Yates enjoys cooking for others
For Debra Yates, her favorite part of cooking is serving people and watching everyone enjoy the dishes she creates.
“I normally don’t sit down and eat while everyone else is eating,” Yates said. “I’m always making sure everyone has all the food they want. I make sure to taste the food to make sure it’s okay to serve and I love watching people eat and enjoy the food I’ve prepared.”
Yates was born and raised in Philadelphia, and works as an executive secretary at the Citizen’s Bank of Philadelphia.
She is married to Stan Yates and enjoys spending time with their four sons, Jared, Jessie, Chris, and Elliot, and their 10 grandchildren. Their adult son, Russ Owen, lost his battle with cancer in 2018.
Outside of work and cooking, Yates also teaches Sunday school at First Baptist Church of Philadelphia and sings in the choir.
Yates said she has been cooking forever and mostly remembers learning to cook from her mother.
“What I remember when I first started cooking is that you don’t flour barbecue chicken,” Yates said. “It’s a learning process and you have to tweak a lot of your food to suit your taste. The first proper food I made was potato salad, and I also prepared pork chops and vegetables. We always grew our veggies from home in the garden and enjoyed eating them fresh. That’s what I always cooked with.”
Yates said since it’s just she and her husband at home now most of the time, she makes small dishes that include grilled pork chops, roasted potatoes, corn, and peas.
“We have to have a sweet with every meal,” she said. “I enjoy making ice cream, pound cake, strawberry pie, and things called ‘Millionares’ that are similar to a turtle — chocolate and caramel with nuts. Everyone at work gets to taste those and they look forward to it every year around Valentine’s Day.”
Yates is also a Neshoba County Fairgoer and enjoys crafts and teaching her grandchildren how to paint.
BEBE-DE’S POUND CAKE
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
3 sticks salted butter, softened
6 eggs, room temperature
3 cups Martha White All-Purpose flour
2 tsps vanilla flavoring (or any flavoring of your choosing)
Mix the cream cheese and butter. Add sugar and mix well. Gradually add the Martha White flour and mix. Add vanilla or your choice of flavoring.
Grease the cake pan with butter and add cake batter. In a cold oven, place the cake pan and cook for 15 minutes at 350 degrees, and then for 1 hour and 20 minutes at 325 degrees.
Let cool for five minutes and place on a cake plate and serve.
CRACKED GREEN BEANS
5 (8 oz) cans of green beans, drained
12 slices bacon, chopped, cooked to a crisp, and drained
2/3 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
7 tsps soy sauce
1 1/2 tsps garlic powder
Put drained beans in a 9x13 inch pan. Add bacon pieces. Mix the brown sugar, butter, soy sauce, and garlic powder. Pour over the means and bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees.
Toss to coat and mix everything and serve.
GOLDEN CRAISINS CRUNCH
1 small box Golden Grahams cereal
1 (10 oz) bag of raisins
2 cups toasted pecans, broken into pieces
1 (24 oz) package almond bark
Melt almond bark according to package directions. Add cereal, craisins, and pecans. Stir to coat all ingredients.
Pour out on wax paper to harden. Break apart and store in an airtight container.