One thing you may notice about these recipes from Mitzi Holladay: They all will serve a crowd.
“That’s because we entertain all the time, so I’m usually cooking for 18 or 20,” Mitzi says. “I was blessed with the gift of hospitality, and I love to cook, and we’ve got a big house that’s set up just right for entertaining, so we have folks out every chance we get.”
Mitzi and her husband, Ronnie, don’t need special occasions or events to host a gathering. For them, simply getting friends together to relax, visit and have fun is reason enough to roll out the welcome mat at their home in the tiny Lowndes County community of Trickem (so named because the land belonged to the Creek Indians, until the white man came and tricked ’em out of it, Mitzi explains.) In fact, a sign in front of the Holladay home identifies it as “the Holladay Inn of Trickem.”
Guests know that an invitation to the Holladays’ means a pleasant evening highlighted by Mitzi’s fantastic cooking.
“I don’t serve a lot of fancy ‘party’ dishes,” Mitzi says, noting that most of these “Country Kitchen” recipes are straight from one of her recent supper party menus. “I just cook like I always cook, and I guess that’s OK because people sure do seem to enjoy it.”
This congenial spirit isn’t something that has just taken hold on the Holladays in the years since their three children — sons Richard and Lane, both married, and daughter Sandi — have grown and gone. Apparently, the couple has been this way throughout their 33 years of marriage.
Both are extremely active and involved in their church and in civic and professional activities, too. Ronnie, for instance, who has a highly successful cattle, cotton, timber and hay operation, is a past president of the Alabama Cattleman’s Association and the Auburn University Ag Alumni Association and is the newly elected president of the Lowndes County Farmers Federation. Mitzi is the current secretary of the Alabama Cattlewomen’s Association.
“We’ve always got something going on somewhere,” Mitzi says.
As one who has entertaining down to an art, Mitzi strongly advises that the host do as much preparation as possible ahead of time. Most of her dishes can be made in advance and either baked or reheated at serving time.
“That leaves me time to clean my house before the party,” she says. Whether you’re planning a party or just looking for new taste sensations for your family, you’re bound to enjoy these great “Holladay” recipes year-round.