Dennis and Kay Maze’s son, Jeffrey, was three weeks away from his senior year at Auburn University when warning bells began sounding that he had a serious health problem. The diagnosis: diabetes—the type 1 variety, the insulin-dependent kind.
That was about four years ago.
Fast-forward to this past fall, and another bombshell dropped, when Kay learned she has type 2 diabetes—the kind controlled largely by diet.
For a family like the Mazes, that loves good food and anything sweet, such sweeping diet changes could have been a bummer. But the Blount County family has taken it all in stride.
“Dennis has had four back surgeries and had been wanting to lose some weight, and (daughter) Holly has hypothyroidism and always needs to keep a watch on what she eats, so we just looked at this as, ‘This is something we needed to do anyway,’” Kay says.
The Mazes live in Snead, where Dennis is a long-time poultry and cattle farmer. Kay was a full-time mom and farm wife while the children were growing up, but for the past eight years, she’s worked as a special education teacher’s aide at Susan Moore Elementary in Blountsville, a job she truly loves.
She loves cooking and baking, too, and featured this month are some of her family’s favorite foods, both pre- and post-diabetes diagnoses.
“I would have included more that I’ve adjusted for diabetics,” Kay explains, “but I’m still working on a lot of them and trying to get them just right.”
Many of the favorites included here—namely the teacakes, chocolate frosting and chocolate pie—are handed down from her mother, Evelyn Cardwell of Straight Mountain. The rest are ones Kay has collected through the years. Enjoy them, Kay says—but remember to enjoy them in moderation.