Martha Ryals, Bonnie Moore, Deborah Collins and Regina Fortenberry
Martha Ryals, Bonnie Moore, Deborah Collins and Regina Fortenberry
Choctaw Residential Center is celebrating its diamond anniversary and the staff and residents couldn't be more excited.

In conjunction with its annual Christmas Open House, the Residential Center will celebrate its 25th year Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. with live music, fellowship, food and memories!

The public is invited.

Employees Regina Forten-berry, Martha Ryals, Bonnie Moore, Deborah Collins and Gloria Frazier have been with the Residential Center almost from the start.

Why have they stayed so long?

"We love it here, it's so rewarding" was the consensus of the group of professionals!

Regina is activities director; Martha, a social worker and activities consultant; Bonnie, a cook in the dietary department; Deborah, a licensed practical nurse; and Gloria, an LPN and MDS.

Martha said the residents and staff at the Residential Center have been a part of her family for the past 25 years.

"I enjoy the nursing home," she said. "It doesn't take much to make the residents happy. It's so rewarding."

Regina enjoys working with the elderly.

She proudly boasts that the nursing home provides a fun atmosphere for the residents.

"They become a part of your family," she said.

Bonnie, who previously worked in housekeeping and laundry, said the residents always cheer her up when she has a bad day.

"It's the first rewarding job I had," she said. "They make me feel like I'm special. They come in on a bad day and they thank me and tell me they appreciate me. I see them smile each day with a good meal. It's very rewarding."

Deborah, who started at the Residential Center two months after it opened, said her job has been very rewarding throughout the years.

The Choctaw Residential Center opened in October 1987.

The ladies not only invite the public to attend their big celebration, they have also shared some of their favorite recipes just in time for the holidays!

Hummingbird Cake

2 or 3 bananas

8 ounces crushed pineapple with juice

1/2 cup chopped nuts

3 eggs, beaten

1 1/3 cup cooking oil

1 teaspoon butter flavoring

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

3 cup plain flour

1 teaspoon soda, salt and cinnamon

2 cup sugar

Mash bananas. Add pineapple, nuts, eggs, oil, butter flavoring, vanilla and coconut. Mix together flour, soda, salt, cinnamon and sugar. Add to first mixture and stir by hand. Pour into Pam sprayed Bundt pan and bake at 325 degrees to 350 degrees for 1 hour.

- Regina Fortenberry

Never Fail Caramel Icing

2 1/2 cup sugar

1 cup milk

1/4 pound oleo

Put 2 cups sugar and milk in pan to cook. Brown 1/2 cup sugar in a separate pan. When it melts, add 2 teaspoons of water, then add to first mix. Boil until it form soft ball when dropped into a cup of cold water. Add butter and take from heat. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Beat until it begins to cook. Spread over cake. Can add 1 cup of nuts.

- Martha Ryals


2 pounds ground beef

1 cup cracker crumbs

1 medium chopped onion

2 eggs

1/2 cup chili sauce or hot sauce

Hot sauce:

1/4 cup hot sauce

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 cup ketchup

Chili Sauce:

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup mustard

1/2 cup ketchup

Combine ground beef, cracker crumbs, onion, chili sauce or hot sauce mix, eggs, salt and pepper to taste. Shape into 1 1/2 inch balls. Put into baking dish. Top with sauce and bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Note: Can prepare sauce ahead of time. Freeze well.

- Martha Ryals

Easy Butter Pecan Bundt Cake

1 box of Butter Pecan Cake Mix

1 cup of milk

3/4 cup of oil

4 eggs

Mix well. Add 1 can of Coconut Pecan Icing. Bake at 350 degrees.

- Martha Ryals

Chocolate Chip Pound Cake

1 cup oil

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 box instant chocolate pudding mix

4 eggs

1/4 cup water

1 package butter flavored cake mix

1 8-ounce carton sour cream

1 6-ounce package chocolate chips

Mix well and cook in greased Bundt pan. Bake at 325 degrees for one hour. Put on rack to cool 10-15 minutes. Do not let cook completely. Turn out.

- Deborah Collins

Pecan Pie

1 cup pecan - line bottom of pie shell

1 cup sugar

1 cup white Karo

4 beaten eggs

Dash of salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 teaspoons melted butter

Bake at 250-275 degrees for 1 hour.

- Deborah Collins

Blueberry Pie

Filling mix:

8-ounce cream cheese

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 can sweeten condensed milk


2 cups blueberries

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon corn starch

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Microwave on high 8-9 minutes. Stir every 2-3 minutes until thick then cool and pour in graham cracker crust.

- Deborah Collins

Cream Cheese Tarts

You will need tart pans - like muffin pans but small size muffins. (Called regular tart muffin pans - cap. 12 muffins). It is best to have 4 pans as recipe makes that many.

Butter pans real good, fill sides and bottom with graham cracker crumbs. Turn pans over and get rid of loose crumbs. Enough will stick to bottom and sides of pan.

Blend two eight-ounce packages cream cheese with 3/4 cup sugar. Add 3 egg yolks and 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Beat the 3 egg whites until stiff and fold into cheese mixture. Fill muffin pan cups about 2/3 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Let cool. They will fall in the middle.

Mix 3/4 cups of sour cream with 2 1/2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Mix well, drop with a teaspoon into middle of cooled tarts and place a half cherry on top of each tart. Cook 5 minutes at 400 degrees.

Be sure to let tarts cool thoroughly before removing from pan. Make 4 dozen. Tarts may be frozen if not ready to eat.

- Regina Fortenberry

Caramel Delight

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 cup melted butter

1 cup oats

1 1/2 cup nuts

1/2 gallon ice cream

Mix all ingredients well, except ice cream. Spread on baking sheet. Bake about 20 minutes. Crumble; put half of crumbs in 9 by 13 inch pan. Spread 6 ounce caramel topping on crumbs. Spread with 1/2 gallon softened ice cream. Top with remaining crumbs and freeze until ready to serve.

- Bonnie Moore

Old Fashion Egg Custard

4 eggs beaten

2 cups warm milk

3/4 cups sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Dash of salt

Mix warm milk with other ingredients. Cook at 400 degrees in unbaked pie crust until firm.

Quickie Bread Pudding

1 loaf white bread

6 eggs

2 cup sugar

Enough milk to loosely soften bread

1 stick melted butter

1 cup raisins

2 teaspoon vanilla

Mix all ingredients together. Pour in 9 by 13 inch baking pan. Cook for 40 minutes at 350 degrees or until firm.

- Bonnie Moore