Donna Anders of Tuscaloosa County keeps a “new-recipes-to-try” file in her kitchen, letting her family decide which is a keeper.
“Some we keep and some we toss” says Donna, “but even though I’ve always liked to try new things, we still love good peas and cornbread.”
But her favorite meal is Sunday lunch at home with her family after church. “They all live within about seven miles of us now,” Donna says of her family, adding that she and husband Joe have been married 35 years and have two sons and a daughter (all married), along with one grandchild and another on the way. “I like this ‘Nana’ stuff. I always heard it was fun, and now I’m experiencing how wonderful it is.”
Joe still works a beef cattle operation with his brothers and father, in addition to row cropping. They also plan to expand this year and raise vegetables for their local farmers market. “We’ve always had a small garden of our own,” says Donna. “So, we’re just adding a little to the list of farm endeavors.”
Donna, who works part-time at a law firm, keeps the farms books, but adds that she’s never bored at home. Though none of her children farm full time, all still help out, including grandson Spencer, who will turn 2 this summer. “Spencer might just turn out to be the big farmer in the family,” Donna says. “He loves the tractor, and whenever Joe is working with his tools, Spencer’s right behind him with his wrenches.”
Donna explains that cooking has always been part of her life, from helping with the canning and freezing as a young girl to the big spreads of food for holidays and parties. “I had some really good teachers, too. My mother and mother-in-law and both my grandmothers were all terrific cooks,” she says.
While she enjoys looking through new recipes and finding new dishes to try, Donna says most of the recipes she shares are versions of recipes made by her mother, Joe’s mother or one of her friends.