It was mid-December when “The Country Kitchen” called Evelyn Neal at her home in Jackson County and asked her to be our featured cook for the February issue of Neighbors magazine.
Evelyn obviously had Christmas baking on her mind, which explains why the February County Kitchen includes her recipes for fruitcake and fruitcake cookies. Go ahead and put those in your file for must-trys 10 months or so from now.
But the turkey recipe—that’s a different story. No need to wait for the holidays to sample this jewel, says Evelyn.
“My niece found this recipe on the Internet, and she just raved about it,” Evelyn says. “She said it was a good bit of trouble, but it was worth every minute of it, and that I just had to try it.”
So, Evelyn did—in July, no less—and she and the family were blown away by it. She declares it is the juiciest, most delicious turkey you will ever put in your mouth. And you know how cold, leftover turkey tastes nothing like just-roasted turkey? Not with this recipe. The leftovers, Evelyn insists, are as good as the fresh-from-the-oven slices.
But enough about the turkey; here’s a little info about Evelyn.
She lives with her husband of 53 years, John, in Woodville, where they grow corn and soybeans on a 300-acre farm. They suffered the loss of one child about five years ago, but their daughter, Kathy Morris, lives in Huntsville and son Mike lives in Swearengin—both close enough to come home on a regular basis. Same goes for their six grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Evelyn’s always been a homemaker as well as John’s right-hand woman on the farm, but for the past 10 years, she’s also worked part time off the farm, as substitute postmaster at the Woodville Post Office. Every Saturday, and at random days throughout the year, you’ll find Evelyn keeping things running smoothly down at the P.O.
She’s been a member of the Jackson County Farmers Federation Board of Directors for about 20 years, and has won her share of county cooking contests.
Aside from the recent addition to her files of the turkey recipe, the other recipes she shares this month are favorites she’s collected through the past 50 years. In other words, they’re classics.
Thanks to Evelyn for putting this collection together at a hectic time of year. And remember: This turkey won’t wait till Thanksgiving.