By Karin Glendenning
Community News Writer
Joyce Pickett and her husband, Jimmy, love to entertain. They regularly host large gatherings of family and friends at their home.
“We have a big 4th of July party every year and also one at Halloween. We have about 50 to 60 people, and everybody brings a dish,” said Mrs. Pickett, a hairdresser, who with her husband operates JJ and friends in Red Bank. With sisters and brothers and their children, as well as the Picketts’ two grown sons and their wives, a large crowd is a given for every occasion.
“We’re big on parties,” said Mrs. Pickett. “Anything you can think of, we’ll have a party for it.”
For the 4th of July bash, the Pickets will prepare Boston butt pork roasts in their smoker. They’ll also serve baked beans, navy beans, marinated slaw, cracklin’ cornbread and watermelon. “My sister always fixes homemade ice cream, and we have lots of other desserts. There will be two tables just full of desserts,” she said.
When they host the Halloween party, Mrs. Pickett said that one of her sisters always prepares “all the fall things like candied apples, popcorn balls and fried pies,” and one of her brothers fixes chili.
Mrs. Pickett said that her husband is an expert at making mashed potatoes and frying chicken. On Christmas Eve they do a shrimp boil, complete with corn, potatoes and sausage.
The Picketts have operated their salon in Red Bank since 1978 and have many regular customers from all over town, who come not only for skillful haircuts and styles but also for the great company and Mr. Pickett’s comments and words of wisdom on every conceivable subject. “We talk about food here all the time,” Mrs. Pickett said. “I love recipes and enjoy trying new ones.”
The couple love to travel said they plan their trips around good food. “Almost any town that we’ve had a softball tournament in, I can tell you about its good restaurants,” said Mr. Pickett, who added that his favorite foods are chicken and shrimp.
Mrs. Pickett has a large collection of cookbooks. She said two of her favorites are one she received as a gift in beauty school 30 years ago and the Bright School cookbook.
The recipes Mrs. Pickett shares with readers today are ones she’s been preparing for years.
(Mrs. Pickett said this salad is great with fresh green beans or cooked dried beans.)
1 head of lettuce, chopped
2 medium tomatoes
1/2 cup dill pickles, cubed
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup dill pickle juice
Mix all ingredients together and serve.
FRIED SWEET POTATOES
3 medium sweet potatoes, sliced about 1/4-inch thick
About 1/3 cup oil
1/2 stick margarine
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
Heat oil and margarine in skillet until hot. Add potatoes and remaining ingredients. Cover and cook until potatoes start to brown. Turn until tender and well-browned.
2 cups butter
2 cups sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon vanilla
6 cups sifted self-rising flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla. Combine flour and salt and gradually add to butter mixture. Make into long logs about 1-inch in diameter. Wrap in wax paper and refrigerate until well chilled. To bake preheat oven to 425. Slice logs into thin discs and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Frost with mixture of confectioners’ sugar, food coloring and milk. Makes about 8 dozen cookies. Dough freezes well.
1 can cranberry sauce
1 small can crushed pineapple, drained
1/3 cup sugar
1 small package cherry Jello
1 cup of pecans, chopped
Combine cranberry sauce and sugar in small saucepan. Heat until cranberry sauce dissolves. Remove from heat and stir in pineapple and dry Jello and pecans. Chill.
MISSISSIPPI MUD CAKE
2 sticks margarine
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup cocoa
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 1/2 cups angel flake coconut
1 1/2 cups walnuts, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 jar marshmallow cream
1 stick margarine
1/3 cup cocoa
1 pound confectioners’ sugar
1/3 cup evaporated milk
1 cup walnuts, chopped
For cake, mix margarine, sugar and cocoa, then add remaining ingredients in order listed. Pour batter into 9-inch by 13-inch greased and floured pan. Bake in pre-heated 350 oven for 30 to 40 minutes. Spread jar of marshmallow cream on top of cake while still hot. Combine frosting ingredients and swirl through the marshmallow cream.
E-mail Karin Glendenning at firstname.lastname@example.org