Good Cooking Moms

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By Heather Jeffcoat

I’ve been surrounded by loving moms all of my life. I’m lucky and know that. Growing up I had my own Mom and the mothers of my childhood best friends, and in my adult life, I got to add to my circle my mother-in-law and the sweet moms at my church—I’ve always seen and known in person what a great mother looks like.

Growing up, my Mom was the one that made all of the meals in our home. But, it took some practice. When my Michigan Mom married my Alabama Dad and moved south, she had no idea how to cook. She couldn’t even boil an egg, as my Dad likes to tease her. But with some practice, she got the hang of it. Now, she loves to cook and bake and is a great cook.

The moms of my childhood best friends were fantastic cooks, too. They knew what Southern food was all about. I never went hungry when I went to visit my friends. My mother-in-law and the ladies from my church have shown me many lovely new ways of cooking and have inspired what I take to our church fellowships for sure. I’m not saying it’s a competition, but I think we all like to know we’ve brought something that people are waiting to get a bite of. Evidence is when people go straight to the dessert table to get a piece of Mrs. Violet’s Pecan Pie or my mother-in-law’s Swiss Chocolate Cake, before even hitting the main dishes.

My love for cooking has been influenced by many wonderful women. And I hope my children will one day have sweet stories to tell about our times in the kitchen and favorite foods I made for them. (Maybe they’ll forget the times I burned the biscuits or had to throw out the marinara sauce that just didn’t work.)

For now, their compliments are when they say they want leftovers. When they fuss over who gets to take it to school the next day I know I’ve done well and can sit back with a nice proud smile on my face. I don’t know any cook who doesn’t love to hear wonderful words expressed about her dish or seeing every piece of food on the platter vanish. I know I love it when someone is happy eating my food. It’s worth the burnt fingers, frazzled hair from the humidity in the kitchen, and the stress that sometimes comes from pulling off enough food for a gathering (and keeping it warm).

Another cooking mom that is a standout and inspiration to many, including me, is Paula. She’s a great mother! She loves her boys with all her heart and might, and they love and respect her, too. You see how proud she is when the boys walk into the room. She has raised them to appreciate food and share their love of it with the world.

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So to honor mothers everywhere, we thought we would highlight some great recipes in our May/June issue of Cooking With Paula Deen that you can whip up just for your mom.

We know she’s usually the one putting dinner on the table, so why not turn it around and prepare her a special menu. We‘ve come up with a lovely Sunday dinner that will have her blushing from the fantastic meal you made especially for her. An Heirloom Tomato and Artichoke Salad starts it off and a Lemon, Pepper, and Garlic Roasted Chicken with Roasted Asparagus and Baby Carrots paired with Pecan-Parsley Rice rounds out the main course. Plus, Mom is going to love the Raspberry Swirl Pound Cake we offer as dessert, and you will too! Click here to get the recipes!

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Be sure to give Mom a gift that she can enjoy later with a cup of coffee or hot tea. Our Vanilla Bean Scones with Orange Butter are not only tasty, but also beautiful when packaged. We even have a sweet tag for you to download, print, and to attach to make it complete.

It’s time to celebrate Mom. She’ll love a special dinner or baked treat just as much as she loved the lopsided clay flowerpot and ice-pop-stick picture frame you gave her as a child. She cherishes your hard work, and it will be worth the effort to see her smile. Happy Mother’s Day!

Heather Martin Jeffcoat recalls an early love of being in the kitchen. It developed from the days of being beside her Grandmother Louise as she cooked for everyone who visited her small-town Alabama home as well as time spent baking with her mother, a Michigan native transplanted to the South after marriage. To this day her mother combines the best of Northern and Southern fare. Heather now spends every spare moment in the kitchen. It’s a way for her to relax and enjoy time with her husband, son, and daughter, who often participate in cooking meals at their home. A love of writing steered Heather into journalism school and then into publishing. After several years working in print and online media, she began freelancing for Cooking With Paula Deen magazine, and she was recently tapped to join the staff full time as the managing editor. She has come to realize that her childhood memories cooking in her grandmother’s and mother’s kitchens, full of love and hospitality, have given her the best education she could have asked for.
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Reader Comments:

54321

Paula, I was watching your show where you and your son were making lobster rolls. I just wanted to say the your hair looked wonderful. I love the style you look and cook great.

By Diana Couch on May 23, 2013

54321

Heather, this article reminds me of all the things I have learned about cooking from my mom, and always love when your mom cooks..nobody makes a breakfast like she does

By Michele on May 08, 2013

54321

I love you show and today I saw you make an omelette in a bag but I can't find the instructions any where. Please help! I need it for Mother's Day. Thank you! Adeline

By Adeline Phillips on May 08, 2013

54321

i love it

By maya m wison on May 07, 2013

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hi! wink i was wondering if you could share the recipe for the chiken/grape salad-the one that is pictured on the croissant above? thanks! wink sandra
Sandra Neuheimer-Huller in Chicken Salad: A Southern Staple on April 19, 2014 at 10:37 am

Where do I buy these magazines
in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 8:22 am

I WISH I COULD COOK. COULD I COME WORK FOR JUST ROOM AND BOARD AT YOUR NEW RESTURAUNT IN PIGEON FORGE FOR THE SUMMER? I WENT TO COLLEGE NOT FAR FROM THERE - HIWASSEE COLLEGE. YOU WOULDN'T HAVE TO PAY ME, I WOULD WORK FOR FREE JUST FOR THE EXPERIENCE. TAMMY LEVAN 19 SPENCER WAY KINGS PARK, NY 11754 HAPPY EASTER! CHRIST IS RISEN!
TAMMY L LEVAN in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 4:31 am

Hi Bubbles, You have some great tips. Can't wait to read your other blogs! Please give Aunt Peggy a big hug from me and here is one for you! (((HUGS))) See you in May!
Jaci Pardun in 10 Quick Household Tips on April 18, 2014 at 11:05 pm

Paula, I am glad to know that I am not the only person who makes Easter Baskets for their adult children and mail them across the United States. My Daughter lives in Long Beach, CA and I not only sent her a basket but her husband and my granddaughter Reese. We also buy special Russel Stover Bunnies for each child too. My husband has the list in his phone... Sara .. Cookies 'n Crème.... Sidney and Stephen.. Peanut Butter Etc. It one of my favorite things to do for my kids.. no matter how old they get. And passing it along to my Grandchildren. It's even more special to me knowing we share a family tradition. Blessings and Happy Easter!!
Sharon Cason-Card in A Basketful of Traditions on April 18, 2014 at 11:03 pm