From Lovey’s Kitchen: Cooking Lessons: Practice Makes Perfect

From Lovey’s Kitchen: Cooking Lessons: Practice Makes Perfect

My name is Lee Ann Flemming. It is an honor for me to start writing and sharing a weekly food column for The Star-Herald. I have been a food writer for 20 years and I am a retired middle school teacher. My husband Steve and I have been married for 42 years and reside in Cruger. We have a son, Steven, a daughter-in-law, Stephanie, and a 12-year-old granddaughter, Leila Rose. In addition to being a food writer, I also worked as a food stylist for Dreamworks’ The Help. Yes, I made Minny’s pie! When the DVD of the film came out, I was hired by Disney Studios to promote the DVD sale of the film by traveling to appear on morning television shows and give interviews to magazines and newspapers.

For as long as I can remember, I have always had a love for food and recipes. I read cookbooks like most people read novels. For my 8th birthday, I received my first cookbook entitled “Better Homes and Gardens Junior Cookbook for Hostess of Tomorrow”. I still have it on the shelves of my cookbooks. Under the title you can read the statement: “Easy and infallible recipes”. It has been marked with a large black “X”. The first recipe I tried was peanut butter cookies. I used ¼ cup of salt instead of ¼ teaspoon of salt as listed in the ingredients. My first culinary endeavor was not the best and apparently I thought it was the cookbook’s fault. I don’t know how the hell my parents smothered those cookies. Fortunately, I had made them coffee to go with their cookies. Unfortunately for the instant coffee I had used cold water!

When I got married, I was a pretty good cook. Being a major in home economics in college helped. However, there were some country style dishes my husband loved that I didn’t really know how to prepare. My first attempt at cooking fried chicken was a disaster. I fried four chicken breasts for just over 2 hours. All that was left was scab and bone. The meat has simply disappeared. They were beautiful and could have graced the cover of any food magazine. I had never made gravy before, and it looked like Play-Doh. It wouldn’t come off the spoon. My very patient mother-in-law took me under her wing and taught me how to make chicken gravy and gravy. It took a lot of practice, but in the end I mastered both of them.

As a young bride at 22, my husband and I had just settled in the Mississippi Delta, where my husband started farming. I participated in the local newspaper’s annual recipe contest. To my surprise and delight, not only did I win one of the categories, but I also won the first prize as the best recipe ever. The newspaper ran an interview with me and gave me a check for $ 250 as a grand prize winner. For newlyweds who were just getting started, it was like a million dollars.

I love shrimp! It is probably my favorite food. Mom said when I was little I could eat them faster than she could peel them. When dining out, the question is not what I will order, but how my shrimp will be prepared. Today I have three recipes with shrimp as the main ingredient. I hope you will try them. Thanks for reading.


2 cans of shrimp, drained

1 can of tuna, drained

3 cups of cooked and cooled minute rice

½ cup finely chopped onion

½ cup of finely chopped sweet pickles

1½ cup finely chopped celery

¼ cup diced bell pepper

3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

1 cup of mayonnaise

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all the ingredients together and mix lightly. Salt and pepper to taste. Cool well and serve on a green salad and garnish with tomato wedges.


3 pounds of raw and peeled shrimp

1 tablespoon of salt

½ teaspoon of dried basil

½ teaspoon of dried thyme

¼ teaspoon of garlic powder

1 tablespoon of black pepper

1 tablespoon of dried parsley flakes

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce

3 sticks of butter, melted

12 ounces of spaghetti, prepared according to package directions

8 ounces of Velveeta cheese, cut into cubes

Put the shrimp in a large saucepan. Add items 2-10. Cook at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the oven and stir in the drained and prepared spaghetti. Add the diced Velveeta and mix well. Return to the oven to heat well. It can be prepared in advance and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before baking for about 30 minutes.


2 (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

1 bottle of cocktail sauce

2 cans of shrimp, drained

1 bunch of green onions, sliced

1 bell pepper, chopped

1 chopped tomato

1 can of sliced ​​black olive, drained

1 pound of grated mozzarella

Spread the softened cream cheese on a serving dish. Pour over the cocktail sauce; layered shrimp, onion, pepper, tomato and black olives. Top with the cheese and refrigerate. Serve with your favorite crackers.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.