By Liz Denny
Register Feature Writer
MADISON COUNTY —
Barbara Rogers started cooking as a teenager in high school. She was inspired to cook by her high school home economics teacher Dixie Edwards.
She also had lots of training from her aunt Anna Leach, who was an awesome cook. Later when she met and married her husband Billy, she self-taught herself as a necessity to become a homemaker.
Rogers recently retired after 36 years of teaching. But she continues to teach for Madison County Schools as a long-term substitute, simply because she loves the kids.
Rogers loves cooking because it re-creates memories from her childhood. It also creates memories for her daughter and granddaughters. The grandchildren loved to cook when they were small, but now as teenagers they only cook when it suits them.
Rogers gets many of her recipes from cookbooks, the Internet and family recipes. Rogers and her daughter cooks and tries new recipes, learning from each other.
Rogers’ husband Billy, who is retired from the Richmond Fire Department, also plays an important part in cooking. He is a great assistant and helps in all the food preparation. Billy is also a great cook and makes wonderful egg rolls and fudge.
Rogers loves preparing food from her garden. Her favorite summer foods are tomatoes and squash. She spends her summer canning green beans, tomatoes, tomato juice, salsa, pickles and corn. She cans anything she can obtain through friends and family.
Rogers loves hosting and cooking for small gatherings. She also enjoys cooking and sending food to family and friends who are sick or in need. Rogers also collects cookbooks, egg coddlers, vintage jewelry and good friends. Rogers plans on passing her secret recipes down to her granddaughters.
Rogers granddaughter, Laura Horn, hopes to one day to be able to cook like her grandmother, “’cause I love her cooking.”
Rogers makes sour dough bread every week during the winter. Her recipes makes 12 loaves of bread, that she gives to friends. She has made as many as 20 loaves, “when I have to.” She does not make bread in the summer, because it is too hot.
Rogers has shared with us her family’s favorite recipes.
Chicken maque choux
3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup flour
3 1/2 to 4 cups of fresh corn cut from the cob (5 to 6 ears, use the dull side of knife to get as much of the “milk” from the cob as you can)
2 tablespoons of milk plus extra as needed
3 cups of chopped onions
2/3 cup green pepper chopped
2 large tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh basil
3 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper
Trim chicken breast and cut them into chunks. In a heavy pot, heat oil over medium heat, Lightly dust chicken with flour, shaking off excess. Brown chicken in oil, turning frequently so it will cook evenly.
When is is evenly golden brown, reduce heat and add corn and cream. Mix, then add remaining ingredients. Cook over low heat for 30 to 40 minutes or until the chicken is tender stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. If it seems too thick, add 2 to 3 more tablespoons more of milk.
Serve in wide soup bowls with spoons. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Family’s favorite chocolate pie
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups evaporated milk
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
One 9-inch pie shell
In a heavy sauce pan, mix together, sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt.
Stir into gradually, mixing after each additions, eggs, milk and water.
Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture has thickened. Stir well, until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Cover and cool. Pour into a 9-inch baked pie shell. Top with meringue.
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons cold water
1/2 cup boiling water
3 egg whites
6 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter
1 teaspoon vanilla extra
Blend cornstarch and cold water together in a saucepan.
Add boiling water and cook until clear and thickened. Let stand until cold.
Beat egg whites and cream of tarter until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar and beat until peaks are stiff but not dry. Turn mixer to low and add vanilla. Beat in cornstarch mixture. Turn mixer back to high and beat well.
Pour over top of pie and spread to seal edges. Bake at 350 degrees until light brown.