Known to many in Lawrence County as the “Cake Lady,” Lisa Terry says she has always loved cooking for the multitudes. “I’d rather cook for 25 than for two any day,” she says.
Her life has given her many opportunities to do just that. While raising her two sons Robert and Casey, she baked birthday, wedding, and baby shower cakes, which earned her the “Cake Lady” moniker. “Even if they don’t remember my name, lots of people recognize me as the lady who made the cake for a special event in their family,” says Lisa.
She says she inherited her love of big cooking from her grandmother. “My mother was a good cook too, and let me help her cook just for the fun of it,” she says, “but Grandmother Jones was the one in
our family who really cooked everything for everybody.”
Now that her sons are grown, Lisa works part-time in the kitchen at Parkway Medical Center in Decatur where she continues to indulge her love of cooking for a crowd. Although her husband Steve works for International Paper on rotating day and night shifts, Lisa says they still make time to have a home-cooked meal together most days.
“We both have to work two weekends a month, but we have our schedules worked out so we’re working the same weekends. I cook a real meal for us probably five nights of the week,” she says.
Lisa adds that she is blessed to have not only her sons nearby, but her sister and her twin nieces as well. “My sister and I are very close. We’re best friends and talk every day. And we’re very close to the twins, too. In fact, I made both their wedding cakes,” says Lisa.
While she doesn’t bake as many cakes as she used to, Lisa says she still makes time to bake the occasional
cake for close family and friends, including special birthday cakes for her grandchildren. “Oh, I’ve made Strawberry Shortcake and even a firecracker-themed birthday cake for the grandbabies, and I thoroughly enjoy it. I can work on a cake for hours when I don’t have the patience for anything else,” she says.
When Lisa and Steve aren’t working, they enjoy getting away to their house on Smith Lake, just
a short drive away. “It’s 50 minutes from the door at home to the door of the lake house, and we really
enjoy swimming and fishing there. Now that we’re older and have most everything paid for, it’s nice
to spend time doing what we want to do during our time off,” she says.
But that doesn’t mean her stove and oven are retired. “My friends and family have always known all
anybody has to say is ‘I’m hungry,’ and I’ve got the skillet out ready to cook,” adds Lisa.
While Lisa still loves to bake cakes, she resisted the temptation to include just cake recipes in The
Country Kitchen. “These are some of my favorite recipes to cook for friends and family. My husband
loves my slaw so much he once told me I needed to write the recipe down so if something happened to
me, somebody could still make it. And grilled shrimp and chicken salad are two things I make that
almost everyone loves,” says Lisa.