Lots of people write about their lives when they retire. Well, after 14 years as the cook in the county jail at Starkville, Minnie Fox has written a book, too. A cookbook. And it's the culmination of a life in the kitchen.
Somebody added it up one time, we spend so many days of our lives at stoplights, and so many years of our lives asleep, an so on.
Well, I figure the amount of time Minnie Fox has spent in front of a stove would be up in the upper reaches of one of those types of categories. And you don't cook as much as she has without finding reasons to like it.
"because it relaxes you," said Fox. "You have a lot of thoughts when you're doing it. And then, I love to give. And when I cook up a lot of food I just call people over and let them eat. That's my enjoyment out of it."
She started cooking at her mother's side as a child. Cooking became her duty on the farm. And she ended up cooking for the inmates in the jail at Starkville. As a matter of fact, that's where the idea for the cookbook came from.
"Doff Bryan and a couple more of the deputies, they would always ask me, they say, have you ever thought about doing a cookbook?" said Fox. "I say aw I can't do no cookbook. They say, yes you can."
And she has. Starting from her mom's kitchen as a child to recipes she manufactured while cooking in the jail, her cookbook spans her lifetime like an autobiography. And they are taste tested recipes, too.
Well I invited some people out here and I told them I'd like for you all to be honest with me because this is some of the meals that I'm going to do in the cookbook," said Fox. "So they enjoyed everything and everything that I had went in that cookbook and more."
Minnie Fox set out a mini lunch for me and couple of her and my friends, Starkville artist Carole McRenolds Davis and her husband entomologist Dr. Frank dDvis. Not only was the food good, you could taste the extra intangibles Minnie Fox includes.
"Those are the recipes I put in my cooking," said Fox. "Love, joy, happiness. I just love it."
Leaves a nice aftertaste and is a fitting tribute to a life well done.
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