Jennings loves cooking Sunday dinner

Jennings loves cooking Sunday dinner

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While Rhonda Jennings spends most of her time as a cardiovascular nurse at the Cardiovascular Institute of the South in Meridian, that doesn’t stop her from making time to cook for her family and friends.

“Over the past 13 years of being a nurse, I have not had the luxury of cooking as much as I would love to, but I still cook Sunday dinner for my children, Summer and Corye, and their families,” Jennings said. “I also make weekday meals for my wonderful husband, Tommy. The smiles on their faces bring me such joy.”

Jennings said she has been cooking for as long as she can remember.

“I’m sure it started the day my Grandma Nellie told me to roll up my sleeves and get ready to get dirty and have some fun in her kitchen,” Jennings said. “What five-year-old would pass up a chance to get dirty and have fun? Not many, I guarantee it.”

Jennings remembered her grandmother as a smart woman, who knew what she was doing, and she said she has enjoyed rolling up her sleeves and getting dirty and having fun in the kitchen since that day.

“My grandmother was always in the kitchen throwing something together, and it was always delicious,” Jennings said. “From beer biscuits, redeye gravy and ham, to her delicious candies for the holidays. Cooking was always fun and exciting.”

Jennings said she still remembers standing on a stool, mashing potatoes for what she thought was the most delicious candy she had ever eaten, which turned out to be yummy potato pinwheels.

She said her mouth still waters thinking about it and credits her grandmother as her inspiration and the reason why she still cooks today.

“I do have new challenge in the kitchen, a spicy, redheaded, five-year-old grandson Rhett, who hasn’t quite caught onto the roll up your sleeves, let’s get dirty and have some fun in the kitchen concept,” Jennings said. “His idea of kitchen time consists of chocolate chip cookies with M&M’s and all the cookie dough he can eat. We are still working on perfecting the perfect chicken nugget.”

Jennings currently lives with her husband in Neshoba and enjoys working in the yard, tending to her flowers, going to the beach for family vacations, and spending time with her grandson outside of nursing and cooking.

SWEET POTATO 

CASSEROLE

4 - 5 large sweet potatoes

1 cup sugar

½ cup melted butter

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

Boil the sweet potatoes until soft (or if you’re in a pinch, you can use the potatoes in the microwave bags since they work just as well). Cool potatoes and remove skin. Mix 3 cups of mashed sweet potatoes with one cup sugar, half a cup melted butter, and stir.

Add eggs and vanilla. Mix all ingredients and pour in casserole dish. For the topping, mix one cup light brown sugar, one cup of pecans, 1/4th cup melted butter, and 1/2 cup flour. Mix well and spread over potatoes.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 20 minutes.

SALMON CROQUETTES

1 ounce canned pink salmon

2 eggs

¼ cup all-purpose flour

¼ cup chopped onions

2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

Pour all ingredients into a large bowl and mix. Mold them into patties, and fry in a cast iron skillet until they are cooked all the way through.

ITALIAN CREAM CAKE

1 stick of butter

2 cups of sugar

½ cup Crisco

5 egg yolks

1 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon vanilla

2 cups of flour

½ cup pecans

2 cups of coconut

5 egg whites

Cream together butter, sugar, and Crisco until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, mix well, and then mix the flour and baking soda. Add to mixture with buttermilk and add the pecans and coconut. Beat egg whites until stiff and fold them into the batter.

Pour batter into 39-inch baking pans and bake for 30 to 35 minutes at 350 degrees.

For the icing, mix 18 ounces of cream cheese with a half stick of soft butter and add one pound of sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla. Beat until creamy. 





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