February 2006 Neighbors
Diane Harrison of Perry County is the quintessential homemaker. If it’s related to pots and pans or needle and thread, chances are Diane does it.
“My loves are embroidery, needlepoint and cooking,” she says, “and last winter I learned to knit.”
Diane says her love of cooking goes back to her mom, Ruby Nichols.
“My cooking began with Mama, and I learned to cook from her,” she said. “With both my parents working, at an early age I cooked for my brother and sister. I always loved being in the kitchen.”
In addition to a cattle farm, Diane’s parents had a grocery store and a barbecue stand in Marion, and some of the recipes she shares this month originated there.
“I worked in both places as a teenager. Food has been an important part of my life for a long time, and I’ve been blessed with a family that’s not too picky,” she said.
Diane is married to Corin Harrison who serves on the Perry County Farmers Federation’s Board of Directors. They have a cattle and catfish farm.
Their son, Brian, lives in Montgomery, and younger son, Kenley, lives and works on the farm.
“I remember building our first catfish pond one summer when Kenley was 4 or 5,” she said. “Now we have 21 ponds and over 400 head of cattle.”
And even though her sons are out of the house, she still enjoys cooking for them.
“It’s not unusual to cook a big meal and send food out for Brian and Kenley. I also freeze food for my niece Kristen, who is a student at Auburn University. Really, it’s hard cooking for only two when you’re used to cooking for four,” Diane said.
Domestic hobbies are not the only way Diane fills her days since she became a fulltime homemaker last March.
“I spend a lot of time with my mother too. She has an antique shop and is very active. I’m glad she’s able to keep me busy, and I love when Kristen’s home from college. I get to enjoy having a girl around the house, and that’s wonderful,” said Diane.
Diane also adds that she owes a debt of gratitude to Mrs. Margaret Guerard, her high school home economics teacher. She credits Mrs. Guerard with helping cultivate a love for cooking and home.
“I don’t think schools today teach home economics as we knew it,” says Diane. “Mrs. Guerard still lives in Marion, and refers to me as ‘one of her girls’ every time I see her.”
In addition to recipes from the family barbecue stand, this month’s dishes are some of Diane’s favorites and include recipes handed down from her mother.
“Mama used to make hamburger roast for us all the time, and she makes chicken pie for every family reunion,” said Diane. “People love it.”
After making these delicious dishes for your family and friends, they could become some of your most requested recipes as well.