Timeless January-March 2022 - Page 27



Marsha Stoddard

By Monique Harrison Henderson Contributing Writer

When Marsha Stoddard gets a FaceTime call from her 5-year-old granddaughter Finley in Southern California , she knows she probably needs to be ready to jump in the kitchen and cook .

“ She calls me and says ‘ let ’ s do a recipe !” Stoddard said , laughing . “ And so we get out our mixing bowls and our measuring cups – whatever we need – and we start cooking .”
Often , young Finley calls out the recipe over videoconferencing , deciding how much chocolate , flour and other ingredients should go into a recipe over video call .
Sometimes , Stoddard weighs in to save a recipe , suggesting ingredients that should be added or scaled back . While it ’ s rather rare for a 5-year-old to have such culinary interests and skills , Stoddard said she is not surprised .
That ’ s because a passion for cooking runs in the family , Stoddard said .
During the Great Depression , Stoddard ’ s maternal grandmother would take in people in the Hickory Flat area of Northeast Mississippi who needed food , whipping up large , Southern-style meals . Her mother helped in the kitchen as a teenager , and then passed that interest in cooking down to Stoddard , she said .
“ I do think it is in my blood ,” Stoddard said . “ And I think that is continuing now through a new generation . It ’ s a fun thing to think about , really .”
Stoddard considers herself a “ typical country cook ” but her friends from church and the community rave about her creamed corn . Her sons and others can ’ t get enough of her spaghetti . And her lemon icebox pie is popular , too .
One thing that likely makes Stoddard ’ s cooking special is that through the years , she has used a lot of ingredients straight from her garden . She has fresh corn , bell
continued on page 28 www . meridianstar . com
• 27