The Inspired Cook

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Happy Mother’s Day! In honor of my late mother, Johnnie Kirkwood Koonce, I’m dedicating this column to her, the best mom ever.

 A stay-at-home mom during my childhood, my mom planned her menus for the week according to three basic criteria: what she fancied, what we requested, or what her budget would allow. She was a fabulous cook and her repertoire of dishes comprised all types of food. Her Mexican dishes were out of this world! In fact, everything she prepared was scrumptious.

She loved to try new recipes, particularly ones for desserts, and my dad, sister Beckie, and I didn’t mind in the least being her guinea pigs. At times, her kitchen overflowed with an assortment of sweets, neatly stored in the latest Tupperware containers of the day.

Through years of practice, she perfected her craft, becoming a seasoned cook and an extraordinary baker. Known throughout Eustace for her mouth-watering confectionary treats, her contributions to local bake sales were always the first ones to sell out. Town favorites included German chocolate cake, Hershey Bar cake, pecan pie, and assorted meringue-topped cream pies such as chocolate, coconut, and lemon. For several years, she even baked pies and cakes for local restaurants.

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