Every Thursday, Wilma Parker and Flo Becker can be found in Mar-Jac’s kitchen cooking something with chicken. Around noon everyone on the premises will hear two voices calling “lunch is ready”. This blog will be devoted to recipes – old and new – and perhaps a few whimsical tidbits about our Mar-Jac family.
About 20 years ago, Barbara had a hankering for something different (which happens on occasion).
I had recently been to a dinner at our church and received a recipe for cold banana pudding. I told Barbara about it and off we went to the grocery store to buy the necessary ingredients. Everyone loved it and it became a regularly requested item on our impromptu menu.
When Flo came to work at Mar-Jac, she brought with her an extensive travel background and a more refined palate than the simple food I grew up cooking. We bounced ideas off of each other and became a good working team in the kitchen. Between us doing the planning and preparing and the team of Barbara and Deborah doing the shopping, our very own “Food Network” was born. And, as they say, the rest is history. Visitors who come in on Thursdays around noon always receive a “Lunch is Ready” welcome and enjoy the fruits of our labor.
When I joined Mar-Jac 15 years ago, I knew this company was different than any other. Dianne, Barbara and Merita were always in the kitchen by the time I arrived, taking home-made biscuits out of the oven, stirring the grits and cooking several different breakfast meals. Several times a month Wilma would take it upon herself to cook lunch for the entire office group. Whether she was making sandwiches, chicken pot pie, chicken parmigiana, or chicken soup, I was determined to find out how she did it. These feasts were always followed by some kind of wonderful dessert. (Wilma is actually famous at the Georgia state capital for her Boston Cream Pie.)
Since that time, the two of us have worked together in the kitchen putting out lots of great food, while having a wonderful time doing so. We also work together organizing the annual Mar-Jac chicken cook-off in Maysville each October. Wilma is a wonderful person to work with – but it is her knife and garnishing skills that put her over the top! She is as fast as lightening and can turn any ordinary tray of food into an elegant gourmet treat for the eyes.
(A tidbit: It takes more than 2 cooks in the kitchen to create those Thursday lunches each week. First Wilma and Flo put together the shopping list. Then, Barbara and Debra inventory the kitchen, adjust the list, and go shopping at our local grocery store. While I haven’t witnessed this personally, I understand the two of them create a small but hilarious riot each time they shop! Everybody helps bring in the groceries. Merita makes the best iced tea in the state. Finally after lunch, someone must clean up the mess – a task that usually goes to Dianne with help from Barbara. You can see it is a family affair.)