native Patricia McAdams said she’s been cooking since before she could
reach the kitchen counter.
been cooking since I was about 5 or 6. Mama, Daddy and Granny, whoever
was doing the cooking at the time, would pull up a chair to the counter
so I could watch and cook with them," she said.
apparently she had a knack for cooking from the beginning. "By the
time I was 9, I could cook anything you wanted to put in your mouth, and
by 10 or 12, I was making the pies for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Mama
still says I can cook better than she does, but I don’t believe
her," said Patricia.
has worked for 9 years at Headland Farmers Co-op and peanut lab, and she
enjoys the work. "Most of our customers are friends I’ve known
most of my life. We love our customers, and we appreciate that they’re
the reason we have our jobs," she said.
cooks dinner for her family just about every night and her family isn’t
finicky about what she cooks. "We eat a lot of fruits and
vegetables. Most anything that grows in a garden, they’ll pretty well
eat," Patricia said.
fact, Patricia and her family grow in their own garden much of what they
eat. "We have peas, butter beans, squash, okra, corn and cucumbers.
We love fresh produce and that has a lot to do with growing up in
Headland and buying seed, feed and fertilizer from the Co-op," she
and her husband Jessie have three children and a grandchild as well as
milk goats, chickens, cattle, dogs, cats and a horse. "Life around
our place is never quiet," Patricia said.
adds that several of the recipes she shares with The Co-op Pantry
are adaptations of recipes she grew up eating and cooking.
Home Alabama Sweet Potatoes was inspired by the sweet potatoes I learned
to make in Home Ec in high school and I added the topping from a Dutch
Apple Pie recipe. The Bama Peach Cobbler is like my grandmother’s
recipe with a little less sugar. Tuna Fish Casserole was also a dish of
my grandmother’s," she said.
mother and I were talking one day about how much we liked chicken and
dressing, and I came up with Easy Chicken and Dressing as a simplified
version of what we had always made. I like it even better than the
old-fashioned method, too," said Patricia.
of Patricia’s recipes are her originals.
created Pickled Cucumbers as a sort of quick and easy pickle. I
experiment a good bit with things I think would be really good together
in the kitchen," she stated.
a staple of any truly southern cook, Patricia shares her recipe for Home
Made Biscuits. "Biscuits were one of the first things I learned to
cook. At 8-years-old I was making them by myself. It’s not as hard as
people think," she said.
Henderson is a freelance writer from Troy.