BELMONT – When Marjorie Brosious was growing up in Prentiss County, she learned how to cook from her mother like most young girls did. But she did so without electricity.
“I had to learn to cook on a wood stove and it was not easy to keep it fired up,” she said. “We cooked on a fireplace some, too, when I was growing up. We washed clothes in a washpot and used a washboard. We had an icebox. We heated an iron on the wood stove or in the fireplace to iron clothes. Lighting was oil lamps.”
In the late 1940s, the family got electricity.
“I was raised back in the boonies,” said Brosious, 79. “We were the first ones to get electricity on our road and the first to get television. All the neighbors would come to watch TV at our house. We got our first washing machine in the 1950s. Daddy let us help him plow the fields with a mule and then we finally got a tractor in the early 1950s.”
Her mother would look at pictures of clothing in catalogs and make patterns for the girls’ clothing.
“I learned to make all my own clothes,” she said. “Home ec was my big thing. I did real good in that.”
Today, Brosious, who is widowed, lives in a nice brick home in Belmont with all the modern amenities, but she still prefers to do her cooking the old-fashioned way.
“Most of what I cook is all from scratch,” she said. “If I find a new recipe I’ll try it, but most of the time I just use a little pinch of this and a little pinch of that. I was raised on a farm and I always helped my mama cook, but I always loved to learn to cook different things.”
Brosious’ favorite things to make are appetizers that she can share with friends, neighbors and her Sunday school class at Calvary Baptist Church in Belmont.
“I usually carry my Sunday school class something to snack on, like sausage pinwheels or tea cakes,” she said. “They generally like to see me coming.”
Her favorite meal is chicken and dressing with all the trimmings and blueberry dessert.
“I make chicken and dressing all year long, not just at Thanksgiving and Christmas,” she said. “And I make it the old-fashioned way from scratch.”
Brosious worked for 21 years at Golden Manufacturing and during that time, she also baked cakes for the public. After she retired, she took a job caring for an elderly woman and found she didn’t have time to make the cakes anymore.
“So now I do a lot of cooking and baking and eating and I carry to friends,” she said. She also makes quilts for the public, especially baby quilts, and she spends a lot of time in her yard.
“I love to be outside,” she said. “I love my plants and flowers.”
Do you know a good cook? Send your nominations to Ginna Parsons, Cook of the Week, P.O. Box 909, Tupelo, MS 38802. Or you can fax them to (662) 842-2233 or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.