As the much-anticipated date of Jan. 1, 2000, approached, “The Country Kitchen” resolved to kick off the new year, the new century and the new millennium with a spectacular collection of recipes befitting such a momentous occasion.
Keeping that resolution was a breeze, thanks to Ann Vaughn of Madison County.
Mrs. Vaughn is undoubtedly one of the most incredible and most enthusiastic cooks around. For her, cooking isn’t a chore; it’s an absolute pleasure.
“I’ve always loved to cook–even though, like all farmers’ wives, I’ve never known when my farmer would be in for supper,” says Mrs. Vaughn, referring to her cotton-farming husband, Ron.
Many were the times, in fact, back when the Vaughns’ four now-grown children were at home, that Mrs. Vaughn spent all evening in the kitchen, “an early supper for the children and a later one for Ron.” Odds are, it never even crossed her mind to complain.
The Vaughns’ place is located in what used to be rural Madison County but now is surrounded by the rapidly developing Madison area. Vaughn’s farming partner is the couple’s oldest child, son Rex. Rex is an Alabama Farmers Federation district director, and Mrs. Vaughn is one proud mama.
Lest Rex start thinking he’s something special, however, his mother is just as proud of the other three Vaughn kids: Ronda West, who lives with her family in Marietta, Ga.; Carol Ann, a professor at Judson College in Marion; and Cliff, web master for Belmont University in Nashville. And we won’t even get started on those five granddaughters.
Incidentally, for all of you parents who complain about the cost of a four-year college education, get this: The Vaughns had at least one child enrolled at Auburn University for 20 years straight. And they lived to tell about it.
But back to the recipes. The ones you’ll find here are some of the Vaughn family’s long-time favorites, and it won’t take long to figure out why. Among them: a refreshing Fruit Tea that puts plain old sweet tea to shame; a chess pie that the Vaughns often enjoy for breakfast (because “it has milk and eggs in it, and that’s as good an excuse as any to have it that early in the morning,” Mrs. Vaughn says); and a potato soup that very likely will be the best you’ve ever put in your mouth. Mrs. Vaughn credits neighbor Patsy Horsley as the source for that fine recipe.
There’s a great story behind nearly every one of Mrs. Vaughn’s recipes. But if we ran the stories, you wouldn’t get the recipes.
Here’s to a happy new year of cooking.