Skinner still enjoys to cook at age 98

Skinner still enjoys to cook at age 98


Mazell Skinner is going to be 98 this month, and she still enjoys cooking for every family occasion. 

Skinner was born in 1924 and grew up in Neshoba County. She recalls her mother, Hattie Breland, teaching her how to cook peas and cornbread on their wood stove while drawing water out of their well. 

“I started cooking at a very young age since I was the oldest of my siblings,” Skinner said. “My favorite thing my mother taught me to cook was peas and cornbread with fried chicken, which was my husband’s favorite. He had his own garden where we would grow all the vegetables we use for cooking.” 

Skinner was married to the now late B. L. Skinner until he passed away in 2005. She has three children, Jerry Alice, and Mike, six grandchildren, Scott, Kristi, Derrick, Tony, Tarah, and Angie. She has 18 great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren, with another great-great-grandchild on the way. 

Skinner said the ways of cooking have changed tremendously. 

“I love using cake mixes and making my banana pudding in the microwave,” she said. “I’ve adapted to modern technology. I still make a couple of my cakes from scratch.” 

She still makes dishes for family potlucks and enjoys cooking for every family occasion, whether it be holidays, birthdays, and more. Even at 97, she still drives to Walmart frequently to buy groceries, and invites family members to her house for Sunday lunch once or twice a month. 

Skinner said her favorite part of cooking is watching her family enjoy her meals and getting to eat her food. 

“I like baking desserts. It’s my specialty,” she said. “I make things like banana pudding, caramel cake with homemade icing, chocolate chip pound cake, tea cakes, and more.”


1 cup sugar 

3/4 cup oil 

2 large eggs 

Lemon flavoring 

Vanilla flavoring 

2 1/2 cups flour 

Mix the sugar and oil and add eggs and flavorings. Mix in flour to make the dough. 

Get a pinch of dough and roll into two inch balls and place on a cookie sheet. Push the dough flat and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes until crisp. 


1 1/2 cups sugar 

1 stick oleo 

2 eggs 

1 heaping cup cooked sweet potato 

3 tablespoons flour 

1 teaspoon vanilla 

1 deep dish frozen pie crust 

Mix ingredients together and pour into the pie crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. 

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