SALTILLO – After Steve Green got single again in 1999, he ate a lot with his mother, Dorothy “Dot” Green. When she died three years ago, Green decided it was time for him to take over the reins of the kitchen.
“I figured if I want to eat my mom’s food, I’ll have to learn how to cook it,” Green, 66, said.
After Green’s mother died, his sister from Oxford got all of their mother’s cookbooks, so he often calls her when looking for details on a particular recipe.
“My mom didn’t teach me how to cook,” he said. “I grew up in her kitchen and spent a lot of time watching her cook. When I cook her recipes, I make them based on my memories of her making them.”
Green retired from the Tupelo School District. For 26 years he taught industrial arts, working with the disabled as part of a vocational rehabilitation program. He has a son, Jeremy, who lives with his wife Keely in Mooreville with their daughter Mallory, a recent graduate of Mooreville High School.
He cooks green figurines at least five nights a week and always shares what he cooks with his dear friend and companion Norma Koter. He can cook steak steak with creamed potatoes, green beans and cookies, or fried chicken with fried potatoes, pinto beans and cornbread.
“I usually post dinner photos twice a week on Facebook,” he said. “If you follow me on Facebook, you will see two things – the food I cooked and the crappie.”
Green and Coter love to fish from a pontoon boat he keeps on Pickwick Lake and he owns a recreational boat that they use for fishing locally.
“My mom loved crappie,” he said. “I always kept her freezer full. After she passed away, I no longer hold them when I fish. If we need fish, we go to a restaurant and eat it.”
Green is a big proponent of bulk cooking and using the freezer as his friend. When he smokes a Boston cigarette butt, he packs the meat in the freezer to use later on barbecue sandwiches. He grows tomatoes, and in the summer he will make and freeze homemade tomato sauce for spaghetti and meat vegetable soup.
He also grows strawberries and is currently harvesting his last crop. Last spring, he planted seven mother strawberry bushes in a raised bed in his backyard in Saltillo.
“You won’t get strawberries in the first year, but over the summer it has grown,” he said. “This year I bet I have 50 plants. We probably collected at least 15 quarts. These strawberries are sinful on a homemade pie.”
DO YOU KNOW A GOOD COOKER? Submit your nominations to Ginna Parsons, Chef of the Week, PO Box 909, Tupelo, MS 38802. You can also call (662) 678-1581 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
CHICKEN AND DRESSING
Salt, pepper and garlic powder
1 pan cooked cornbread with 3 eggs
2 cans of creamy celery soup
1 tablespoon sage or to taste
Boil a whole chicken in a pot of boiling water, season with salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste. Once the chicken is fully cooked, remove the chicken from the pot and set aside. Reserve the broth.
Crumble cold cornbread into a large bowl. Add diced onion and soup along with salt and pepper to taste. Add 1 tablespoon of sage, then add more if needed.
Add enough broth to the bowl of ingredients so that it is moist but not too thick.
Pour half of the dressing mixture into a 9×13 inch saucepan. Remove 2 cups of chicken from the bones and place on top. Add the remaining dressing on top of the chicken. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until firm and brown.
STEWED ROUND STEAK
1 round steak, sliced 1/2″ thick or thinner
Cut the steak into small pieces and season with salt and pepper. Roll the pieces in flour. Fry in oil until brown on both sides in an electric skillet (preferred) to control heat. Remove from pan. Add 1/2 cup flour to the pan to make a sauce. Place the skillet over high heat. Let the flour cook until it starts to brown. Add water and stir. The sauce should be quite liquid, it will thicken during the cooking process. Add the steak back to the saucepan. Reduce the heat until the sauce barely bubbles (about 250 degrees). Cover the pan with a lid and leave for at least 2 hours. You’ll know it’s done when you can cut open the steak with a fork. Serve hot with rice or mashed potatoes.
MOM’S SPAGHETTI SAUCE
2 cans (28 ounces) whole tomatoes or 2 liters frozen tomatoesxx
1 (15 oz) can of tomato sauce
1 (12 oz) can of tomato paste
Pour the tomatoes, tomato sauce and tomato paste into a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium. (For a thicker sauce, add more tomato sauce.) Add sugar, salt, and pepper to taste. While the sauce is cooking, check the seasonings, adding more sugar and garlic powder as needed. Cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour over low to medium heat.
In a skillet, break up the ground beef to brown (you can sauté it in a bit of bacon fat if you like). Cook the diced onion along with the meat. Once the beef is brown and fully cooked, add the meat mixture to the sauce. Cook for 30 minutes over medium heat. Serve with hot boiled pasta.
BUTTER POUND CAKE
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 sticks of butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla flavor
Mix flour, baking powder and salt together.
Combine sugar and butter in a large bowl and beat until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in flour mixture alternately with milk. Mix with vanilla. Pour into a greased and floured tin (leave 1 1/2 inches at the top of the tin – you don’t have to use all of the dough). Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes.
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 large tub of whipped cream
2 packs of frozen coconut
Prepare the cake mix according to the directions on the box in a 9×13 inch glass baking dish.
Immediately after removing from the oven, pierce the cake and pour it with condensed milk. Let the pie cool. Pour the whipped topping over the cake and sprinkle with coconut flakes. Cool down.
Salt, pepper and garlic powder
Trim excess fat from pork belly. Let the pork stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Pat dry with paper towels after 30 minutes. Lubricate with mustard. Sprinkle meat with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Sprinkle everything with barbecue rub of choice.
Set the smoker to 225-250 degrees. Allow 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours per pound to cook. Spray the pork every 30 minutes with a mixture of half water and half apple juice. When the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees, remove the cigarette butt and wrap it in a double layer of aluminum foil until the end of cooking. When everything is ready, the internal temperature should be between 190 and 205 degrees.
NOTE. You will know when it is done when the bone is easily pulled out. You can divide the meat into desired portions and freeze in bags to make BBQ sandwiches.
DELICIOUS GREEN BEANS
2 pounds fresh green beans, ends cut off
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Fry the bacon in a large saucepan until it is brown and crispy. Remove bacon from pot and set aside.
Add green beans to pot with broth, water, and seasonings. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Drain the beans and check for seasonings. Sprinkle with bacon and stir to distribute.