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Neighbors – January

Neighbors – January

Debbie Davis Goodwin of Hartselle says her mother couldn’t get her into the kitchen when she was a girl, but there’s no denying that her mother’s cooking influenced Debbie.

“I called Mama and my sister for cooking advice after I got married. They were both a lot of help, but I learned some things on my own I guess,” says Debbie.

Debbie says last March she started working for the Rite Aid Pharmacy next to Hartselle’s Alfa Insurance office, and that change has cut down her time in the kitchen.

“Since I started working, I haven’t been cooking as much as I used to, but I love my job,” she says. “I like meeting the customers who come in. Most of them are elderly and as sweet as they can be. They seem to like talking to me, and I enjoy talking with them.”

Debbie says her husband, Mike, didn’t know much about cooking either when they married 28 years ago.

“He worked with his Dad at the Hillsboro Cotton Gin, and he hadn’t learned much about cooking or cleaning, but he would jump right in to whatever I was working on,” says Debbie. “He helps me a lot, and he always has.”

And he has passed that trait on to their sons, Michael, 26, and Travis, 18. Debbie says both her sons can cook, and it’s not unusual for them to do so.

“It makes me proud I don’t have to worry about them starving to death,” she jokes. “They both know how to wash, know how to clean, and know how to cook.”

Debbie says she enjoys the holidays when her family gets together at her mother’s house, and everyone shares the cooking responsibilities.

“Mama lives in Decatur, and my brothers and my sister and I all live in a sort of circle around her, so we all keep an eye on her,” she says. “We all bring a few dishes when we get together so no one person has all the cooking to do.”

Debbie says one of her most-requested dishes is her squash dressing.
“I got the recipe from my sister-in-law, and I’m not sure who gave it to her,” she says. “I wanted to share it with everybody because it’s so good. It’s very similar to a traditional dressing, and most people really like it.”

Debbie also passes along her peach cobbler recipe, which is her husband and sons’ favorite dessert. Debbie adds that she once won a cooking contest with her mother’s Apple Pecan Cake, and she and her siblings enjoyed Chocolate Gravy over biscuits at her mother’s table when they were children.

And Debbie says she thanks her mom, Edith Johns, for passing down these family favorites.