Mary Tucker and her daughter, Karan, may love life in Fayette County, but are just as likely to be on the road as on the porch.
“We’ve traveled all over the eastern United States. After retiring, any projects you’ve got will be there when you get back,” says Mary, adding that Gulf Shores and Atlanta are two of their favorite destinations.
Mary retired after working more than 25 years in Fayette County Schools, but teaching wasn’t her first calling. Mary began a career with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, not knowing how much that job would change her life.
“I married Jimmy in ’64 and he worked for Extension too. It was against their policy for spouses to work together, and you had to live in the county where you worked, so I gave up my job and became a home economics teacher when I moved to Fayette County,” explained Mary.
While Mary’s husband passed away a few years ago, their son, Kevan, also went went to work as an Extension agent in Clarke County.
Likewise, cooking was passed down to Mary’s children, both of whom had cooking responsibilities growing up.
“Part of the time I was working and raising a family, and I got so organized I would plan a month of dinner menus and grocery shop by the month,” Mary said. “I had a lady who came to help me keep house, and she could pull the menu card for the day to know what we were having for dinner. When Karan and Kevan were old enough, I assigned each of them a night they were responsible for dinner.”
But Mary says she and Karan have much more relaxed dinner plans now. “We take cooking in spells. If we want to go out to eat, then we do,” she says.
Karan and Mary share a variety of recipes this month, from an old breakfast favorite to the winner of last year’s Heritage Cooking Contest. Mary says Creamed Eggs on toast is what she calls an “antique” recipe, and her recipe for Fig Cake is a great way to finish off any fig preserves from last fall. Karan’s Fruit Soup took third place in the Heritage Cooking Contest for soups and her Grilled Catfish Fillets can be prepared in less time than it takes for the grill to heat up.