Kirksey enjoys being back home from D.C.

Kirksey enjoys being back home from D.C.

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Elaine Kirksey moved to Washington, D.C., in 1980 to work for the federal government.

"I wanted a better career and better job opportunity," Kirksey said of her decision to leave Neshoba County all those years ago. 

She eventually got on with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, before transferring to the United States Department of Justice and later the Department of Homeland Security closing out her career with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in 2018.

Though Kirksey worked in Washington, D.C., she lived in Maryland. 

"I got used to the cold weather," Kirksey said. 

Kirksey, however, missed her family and events such as birthday parties and family barbecues. In addition, she missed small-town living. 

Kirksey's mother, Vera Lewis of Philadelphia, who has always been a positive influence for Kirksey, is known for making some of the best German chocolate cake and turnip greens around.  After working for the government for 37 years, Kirksey moved back home a few years ago to take care of her mother.

Kirksey loves spending time with her nephews, Damien Lewis and Nick Harrington, and her brother and sister, Alice Harrington and Eddie Lewis. 

Kirksey's hobbies include reading books with romance and history. She also enjoys hanging out with friends. 

"A couple of friends and I like to go out to eat, go for walks or go to the gym," Kirksey said. 

Kirksey's goal is to get more involved with helping the community and getting more engaged.

Last year before the COVID-19 pandemic, Kirksey joined Jerusalem Temple Church. She is now starting to go back and feeling safe at her church. 

Some of Kirksey's favorite foods are Chinese food and fried chicken. 

Kirksey does not consider herself much of a baker, and she gets her recipes from different cooking shows.

On a recent Saturday, the Kirksey family got together to celebrate Kirksey's birthday with lots of love and food. 

Kirksey said her favorite type of cooking style is Southern comfort food.

CORN DIP

3 cans whole kernel corn, 

2 Jalapeños, seeded and diced, 

1/2 cup of sour cream

1 cup grated pepper jack cheese

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Salt pepper, 8 oz. cream cheese 

Mix corn, jalapeños, sour cream, pepper jack cheese and Parmesan well and place in slow cooker. Top w/cream cheese, cut into pieces. Cover and cook on low for 2 hrs. Uncover and stir until cream cheese is well combined. Cover and cook for 15 mins more. Top with bacon and green onions. 

TEQUILA CITRUS CHICKEN WINGS

2 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 1/2 lbs. small chicken wings

1/2 cup tequila, 1/2 cup orange juice

1/2 cup of fresh lime juice

6 tablespoons seasoning sauce

3 tablespoons honey

2 teaspoons grated orange peel

2 teaspoons chili powder

1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

Assorted vegetables, ranch or blue cheese dressing for dipping. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Brown chicken wings in batches for 5-7 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove from skillet set aside. Drain skillet, place tequila, orange juice, lime juice, seasoning sauce, honey, orange peel, chili powder and cumin in same skillet. Cook over medium heat until boiling. Add chicken wings; return to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes or until sauce is thicker and chicken wings are fully cooked. Serve w/assorted veggies and ranch dressing. 

CHICKEN DIJONNAISE

4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves 

1/4 cup prepared Dijon mustard

Mayonnaise blend

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 

Preheat oven 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), place chicken in a 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish. In a medium bowl, mix the mustard-mayonnaise blend, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon pepper, salt and bouillon. Pour over the chicken. Bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.





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