed to get to work and mom would have them in her purse, which she guarded with her life. He would ask her if she had them and she always denied it. That purse was a treasure cove. We would find remote controls, keys, Hotwheels, and false teeth, to name a few.

When my mom was younger, she never wanted to go to the store, so she would give us her list for the Countryboy, and my sister, Pam, and I would take our red wagon down the alley by the old agri building to Countryboy and get what she needed. We also got to pick up some candy. That was our incentive. The funny thing about the list was my mom never called things by the correct name. She was like this for as long as I can remember. Dawn dish soap was dow, Woolco was “wilco”, Kmart was “kmark” and Walmart was “walmark”. When we would be shopping we would have to decipher the list. How do you get “dow” from Dawn. When Pam and I got too old to go, she would get my nephews, Jason and Michael, and my niece, Kelly to go for her. They would take off with the red wagon and get her stuff from Countryboy. They always got candy money, too. We sure had lots of fun with mom.

Michael always said Nanny Jane’s house was lit up at 2 p.m. just as bright as it was at 2 p.m. You could drive by that trailer late at night and it looked like a chicken house all lit up. Every light in the house was on and she would let them stay up however late they wanted eating junk and watching tv.

This week’s recipe comes from one of the sweet ladies I took care of, Betty Smith. I enjoyed going to her house. She sure had a lot of good stories to tell. I loved listening to her. This is the best Mexican cornbread I have ever had. It’s a meal by itself, but it sure goes well with pinto beans on top, yummy!

MEXICAN CORNBREAD
Meat mixture
1 pound of ground beef
1 large onion (chopped)
2 hot peppers (ex. jalapenos), chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Brown this all together and drain off fat
Cornbread mixture
1 ½ cups cornmeal
Mix 1 cup milk, 2 eggs, 1 can cream-style corn, 1/2 cup shortening melted or bacon drippings all together.
1 cup shredded cheese
In a greased -iron skillet is best, but I have made it in a 9×13 pan- pour half the cornmeal mixture in the skillet or pan and put the hamburger mixture on top of that, and spread the shredded cheese on top of the meat mixture then pour the rest of the cornmeal mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes till golden brown. This recipe is a keeper, it’s so good.

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Tammy Teague
Tammy is the heart behind the brand. Her tenacity to curate authentic journalism, supported by a genuine heart is one her many wholesome qualities.
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