If you’re a long-time, faithful reader of the recipes that appear in Neighbors magazine, then the name Nora Kelley might ring a bell.
Back in 1991, Nora was featured in a Neighbors article after she won first place in the annual Heritage Cooking Contest. Her winning entry: an incredibly elegant lemon cake roll.
The recipes Nora shares in this month’s “Country Kitchen” haven’t taken top honors in any cooking contests—mainly because Nora hasn’t entered them in any—but they’re winners in the Kelleys’ Coosa County home.
These excellent recipes all come from the pages of “My Favorite Recipes,” a spiral-bound cookbook where Nora keeps her most prized recipes and those most often requested by her husband, Blake, and their two daughters, 19-year-old Jessica and Meagan, 14.
The Kelleys live just outside of Rockford, in a rural area of an extremely rural county. Nora “commutes” each day into Rockford, where she manages the Central Alabama Electric Cooperative’s Rockford office.
After hours, she stays wrapped up with her daughters and their many activities and with community goings-on, including Coosa County Farmers Federation meetings and events. But she tries to find as much time as she can to spend in the kitchen.
“I like to cook, and I really like to try different things,” Nora says. “I use my family as my guinea pigs when they’ll let me, but they usually would rather have the tried-and-true favorites.”
While Nora truly enjoys cooking, she can’t say the same for her daughters. In fact, they both seem to be following more in the footsteps of their dad: Blake is Coosa County forester; Jessica is pursuing a degree in forestry engineering; and Meagan, in her 4-H projects, has abandoned cooking and sewing for wildlife and forestry.
Obviously, they’d just as soon leave the cooking to Mom.