Karen Morrow enjoys feeding others.

Whether feeding their spirits, bodies or hearts, she stays focused on caring for others.

Morrow began cooking at the age of 13 when her mother started a job working at night.

The cook said, “My mom would start a meal and I would finish it.”

While being the middle child she was tasked with the challenge of feeding her father, three brothers, and her baby sister while her mom was away at work. In 1980 she married her sweetheart, Tony Morrow and the pair moved to Savannah, Tenn. When her husband surrendered to the ministry they moved to Alabama, and then to Northeast Mississippi.

The couple made Booneville their home when Tony took on the role as pastor of Calvary Baptist Church. She is an RN, and currently works with Mississippi Medical Associates in Belmont, and works with her husband as a minister’s wife, serving at the church.

The working wife and mother, shared her children and husband love her country cooking.

“They like any kind of country food. Tony likes chicken and dumplings, and fried potatoes, any kind of vegetables, fresh.” The old-fashioned cook loves to use her cast iron skillets every day. “I use it all the time. Every day! If you take care of them and season them properly, and clean them good, they will give your food a better taste in my opinion.” The cast iron cook shared how she likes to keep her cast iron skillets seasoned. “As soon as you’re done cooking in it, clean it good, wash it, I don’t dip it in the sink, I just use a little water, then basically put it back on the eye and put a little oil back in it.”

Karen is a born and bred Alabamian, who happened to fall in love with Booneville and felt the Lord had called them here, however she is a supporter of all things Alabama and will always take the opportunity to shout a hearty, “Roll Tide!”

Cooking is a social event for the Morrow family. “We like to entertain have people over, and just share food with people. It’s a social thing.”

Tony and Karen have two children, a son, Charley, and a daughter, Molly Adams and her husband Blake, and a precious granddaughter, Olivia.

The proud grandma shared her daughter loves to cook.

“A lot of stuff she does like I do, but she is more about, baking and broiling and grilling than I am, I am more of the old-style cooking. And now Olivia has started helping me do things. It’s really funny to see her.”

Cooking is not her only talent she also loves art. She loves painting and pottery.

“I like to get my own clay from the ground.” Pottery is a what she does to relax and she also uses it as a ministry, it is never for sale, she gives it away as she feels led to. “I give it away and I sign it, My Peace of Art.”

Skillet Fried Chicken Breast

3 or 4 whole chicken breast cut into strips about 2”

Salt and pepper strips

In large bowl 1 1/2 cup self-rising flour, place seasoned strips in flour and batter generously.

In large black skillet pour about 1/2” deep with vegetable oil.

Stove eye to medium heat. When oil begins to get hot, fill skillet side by side with battered chicken. The pieces tightly touching each other. Let completely brown, turn only once. Remove from skillet ready to serve.

Banana Pudding

3/4 cup sugar (1/2 cup for pudding and 1/4 cup for meringue)

1/3 cup self rising flour

1/4 tsp salt

2 cups milk

3 eggs (yellow for pudding and white for meringue)

1 Tsp vanilla

2-3 bananas

1 package vanilla wafers

Separate egg yellow from white (White in medium glass bowl, place back in fridge until pudding is complete.) Put yellow of egg in medium bowl and add milk and vanilla flavor. Blend with a whisk. In a large glass mixing bowl mix 1/2 cup sugar, flour, and salt. Pour milk/egg content into dry mix. Use your whisk to stir. Microwave for 2 min Stir with whisk Microwave for 2 min Stir with whisk Microwave for 1 min Stir with whisk Pudding will thicken on outer edges, just continue to use the whisk to stir. I like to get it thick like pudding and then add just a little extra milk.)

In an oven safe dish, place cut up bananas and vanilla wafers. Save enough wafers to go around the outer edge. Pour pudding and mix with bananas and wafers. Place wafers around outer edge. Take egg whites from fridge. With mixer, on high, beat egg whites until stand up consistency. Add sugar and mix for about 1 min. Place meringue on top of pudding. Oven setting to broil Place dish in oven, (watch closely, do not walk away) When top is lightly brown remove and allow to cool. Place in fridge to cool.

Chicken and Dumplings

1 whole fryer salt (to taste)

Pepper (to taste)

Margarine (about 1/2 cup)

2 cups self rising flour (to start) add more as needed

About 1/2 cup cold water

Remove parts from inside fryer. Place in large pan and cover with water. Set stove eye to medium to medium/high, gentle boil for about 45 minutes, maybe longer depending on size of chicken. When chicken is almost finished cooking; in a bowl mix flour and cold water. Add flour as needed. Kneed to a thick consistency (like play dough). Keep powdered with flour. When chicken is completely done, remove chicken from pan. Add salt, pepper and margarine to pan. Adjust stove setting to medium low. Pinch dough in small pieces (about 1/2 inch) and place in pan of broth. Do not stir. When dumplings are done turn stove off. Separate fat and bones from chicken. Break meat into small pieces. Add meat to dumpling mixture. Ready to serve.

Lemon Icebox Pie or Key Lime Pie

1 bag vanilla wafers, (or 1 pack of graham crackers)

6 eggs

2 cans eagle brand milk

1 cup of lemon juice (or lime juice)

1/3 cup of sugar for meringue

1/3 cup of sugar for crust

In casserole dish crush vanilla wafers, add sugar and mix. Pack mixture in bottom of dish. Separate eggs. Mix together the egg yolks and eagle brand milk, then add juice, mix well. Pour mixture over crust. Beat egg whites until stiff. Then gradually add sugar while mixing. Oven setting to 350 Top pie with meringue mixture. Place pie in oven for 15 minutes, or until top is lightly brown. Take out of oven, allow to cool, place in freezer overnight. Serve frozen.

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