Diane Watkins, my mother, was a very special person in my life. She was the first to introduce me to cooking from scratch and to the joys of home-grown vegetables. I will never forget how she taught me about food preservation techniques like canning jams and pickles or freezing fruit popsicles! When the kids moved out of the house, she started this website to preserve her recipes for the generations to come. Initially, it was to remember and honor her grand mother, but she had intended to include her mother as well. Before she was able to include her mother’s recipes she passed away herself.
I have since been tasked with updating, and preserving the site and its knowledge going forward. I do have stories from all three of these amazing women. I have visited great grandmother’s farm, chased her chickens, and gathered pecans for pies. Those memories were captured by Diane in “granny’s pound cake” recipe. My grandmother, Diane’s mother, was known to me as Nanny, every year at thanksgiving the families would gather at Nanny’s house. Some of those memories are captured around the website as well. One particularly shocking moment that I bore witness too was when Nanny dropped the turkey on the floor. This was captured in “Mom’s corn flake stuffing.”
Diane’s influence on my own cooking is best defined as fearless. She wasn’t afraid to experiment in the kitchen. If dinner wasn’t good, we’d go out to eat. The most impactful meal she ever served was a dish lovingly referred to as jello chicken. The kids had successfully badgered her into making jello for dinner. Instead of just serving us gelatinized sugar like we wanted, she boiled some chicken breasts and suspended them in the jello. It was absolutely inedible. The chicken juice mixed with the jello flavoring and became a complete disaster. The memory of that meal lives on in family lore. When my father would occasionally cook, the kids would try to make dad feel better by saying, “at least its not jello chicken.”
Diane has passed away but her legacy lives on through this website and all those lucky enough to have been touched by her culinary skills and generous spirit. We hope it provides you with comfort as well as inspiration while preparing your own special recipes!