Cookin' for Mom | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Cookin' for Mom

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Being a mother herself, Faye Dickerson knows that things can get stressful on Mother's Day. All that a mom wants to do is sit back and relax, though most times she ends up preparing a meal for herself and her family. Dickerson believes that mothers should be taken care of on their special day, and that one of the ways to do that is to take care of the food for her.

"You don't need any sort of experience to cook," Dickerson says. "All you need are some directions."

Dickerson is all about local people. Born in Natchitoches, La., she moved to Clinton in 1960 for her husband's job, and has been a staple of the community ever since. She describes volunteering as a passion. Retiring after 40 years with Miller Transport, Dickerson immediately went from volunteering part time to working full time with various ministries around Clinton, most notably the food pantry at her church, Morrison Heights Baptist and Meals on Wheels. She also volunteers at the Clinton Visitor's Center and helps out local college students by altering clothes for them.

One thing Dickerson loves almost as much as volunteering is cooking. "I didn't really cook when I got married," she says. "I had to teach myself. I was unsure at first, but I knew that if I could read, I could cook."

Dickerson explained that since she had to teach herself, she never learned how to do Southern cooking. "I really just experimented. I would put things in that seemed like they would go well together, and I just really wouldn't worry about it," she says. "If I messed up, no big deal; I could always just start over."

Dickerson and her husband, Charles, have two married children: Dena, who also lives in Clinton, and Chuck, who lives in Vicksburg. Dickerson also enjoys reading and sewing. She has hundreds of books in her home, and loves to read anything she can get her hands on. Her favorite read is the Bible, which she has read cover to cover multiple times.

These are some of Dickerson's favorite easy dishes. She explains that anyone, even someone who has never been in a kitchen before, can prepare them.

Strawberry Delight

1 box strawberry gelatin dessert (8-serving size)
1 cup boiling water
1 20 ounce can of crushed pineapple
3-4 ripe bananas (smashed)
1/2 cup pecans
1 pint fresh strawberries (can substitute 4 cups frozen strawberries if fresh not available)

Combine gelatin with boiling water. Mash bananas well and add them along with all the other ingredients into the gelatin. Transfer mixture to gelatin mold and refrigerate overnight. Serve.

Cajun Spirals
1 package 10 inch round flour tortillas (10-15 per package)
1 ounce package of cream cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 package thin-sliced ham
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning

Soften the cream cheese at room temperature. Mix cream cheese with mayo until it is "spreadable." Sprinkle Cajun seasoning into mixture. Spread a thin layer of the mixture on each tortilla. Spread ham over tortillas, making sure that the ham is away from the edges of the tortilla. Roll tortillas and ham, and refrigerate overnight. Take out of fridge just prior to serving, and slice the rolls about two finger-widths wide. Serve.

Sweet Italian Meatballs

1 package frozen Italian meatballs (50-60 count)
1 18-ounce bottle of sweet barbecue sauce
1 16-ounce jar of grape jelly

Heat jelly until it melts, then mix with barbecue sauce. Thaw meatballs, and put all together in a crock-pot. Heat to simmering. Serve.

Fruit salad

1 cup strawberries
1 cup grapes
1 cup kiwi
1 large package salad greens
Raspberry vinaigrette

Cut all fruit into bite size pieces. Add to bowl with mixed greens. Toss with vinaigrette. Serve.

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