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Henry County’s Cooking with
the A to Z Book Club


George McKeehan  tells his story below.

   My mom was a homemaker and dad played football for the Tennessee Vols. My brother was a Lt. Col. USAF, B-52 pilot who  thought that he could cook better than his little brother. Those great folks are in heaven, watching over The Chef. My wonderful wife of 39 years, Carol, passed away in September. We have two sons and two daughters;  Bo works for Delta,  George Jr. is a Lt. at the Marietta Fire Department, Ronnie home schools three little boys and  Dee is a homemaker.

Chef George instructs his grandsons Anthony and Austin Umstattd in baking some delicious cupcakes.      Special photo

   I worked in my dad's restaurants in Gainesville, FL and Chattanooga, TN. I was Store Manager and District Manager for Wal-Mart, Toys R Us, Eckerd Drugs and others. After retiring I formed a catering/hot lunch company with my wife and daughter. We served hot lunches at the Sharon School for four  years. I had short classes there where I taught the pre-schoolers some basics about cooking. I still run into kids that remember The Chef. We catered meals in homes, for parties and school events. I had a bout with cancer that caused me to retire again. I am happy to say, I am now cancer free.

  I enjoy all things University of Tennessee, politics, spoiling grandchildren, and cooking. I served on the Board of Directors of the Henry County Chamber of Commerce, Flint River Boy Scouts and United Way.

  My dad and brother taught me to cook. I have learned a lot from Food TV. I have about 30 cook books and 40 recipe sites I visit.

  My favorite dish to prepare is my dad's homemade chili.

  My favorite food is a tie between seafood from Mary Mahoneys in Biloxi and Bar-B-Q Ribs from the Rendevous in Memphis.

  The worst recipe I ever tried was a seafood stew that I got from Southern Living magazine. It was too heavy on fish broth and tasted like I cooked it in a full minnow bucket.

  My favorite utensil is a Yulu Knife that my brother Jim got me in Alaska.

  My favorite cookbook is Homegrown Louisiana Cookin, by Justin Wilson.

  My cooking tip is everything must be fresh, fresh and fresh. Veggies, meat, and most of all fish.

  The first main dish I remember preparing was roasted turkey for Thanksgiving. It was good, and yes I forgot to remove the giblet bag!

  One of the best memories I have of food is having breakfast/brunch, with my brother, at the Pueblo Bonito Resort in Mazatlan, Mexico just a few yards from the Pacific Ocean. There were hundreds of items to choose from. Words can't describe this spread.

   If I could have any chef prepare a meal for me it would be the head chef at Mary Mahoneys in Biloxi and I would choose Crab Stuffed Red Snapper. If it was good enough for President Reagan, it’s good enough for me.


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


Grandma McKeehan’s Chili

5 quarts boiling water
2 yellow onions
2 yellow or red bell peppers
1 pkg. of fresh sliced mushrooms
4 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 (14 oz.) can of tomato sauce
1 1/2 lbs. ground chuck
1 cup chorizo sausage
1 green chili, minced
2 pkg. sliced Ball Park wieners 
1 tsp. Goya Adobo all purpose seasoning
2 tsp. cumin
2 (2 oz.) containers of McCormick chili powder
(1/3) Bottle of Sticky Fingers Memphis Original BBQ Sauce
1 tsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. salt or salt to taste
4 (14 oz.) cans of red kidney beans

  * To thicken sauce add instant potatoes or corn meal.

  Bring water to a slow boil. Add onions, bell pepper, garlic, minced green chili, Adobo all-purpose seasoning, cumin, pepper, salt, chili powder, tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Let boil for 1/2 an hour.

  Remove chorizo sausage casing. Crumble sausage and ground chuck in a large frying pan. Cook over medium heat until brown. Remove from heat, drain well, and add to boiling pot of water.

  Drain liquid from canned kidney beans and add to the boiling pot of water. Add barbeque sauce and cook on medium/low heat for 1 hour. Stir occasionally.

Add sliced hot dogs

  Add instant potatoes or cornmeal to thicken sauce.  If using cornmeal, dilute with water first.

(1/2 cup of cornmeal diluted with water or 1 cup of instant boxed potatoes) Increase quantities for thicker chili sauce.

Continue cooking on medium /low heat for 1 hour stirring every 15 minutes.

  Serve topped with cilantro and shredded cheddar cheese. Add habanero or chipotle for an extra kick.

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



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