Ward credits parents with love of cooking

Ward credits parents with love of cooking


Marsha Ward credits her love of cooking to her mother, Mary Fortenberry, and her late father, Herman Fortenberry.

Although her mother was not a fan of children in the kitchen, she did allow her children to watch her cook. 

“Mama and daddy were old-school,” Ward said. “They believed that no kids should be in the kitchen… It wasn’t until I was junior high that mama started letting me make the cornbread.” 

Ward later discovered that she learned a lot about cooking from watching her parents in the kitchen all those years. 

Ward said she does not always follow recipes and loves to just cook and see how it turns out. 

One thing Ward said she loves to do for Easter every year is to decorate egg-shaped cookies with her grandchildren. 

She also loves to make “Resurrection Rolls” with her grandchildren on Good Friday to teach them about the meaning of Easter, and it gives them the chance to help out in the kitchen. 

Every year at Christmas the whole family has a gingerbread house decorating contest. 

Ward said her philosophy of life is not to worry about other people’s opinions and to live your life according to God’s plan. She also encourages people to appreciate every moment with their children. 

“One day they will be grown and have moved out and have kids of their own and all you are left with are beautiful memories and a silent house,” she said.

Ward, a teacher at Neshoba Central High School, also works as a nurse at Urgent Care. 

She and her husband Bo are active members of Salem Baptist Church in the Burnside community. They also love to travel and go antiquing and they have five children and two grandchildren.



1 Box Spice Cake Mix 

1 Can of Libby’s Pumpkin


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix pumpkin and cake mix in a bowl. Spoon into cupcake liners. Bake for 17-20 minutes until done. This is a dense and moist cake. It can be made in a loaf or bundt pan. Once cooled, pipe store-bought cream cheese frosting on them and top with a candied pumpkin. 



1 Box of Rotini Pasta

1 Container of Cherry Tomatoes – Halved 

1 Large or 3 Small Cucumbers – Diced 

1 Bell Pepper – Diced 

1 Pack of Mozzarella Pearls (Deli Department)

24 Ounce Bottle of Zesty Italian Salad Dressing


Place the dressing in the freezer for a couple of hours to get slushy. Bring pasta up to a boil and lower to a simmer. While simmering, pour slushy dressing and veggies into a large bowl. Remove pasta from water before it is done (you want it to still be firm and chewy), pour into a bowl with dressing and vegetables. Add mozzarella pearls. Mix and place covered in the refrigerator overnight. 



3 Cups of Cooked Squash

3 Cups of Crumbled Cornbread 

1 Can of Cream of Chicken Soup

Chicken Broth to Moisten it

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients, pour into a buttered casserole dish. Bake until golden brown. Serve with cranberry sauce. 


I use leftover stewed squash and cornbread to make squash dressing. If you don’t have any, then cook some squash (5-6 yellow squash — roughly chopped) down in a skillet with a chopped onion, some bacon grease and a little water until tender. Salt and pepper to taste. Make a pan of cornbread (2 cups of cornmeal, 2 cups of buttermilk, 1 egg, and ¼ cup bacon grease or vegetable oil and a couple of tablespoons of flour, bake until golden brown).

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