Sandra Martin describes herself as a “Souther-style cook,” first learning from her mother.
Sandra Martin describes herself as a “Souther-style cook,” first learning from her mother.
Sandra Martin always tries to get together with her family for Sunday lunch, despite the conflicting schedules of her large family. 

Martin, who has lived in Neshoba County since she was in the ninth grade, worked as the business director for Philadelphia Public School District for 28 years and continues to help her son out at his local business. 

She said she doesn’t see herself slowing down anytime soon because she enjoys staying busy, but hopes to spend more time gardening, camping and traveling. 

“I haven’t really retired officially because I’ve been doing some consulting work back with some school areas,” Martin said. “I’ve been back at Philadelphia working since 2016 a couple of days a week. I’ve been at Union Public School District since 2017.” 

She graduated from Mississippi State University with a degree in business administration and is a member of Good Hope Baptist Church. She is married to Ricky Martin, and they have three children and seven grandchildren. 

Martin first learned to cook from her mother, who is still living at 85 years old. Martin said she tried to follow her mother’s tradition of “old-fashioned” cooking. 

“I’m just a Southern-type cook,” Martin said. “I don’t make a whole lot of casseroles. Growing up, my boys liked fried chicken, fried porkchops, rice, potatoes and good, Southern staples. 

She said when she was rearing her children, the family would always have a large breakfast together and sit down and eat dinner together at night. However, Martin said that’s not possible anymore. 

“Our family is so big now, it’s hard to even get them all together for Sunday lunch. But, we try to do that occasionally, and even if everybody can’t come, they know the door is always open to mama’s kitchen.” 


Macaroni and Cheese

2 lb. elbow macaroni 

2 lb. block Velveeta Cheese melted with about 3 tablespoons of milk

2 cups of heavy whipping cream

3 sticks of Land O’Lakes butter, melted

16 oz sour cream

2 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

3 cups of freshly grated mild cheddar cheese (for the top

Boil macaroni and drain.  Transfer to large mixing bowl.  Cut up Velveeta cheese and melt in separate microwavable bowl with milk in microwave.  Cook until 

Smooth and melted, stirring every 30 seconds so it won’t burn.  Pour into cook macaroni.  Fold in cream, butter, sour cream, and seasonings until well incorporated.  Transfer to large deep greased aluminum roasting pan.  This makes a generous helping.  Grate 3 cups cheddar cheese all over top.  Bake at 350 degrees uncovered for about 40-45 minutes or until bubbly.  Add more salt and pepper on top depending on your preference for seasoning.

Praline Apple Pie

1 package of refrigerated piecrusts

½ cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon cinnamon

6 cups of peeled sliced Rome or other cooking apples

2 tablespoon butter – cut up

2 teaspoon lemon juice

¼ cup of butter

½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar

2 tablespoon whipping cream

½ cup of chopped pecans

Fit one piecrust into a 9 in pie plate.  Stir together sugar, flour, cinnamon.  Stir in apples, spoon mixture into crust.  Dot with 2 tablespoon of butter; sprinkle evenly with lemon juice.  Top with remaining pie crust, fold edges under and crimp. Cut several slits in top.

Bake pie at 400 degrees for 45 minutes on lower oven rack; shielding with foil after 30 minutes to prevent excessive browning.  Remove from oven and cool.

Melt ¼ cup of butter in a saucepan; stir in brown sugar and whipping cream.

Bring to a boil over medium heat; stirring constantly; cook 1 minute and remove from heat.  Stir in pecans and let stand 5 minutes.  Drizzle over pie.