Cleone Colvin, my mother, retired after forty-four years of teaching. That is not a typo. She taught school for forty-four years. Wow! After retirement, she sat about to write a cookbook called A+ in Cooking. (Good name for a cookbook written by a teacher, and it lives up to its name.) For years she had been collecting recipes from her pupils and their parents. During retirement she became a top-notch investigator (without using the internet) searching for lost students. Please note that this was not an easy task considering that Andrews was an oil field town, and many students moved frequently. Mother was up to the challenge. What fun she had tracking down and visiting with her former pupils. Students were found from Hawaii to Germany, from California to Florida, and everywhere in between. One was found in the check-out line at Denny’s, the local grocery store. Another was found in a receiving line at a wedding. To her surprise, she found a former pupil at the post office one Saturday morning. (She never went to the post office on Saturdays – makes you think of the Twilight Zone theme song doesn’t it?). She even had a recipe from a student from her first class at Huckabay, Texas – go figure! The cookbook represents her involvement with her students and their families. In all, she collected recipes from over 70% of her former students – amazing!
While at the High School Reunion this past weekend, I can not begin to tell you how many people mentioned that mother’s A+ in Cooking is their favorite cookbook. A+ in Cooking is so good because the recipes are the favorites of each family that contributed to the book. It is not a regional cookbook since the recipes came from so many different locals. Mother enjoyed success with her cookbook, and enjoyed making new friends with customers from around the world.
Added to the recipes are inspiring quotes scattered throughout each section. Reflections of her life in the 1920’s are funny and inspiring. There are stories about a Cracker Eating Contest, Spiritual Gatherings at the Stock Tank, and a Chicken Funeral to name just a few. One of her former pupils, Pam Fisher drew the beautiful illustrations.
FYI: Many of the recipes I share on Lanabird.com are from A+ in Cooking. Honestly, it is my favorite cookbook (And I kid you not – it is NOT because my mother compiled the recipes). I think you can still buy her cookbook on Amazon or contact me. We have a few left.
Bless the Cook!