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Country cooking with lots of love

Doris Rice describes herself as a country cook who enjoys cooking for the people she loves. Originally from Chilton County, Rice has been cooking in Demopolis since she and her husband, Clinton, or &8220;Doc&8221; as most people know him, moved here in 1965.

Rice says she credits her cooking abilities to her mother, who taught her how to cook years ago.

One of her mother&8217;s signature dishes was a caramel cake.

&8220;She made her own caramel icing,&8221; she said. &8220;I wish I had the recipe for it.&8221;

Other dishes that her mother taught her how to make were homemade biscuits and vegetables cooked in lard from home-raised pigs.

Rice said that her daughter-in-law, Cindy, who is originally from San Francisco, Calif., has also taken up some of the finer points of how to cook vegetables like her mother. One of the secrets to her vegetables, she said, is to add just a little sugar to them.

Rice is also known for converting others to foods they claim not to enjoy. She recalled a neighbor of hers who swore he didn&8217;t like sweet potato pie. After she made a sweet potato pie to bring over to him, his wife told him it was &8220;pumpkin pie from Doris.&8221;

Rice said that she also had people tell her they didn&8217;t like chocolate pie, until they tasted hers.

&8220;Sometimes chocolate pie can be bitter,&8221; she said. &8220;But I don&8217;t put as much cocoa in mine.&8221;

Every winter Rice said she makes what she calls &8220;vegetable gumbo.&8221; She puts whole pork roasts and other meats and vegetable into a large pot, one big enough to serve in a school cafeteria.

After she makes the vegetable gumbo, she and her family will make several meals out of it, as well as share with friends.

Rice is also no stranger to canning and picking her own vegetables. She has helped many friends and neighbors on their farms to help collect the produce in exchange for a few fresh items. She said that she prefers canned tomatoes and green beans more than the frozen variety.

Rice also volunteers to cook dishes for her church functions at Westside Baptist Church. She often makes her specialties for their &8220;Fifth Sunday&8221; dinners.

Rice has three sons and one daughter, and she also has nine grandchildren. When she isn&8217;t cooking for them, she keeps herself busy by putting together porcelain dolls. She keeps a collection of them on display in her home, including two dolls meant to replicate she and her twin brother.

Rice suggests these two dishes be made together.

Mexican cornbread

2 cups self-rising cornmeal

1 cup milk

1 large onion, minced

2 eggs

1 bell pepper

3/4 cup oil

1/2 or 1 teaspoon red pepper

1/2 pound grated cheese

1 cup cream style corn

Add all ingredients together and bake in oven at 450 degrees until done.

Camp stew

1 cup pork BBQ

1 cup beef BBQ

2 cups cooked chicken, chopped

1/2 cup ketchup

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 cup minced onion

3-4 medium potatoes

1 cup cream style corn

1 can whole kernel corn, drained

1 can tomatoes

1 can English peas

Mix ingredients together in Crock Pot. Turn on high heat to get started, then turn heat down to low and cook for as long as desired.

Rice said her church requests this recipe frequently.

Bread pudding

6 eggs

2 cups sugar

2 cups milk

5 pieces of bread

vanilla to taste

1 teaspoon oleo

Mix ingredients together and bake in a 350 degree oven.

Red velvet cake

1/2 cup Crisco

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

2 cups all purpose flour

1 tablespoon cocoa

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup buttermilk

2 or 3 drops of red food coloring

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vinegar

Cream Crisco and sugar together.

Beat in eggs. Sift together flour, cocoa and salt. Mix together and add remaining ingredients. Pour mixture into a sheet pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Icing

1 stick of oleo at room temperature

1/2 cup Crisco

1 cup sugar

1 cup milk

4 tablespoons flour

Mix ingredients together and cook until thick. Let completely cool and add to sugar mixture and ice cake.

Pretzel salad

2 cups crushed pretzels

3/4 cup melted oleo

3 tablespoons sugar

Mix ingredients together and put into 13 x 10 inch dish. Bake at 400 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool.

Mix well

1 8 oz. package of cream cheese

1 cup sugar

Fold in 2 cups of whipped topping. Spread over pretzel mixture.

Mix together

2 packages strawberry Jello

2 cups boiling water

2 10-oz. packages of frozen strawberries

Stir until dissolved. Let set in refrigerator for 10 minutes. Pour over cream cheese. Keep in refrigerator until served.

Macaroni and cheese casserole

8 oz. macaroni, cooked

1 pound of cheese

1/4 cup minced onion

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 cup mayonnaise

Mix all ingredients together and top with cracker crumbs and butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Chocolate pie

1 cup sugar

4 egg yolks

3 tablespoons flour

2 heaping teaspoons cocoa

2 cups milk

Cook all ingredients in a sauce pan until mixture is thickened. Pour into pie pan.

4 egg whites

dash of salt

1/8 teaspoons cream of tartar

Beat egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Add sugar and beat well until sugar dissolves. Top pie with mixture and bake in 350 degree oven until brown on top.

Kelli Hilyer is a staff writer for The Times. She can be reached at e-mail kelli.hilyer@demopolistimes.com