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Henry County’s Cooking
with Charles Lewis


Special photo


  Hidden Valley Senior Center has several sets of siblings. The newest “sister act” is sisters, Evelena Williams and Brenda Murphy. Their friendliness, along with lovely smiles makes them instantly accepted by new friends.

  Evelena and Brenda were born and raised in Newark, New Jersey. Losing their parents, a brother and sister left only the two of them, and because of growing up in a close, tight-knit, family, they continue to stay close after moving to Georgia seven years ago.

  Evelena’s careers gave her experience in nuclear medicine technology, banking, and US Postal Service from which she retired. Brenda was involved with administrative positions, delving into financial consulting and retiring from US Postal Inspection Service.

  Evelena loves music and has an even bigger love for animals who give us humans unconditional love. She wishes she were capable of having a large piece of land to raise abused and abandoned animals. Brenda is hooked on jigsaw puzzles, word puzzles, just all puzzles available. She added sewing and cooking as favorites too.

  Brenda’s favorite recipe to fix is a chicken, shrimp, and bay scallop recipe she developed into her own version from one prepared at a baby shower she attended years ago. Evelena immediately said, “Mom’s butter rolls, but I can’t give you an accurate recipe because it is a ‘little of this and a little of that.’”

  Popcorn is Brenda’s favorite munch, and Evelena’s is seafood and Chinese food. Brenda’s first memory of cooking is smothered pork chops. Evelena’s is BBQ ribs. She remembers doctoring up the spice in the BBQ sauce for some visiting ladies. The ladies loved those ribs. So the ribs were spiced up from then on. A favorite food memory for Evelena was her mother making “cakes from Heaven.” When young, they would ask what she was making and she would say, “Boogey, Boogey” so they always knew that meant cake! Brenda remembered making pineapple upside down cake. No one told her father this as he always preferred their mother’s cooking. He just bragged on how wonderful that cake was, it was the “best one their mother had ever baked,” so he was floored when their mother said, “Your baby made that cake!”

  Both said their mother was the most fantastic cook. She always cooked extra on Sundays, knowing a crowd would show up, announced or not! Both girls learned by watching her cook.

   Evelena and Brenda both said their tips for cooking were to have patience and cook with love.

For more of this week’s recipes in the printed edition,
get your copy here!


Chicken, Shrimp
and Scallop Provencal


1/2 cup olive oil or salad oil
1/2 lb. shelled and deveined shrimp
1/4 lb. bay scallops
6 whole (about 6 lbs.) chicken breasts, boned and skinned
2 onions, sliced
2 green peppers, sliced
2 red peppers, sliced
1 cup chicken broth
2/3 cup canned Italian plum tomatoes, drained and seeded (16 oz. save the liquid)
3 Tbsp. tomato paste
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp. basil               
1/8 tsp. oregano 

  In a 12” skillet heat oil over medium high heat. Saute shrimp just until pink, and scallops just until firm. Remove with slotted spoon; set aside. Add chicken to skillet; sauté just until cooked. Remove with slotted spoon; set aside. To drippings in skillet add onions and peppers; sauté until soft but not brown. Add remaining ingredients and any juices from the reserved shellfish and chicken. Bring mixture to a boil; simmer over low heat while preparing. Cut chicken into strips, about 5-6 each breast half. Add to simmering sauce. Add shrimp and scallops just before serving. Serve with rice or pasta or garlic bread. Makes 8 servings.

For more of this week’s recipes in the printed edition,
get your copy here!



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