Area ladies attend Viking Cooking School

By Dottie Dewberry For the WPT

Happy Birthday, Jensen!! What a wonderful birthday present: a day at the Viking Cooking School in Greenwood for Miss Jensen Reed, an eighth-grade student at Caledonia Middle School.

Jensen, who is the daughter of Melanie Reed and the granddaughter of Jimmie Cooper, has always been interested in the culinary arts and was excited when the occasion was arranged to happen on her birthday, Sept. 15. Wow! It doesn’t get any better than this.

Jensen, Melanie Reed, Jimmie Cooper, Jackie Christopher, Ranae Sisk, Judy Hillhouse and Angie Hillhouse enrolled in the class titled “Southern Specialties” from the hit movie “The Help.” If you haven’t read the book or seen the movie — make time! While there, the ladies prepared Southern Fried Chicken, Homemade Mac n’ Cheese, Slow-Cooked Southern Greens, Iron Skillet Cornbread and Shirley’s Feather-Light Biscuits.

Jimmie told me that each team of 12 broke up into teams of four: Jimmie, Melanie, Jensen and Angie were all on one team. They divided the menu into parts: Jimmie prepared the collards, Melanie fixed the chicken, and Jensen and Angie made the Mac n’ Cheese. When the meals were completed, they were each served a meal-size portion. The samples were tasting size only. Well, Heck! Dessert is my favorite.

They also enjoyed the sample recipes: Deviled Eggs, Sweet Tea, Vanilla Butter Cake with Caramel Icing, Minny’s Chocolate Pie and Flaky Butter Pie Dough.

Can you imagine a day off with the most beloved in your family and eating Deep South culinary delights?

Sounds like something I would like to do.

According to Mrs. Jimmie Cooper, they all received aprons to don for the cooking program and then they were allowed to keep them. They also received recipe packets to take home. On that day, each class is set up for 12 people; seven were from Mississippi, three were from Richmond, Va., and two were from Memphis, Tenn. According to my info, people from all over the USA come here to learn how to cook. Tongue in cheek — I can’t imagine why.

There are other types of cooking classes: Canapés and Hors d’oeuvres, Café Italiano, French Bistro, Latin Sizzle, Chocolate Obsession, Desserts to Die For, Breakfast and Brunch, Homemade Fast Food, Creole and Japanese.

Classes are offered in Ridgeland and in Greenwood, but they are also offered in most of the southern states. They are also offered in Alaska, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Utah. For more info go to www.vikingcookingschool.com. Registration and fees apply to all. Interested parties would do well to go online and check out the procedure to participate.

The Maben party reported that they had a fabulous time and would like to participate again.