In spite of things beyond my control…I managed to cook and treat my family to another Christmas dinner. Yes, I brag about it because I deserve it.

It took some planning and preparing ahead, but I “pulled it off” without a scorch of anything.

I won’t go into detail of why I’m so proud of myself. Instead I’d just like to keep bragging.

Five days before Christmas was my 69th Wedding Anniversary, and when you stop and think about it…that;s a long time. I cooked and turned out some pretty good dishes over those years. Once I learned to fry potatoes and make macaroni and cheese, my boys never complained. I laugh to myself when thinking about what Harold might have thought about some of the meals I prepared.

In conversation at the dinner table Christmas day, I was asked…”Mary Ann, who taught you to cook?” After thinking about it for a moment, I answered…”I really just learned on my own. I couldn’t boil water when I first married, but I soon learned early on that cooking and preparing meals was the duty of a good wife. Picking upon it real quick as I watched Mama and my mother-in-law, asking questions, and collecting recipes from both.”

After 69 years, I remember one thing that came in handy and helped me alot in cooking. A lady in the community by the name of Bessie Reese gave me a Watkins Products cook book as a wedding gift. Not only did I go by the exact measurements, but I worked hard at making the dish look just like the picture in the cookbook.

As the years went by, I kept observing Mama and collecting recipes. I eventually learned to “cut up” a chicken, but there was one thing (after all these years) I never learned to do… kill and dress a chicken. Both Mama and my mother-in-law hung them on the clothesline and cut their heads off with a sharp butcher knife. I guess I really didn’t want to learn.

Here I go bragging again, but I do a real good job when it comes to frying chicken; although it’s been sometime since I’ve done it, what with Colonel Sanders, Popeyes and Deli chicken from different places so handy.

Perhaps my cooking utensils has something to do with some of the meals I prepare; I still use pots and pans that once belonged to Mama and my mother-in-law. I also have an old bread pan that my grandma (Ma Price) owned…if I ever decide to make bread again.

Sometimes I surprise myself of my accomplishments in the kitchen after all these years, and my boys tell me I still make the best fried potatoes and mac & cheese they ever tasted.