“Momma feeds whoever walks in,” brags her daughter, Rhonda Rickett. Gail explains that both of her parents worked for a living so she always made an effort to have dinner ready for them and her three sisters when everyone got home.
“We had our own garden, so we cooked a lot of vegetables,” shares Rickett. Rickett also mentioned that although she enjoys cooking, her true passion is canning. She stated that her parents and grandparents would can their homegrown vegetables and she had grown to love it as well. Rickett pointed out that the family had two gardens of their own at two different locations, one visibly seen in her backyard, and one at her brother-in-law’s house that her husband, James, tends to.
Rickett takes pride in feeding her family. Every Sunday, after church, the family gathers at her table for a home cooked meal. She’s not cooking just anything for the occasion; she’s always trying to make every individual’s favorite. “We have chicken and dressing at least once a month,” shares Rickett.
When Gail Rickett isn’t cooking in her own kitchen, you can find her in kitchen at Meadowdale Baptist Church. She and her husband are loyal charter members of the church and have been for over 44 years. She is always helping the church and coordinating bereavement meals when someone passes. Her husband of 51 years also helps at the church with the Wednesday afternoon meals in which Gail and other members of the church assist in delivering the meals to those that can’t make it to the dinner.
When asked what dish she is most well known for, she said it was definitely her homemade green beans. “My grandson is so picky,” laughs Rickett, “he always tells me to give away the ‘imitation green beans’ when I cook for other families so they don’t take mine.” Rickett elaborates on her grandson’s picky eating habits, “After realizing he wasn’t eating lunch, a Para-pro had asked him what he would like to eat. He simply looked up at her and asked ‘do you have any cornbread and milk?’”
Although Gail is not sharing her recipe for green beans, she is willing to part with her recipes of “Grape Salad” and “Roasted Carrots”.
(To nominate someone for Cook of the Week, email Tasha at Tbunch@calhountimes.com)
1 pound baby carrots
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. On baking sheet, toss together all ingredients except syrup. Roast for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until fork tender and brown. Stir in maple syrup. (Recipe serves four)
3 pounds grapes
2 pints fresh sliced strawberries
1 8oz package cream cheese
1 8oz package sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
Wash and drain all fruit. Mix cream cheese, sour cream, vanilla and sugar well and pour over fruit mixture. In separate bowl, mix chopped pecans and brown sugar. Pour half of sugar pecan mixture into bottom of dish, add fruit mixture, then top with other half of sugar pecan mixture. Chill and serve.