The recipes in this cookbook were collected and assembled in this format as a gift for Georgia and Carl McCain on the occasion of their sixtieth wedding anniversary. The children, in-laws, and grandchildren all contributed their favorites and comments. The collection was compiled and edited by Donna McCain Wilson. As Donna said in the preface, “This recipe collection is an attempt to share the wonderful family recipes and memories that my parents' home created for me, and my siblings and our families”. As brother Danny said in the book, “Meal time was one of the great times of fellowship around the McCain household”.
Many years ago, an 8-foot table and 10 tall chairs were sold to the McCain Family. That table became the centerpiece of the McCain family for the next 4 decades and a symbol of things that were important to the family. Some of the best southern cooking, slightly influenced by their Cajun neighbors to the south, passed along that long table.
Meals at the McCain household typically included great Meat and Main Dish entrees, multiple Vegetables and Sides, Desserts and Sweets, Breads, Butters, and Jellies, and even “Poor Man's Food”. Many of the food sources were home-grown or even the result of hunting successes.
Recipes for Meat and Main Dish entrees include Traditional Favorites (such as Meat Loaf, Smothered Steak, Baked Chicken and Rice, Spaghetti and Meat Balls, Swedish Meatballs, Vegetable Beef Soup), Southern Favories (such as Chicken and Mushroom Gravy, Shake and Bake Chicken, Smothered Steak, Fried Chicken, Fried Fish), Cajun Favorites (such as File Gumbo, Jambalya, Shrimp Gumbo, Shrimp and Crawfish Etouffee), Barbeque Favorites (Chicken, Turkey, Brisket, Pork Chops), and unique McCain Specialties (Barry's Saturday Beans and Rice, Jackie's Chicken and Rice, Lasagna by Donna, Mama and Daddy's Sunday Beef Roast with Gravy, Mama's Chicken and Dumplings, PaPaw's Brisket).
Recipes for Vegetables and Sides include Traditional Southern Favorites (such as Dirty Rice, Candied Sweet Potatoes, Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes, Collard, Mustard, or Turnip Greens, Creamy Brocolli, Field Peas, Fresh Green Beans, Fried Okra, Potato Salad, Stewed Potatoes, Rutabagas) and unique McCain Specialties (such as Papa's Food, “Angel” Eggs, McCain Tartar Sauce, Ryan's French Fries, “The Simple Corn”).
Recipes for Desserts and Sweets include Traditional Southern Favorites - such as Puddings (Banana, Pineapple), Cakes (Carrot, Chocalate Sheet, Coffee, Fresh Apple, German Chocalate, Hummingbird, Ice Box Fruit, Jelly, Lemon Pound, Mississippi Mud, Strawberry, Upside Down), Pies (Huckleberry, Blueberry Cream Cheese, Chocalate Delight, Chocalate, Coconut, Pecan, Lemon Ice Box, Millionaire, Mississippi Mud, Sweet Potato, Strawberry), Divinity, Fruit Salad, Fudge, Heavenly Hash, Homemade Ice Cream, Fruit Cobblers (Peach, Blackberry, Huckleberry), Peanut Brittle, Cookies (“Boiled”, Peanut Butter, Old Fashioned Oatmeal), and unique McCain Specialties (Angie's Strawberry Cake, Aunt Edith's Pralines, Aunt Elaine's Coconut Cake, Jackie's Peanut Butter Pie, Christmas Coconut Balls, Popcorn Balls).
Unique recipes for Breads, Butters, and Jellies are provided for Mamma's Jelly, Banana Tarts, Cathead Biscuits, Cornbread, Cornbread Dressing, Homemade Butter, Hush Puppies, Mayhaw Jelly, Muscadine Jelly, Pie Crust, Strawberry Jelly, and Sunday Afternoon Yeast Rolls.
Recipes are even provided for “Poor Man's Food”, many remnants of the Deparession Period. As son Danny said in the book, “When it was getting close to pay check time and the cupboards were getting bare, Mamma would reach way back to things she learned in the depression days and become much more creative in her cooking. “Poor Man's Food” includes “Chtlins”, Egg Gravy, Hog Head Cheese, Potted Meat and Eggs, Rabbit Hash, Red Gravy and Rice, Squirrel and Rice, and Weenies and Rice.
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About the Author
Mrs. McCain died from injuries sustained in an automobile accident at age 87 on December 9, 2013. She maintained her Christian commitment and ministry, as well as her writing skills, until the time of her unfortunate death. At the time of her death, many of her books were out of print. To preserve the books and allow many new readers to enjoy, the books are being converted to e-books by her family. To increase relevancy and impact to a more contemporary and international audience, minor edits to the original text have been made to some of the books. The following article was published in the Cenla Focus in October 2012 prior to Mrs. McCain's death, and provides a synopsis of Mrs. McCain's life as an author. It was authored by Holly Jo Linzay Georgia McCain, an author of 10 published books, recalls the day she felt the Lord Jesus lead her to start writing. "I was standing in the kitchen, and God asked me, 'What is that in your hand?" McCain remembers, and answered, "'Only a pen, Lord.' Then He asked me if I would use the pen for his honor and glory, and I said, 'Yes, Lord, as you direct me, I will write for the glory and honor of God." That very night, her first short novel unfolded completely from beginning to end. "The Lord gave me the name of the book and just opened up the story for me from the first page to the last," notes McCain about her first book, Through Troubled Waters, which was published more than 40 years ago. Her first book is a work of fiction interwoven with Biblical truths. McCain has sold thousands of copies, and has received letters from people all over the world expressing how the book touched their hearts. "I never dreamed about writing a book, let alone getting one published,' McCain notes. As a child, McCain wrote poems and made up short stories. In the ninth grade, as her teacher was passing out Christmas gifts to the class, she called McCain to the front of the classroom. She told the class that Georgia had a gift for all her classmates. Stunned, McCain realized her teacher had made copies of a story she had written and shared it with the class. From time to time, she would write another short story. Later, she was asked by a preacher to write a story that would continue and develop in a religious paper. 'I told him that I couldn't just sit down and write a story. God had to give me the thoughts: McCain recalls, remembering it was later that night that she heard God question her about writing. When her son, Danny, came home from college, he read her story, Through Troubled Waters, and encouraged McCain to get it published. "Everything I write, I want it to honor God,' McCain says with conviction. The 84-year-old author is a woman of prayer, and has lived a life in pursuit of holiness. Growing up as one of 14 children In the rural community of Rigolette, McCain graduated from Tioga High School. At 19 years old, she met and started dating a young man named Carl McCain. He worked as a lineman for South Central Bell and she was working as a telephone operator. After a whirlwind courtship, the two were married on July 1, 1946. The young couple made their home in Rigolette and raised their seven children--Ronald, Danny, Kenny, Randy, Barry, Donna and Jackie. The family attended Tioga Wesleyan Methodist Church, where Georgia and Carl served in every ministry they could. They have 19 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. The two were married for 62 years before Carl passed away. Her home is a testament to a close-knit family with photographs vying for space on shelves stocked full with mementoes from the grandchildren. A legacy of love is showcased with framed drawings from the kids alongside epic poems written by McCain about her family. In between her serving at her church and raising seven children, McCain found time to write more books. Her second book, Trials and Triumphs, is non-fiction and retates many of her personal experiences, including the loss of her four-month-old grandson, Nathaniel, to meningitis. Her third book, a fictional novel, Shattered Shackles, deals with alcoholism and its affect on a family. "My daddy was an alcoholic, who would say he was tapering off when he was trying to quit. Later, he did sober up," McCain says, adding that her real-life experience probably played a role in the book. Another of her books, God's Little Lambs, is a compilation of stories written for children that can be read as bedtime stories or for family devotions. At one time, McCain says she felt impressed to write a novel about some twins. In Straight Paths, the story of fiery-tempered "Connie Slocum" unwinds as she struggles with heartaches, persecution, separation and loneliness. In the book's sequel, Plucked Out ofthe Net, Connie's twin brother, "Donnie Slocum," is featured in a story of redemption. Three of McCain's books have dealt with prayer and answers to "prevailing" prayer. "It is absolutely amazing that God has spoken to me over and over, and keeps giving me books to write. He has faithfully led me all the way," notes McCain. In all, she has written 10 books, and family and friends are after her to write a book of poems. She has written long poems with clever rhymes marking nearly every milestone in her and her family's life. It does not take long to get caught up reading one of McCain's books, and believing the incredible stories of faith in the non-fiction books. Written In such honest prose, her words flow from her heart and from a life seeking after holiness. If her books inspire and encourage or cause someone to "seek the Lord," then McCain says the books have served their purpose. "God deserves all the glory for anything accomplished through the writing or reading of these books," she emphasizes. A woman of faith, McCain has taught Sunday School and Bible studies in just about every ministry at her church. In addition, for the last 34 years, she has taught three different Bible study groups at three different nursing homes. McCain has been honored and received numerous awards for her volunteer service from Ball Senior Citizens Center and various nursing homes. In 2001, she was named the Volunteer of the Year of Tioga Manor and named "Most Faithful" volunteer at two other nursing homes. When her husband Carl served for a number of years on the Rapides Parish Police Jury, McCain supported him by participating in a variety of ways in the community. Known as a great cook by her family and friends, her daughter, Donna, presented her with a cookbook of the family recipes on her 50th wedding anniversary. Besides serving the Lord, McCain says her most important role in life has been as a wife and mother. She said all her children are “successful and love the Lord," and that they never gave her a "lick of trouble" beceuse she kept them in church and a "switch on their behinds", if needed. Her son, Danny, who is a missionary in Nigeria, even calls her every day. McCain says she is "blessed beyond measure by the Lord" with family and friends. Some have called her a "prayer warrior," in seeking God's will in her life. One piece of advice she freely gives out to all who will listen is the same encouragement she offers in her last book, Walking with God for Over 50 Years, "Sometimes when we can't seem to pray our way through, we can often times praise our way through to God. Try it."