April 2014 Country Kitchen
Patricia Garner, a native of Cleburne County, said she wouldn’t trade the time she’s spent working on her family farm for anything.
“I’m thankful to work on the farm and be home. I value my time with my family so very much,” she said.
She and husband Bobby grew up a mere mile from one another. They lived in Georgia a few years after they married before returning to the farm where Bobby was raised. They have three children, Clark, Mark and Leigh Ann, two grandchildren and are expecting a third.
“In 1980, we moved back to the farm and built the house we still live in. We raise broiler chickens and beef cows, and our youngest son, Clark, has become the third-generation chicken farmer on my side of the family and on Bobby’s,” she said, adding that Clark’s home is on an area of family land designated as a Century and Heritage Farm in Alabama.
Patricia says she enjoys hosting family meals for children and her grandchildren.
“I am sometimes very busy with the chicken houses, so I need quick and easy recipes. My recipes are not a bit fancy, but my family does seem to enjoy my cooking, and I do it often,” she says.
Patricia says some of the recipes she shares this month have been honed through the years to bring her family the simple, homestyle taste they enjoy in a timetable that suits life on a working farm.
“The meatloaf and homemade ice cream recipes I developed over the years by combining parts of different recipes. But the first pie I made after Bobby and I married was this recipe for
Chocolate Pie, and it’s still the favorite of all my family,” she explains.
Some of Patricia’s favorite recipes stood the test of time in other kitchens before they were shared with her.
“Syrup Candy is a very old recipe passed down through my father’s side of the family, and 652 Stew was shared with me by Mr. Bill Young, who was a cook in the Navy during World War II. I believe 652 was his unit number,” she said.
Patricia’s recipes also include some of the South’s most satisfying culinary traditions: macaroni and cheese, conveniently cooked in the Crock Pot, and Biscuit Pudding with the goodness of homemade biscuits and a creamy baked custard.