Smith’s cooking inspired by mom

Smith’s cooking inspired by mom


Jamie Smith's cooking journey began with learning to cook anything and everything from her mother, the late Judy Ladd. 

Reflecting on her formative years growing up in Neshoba County, Smith fondly recalled her mother's approach to cooking — a pinch of this, a dash of that, with no precise measurements.

“She was one of those that didn’t measure. You just had to figure it out,” Smith said. “She could cook just about anything. My best memories are cooking with her.”

Smith, a registered nurse at Centerwell Home Health, skillfully balances her rewarding professional career with the responsibilities of being a mother to Caitlin Draughon and Bryson Smith. Additionally, she cherishes her role as a grandmother to Emmet Branning, Maddox Draughon, and Maylee Draughon.

While Smith finds joy in crafting dishes like sausage and potato soup and chocolate oatmeal cookies, it's her meatloaf that steals the spotlight. 

"Bryson is constantly wanting me to cook meatloaf,” she chuckled.

Family gatherings and holidays at the Smith household are marked by cherished traditions like a classic spread of turkey and ham, mashed potatoes, butter beans, and homemade Christmas candies. 

Smith, however, isn't limited to a conventional approach. She embraces the grill, expertly preparing burgers, steaks, pork chops, and corn on the cob.

“Cooking brings my family together,” she said. “My kids are older now, and usually when I cook, they all come running.”

The secret to Smith's flavorful food lies in her family's love for seasonings like onion powder and garlic powder, adding that extra touch of warmth to their shared meals.

Outside the kitchen, when she's not whipping up savory dishes, Smith loves spending quality time with her grandchildren. 

For Smith, cooking transcends the act of preparing meals. It's about forging connections, sharing laughter, and celebrating life in the heart of the kitchen or around the dinner table with her family.


1-pound Italian ground sausage

½ white onion (optional) - diced

1 tablespoon minced garlic

6 cups chicken broth

2 cups water

4-5 yellow potatoes - cut into 1-inch pieces

3 teaspoons salt - or to taste

1 teaspoon black pepper

Other seasonings we like (to taste)- onion powder, chicken powder, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, red pepper 

2 cups heavy cream

4 cups chopped kale and/or spinach

Chopped bacon or bacon bits and grated parmesan cheese for topping - optional

In a large pot sauté sausage 5-6 minutes until browned. Use a slotted spoon to transfer sausage to a plate and set aside. 

In the same pot, add butter and sauté onions over medium heat until translucent. Add garlic and sauté for another minute until fragrant.



1 ½ pounds ground beef

1 egg

1 onion, chopped

1 cup milk

1 cup dried breadcrumbs or crackers

Salt and pepper to taste

Spicy seasonings of choice to taste

Jalapeño peppers

Bell pepper

Pepperoncini peppers to garnish

⅓ cup ketchup

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons prepared mustard

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan. Combine ground beef, onion, jalapeño pepper, bell pepper, milk, breadcrumbs, and egg in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper, and spicy seasonings. Transfer into prepared loaf pan. Mix ketchup, brown sugar, and mustard together in a small bowl until well combined; pour over meatloaf and spread it evenly over the top. Bake in the preheated oven until no longer pink in the center, about 1 hour. Place the pepperoncini peppers on top.


2 cups white sugar

½ cup margarine (1 stick)

½ cup milk

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 pinch salt

3 cups quick cooking oats

½ cup peanut butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Bring sugar, margarine, milk, cocoa, and salt to a rapid boil in a saucepan for 1 minute.  Remove from heat. Add quick-cooking oats, peanut butter, and vanilla; mix well. Working quickly, drop by teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper and let cool.

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