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What's Cooking in Bryan County: Father's Day edition
libby hires
Libby Hires

Libby Hires


There are many memories that flood my mind at Father’s Day. Some of them are filled with thoughts of my own father, but I have to admit, my favorite one is from 1993. It was the year Jimmy and I both received a special gift.

When Mother’s Day rolled around in 1993, been placed on bed rest due to my son trying to arrive in May instead of June. My little one was due the last week in June, but decided Wednesdays were good practice days. I went into labor on May 5th, so they put me on a preventative. I went into labor on May 12th, so they put me on the sofa…or bed… no walking. I read the book, “Scarlet”, a sequel to “Gone with the Wind” within 2 days. It was an 823 page book. I reminded myself that this too shall pass…and this was going to be worth it. My doctor finally decided that my baby needed to be born on June 17th. I would be admitted to the hospital at midnight and my son would arrive around 6am.

Dr. Edwards had not looked at the calendar. June 17th was on a Thursday. We should have known. Jay wanted WEDNESDAY. So, on June 16th, as I packed my final necessities in a small suitcase and waited for midnight, my sister-in-law arrived to take care of Kala. Within an hour, I knew what was happening. I was in labor. Carefully and slowly, I decided…I’ll just take another shower to relax. Then, I’ll call the doctor’s office. My sister-in-law was in a panic…and for the first time in his life, Jimmy Hires was as cool as a cucumber. He was remembering Kala’s birth….you know, nobody on the road because it was New Year’s Day and at least 28 hours in labor. I tried telling him this was totally different. This baby was COMING. Jimmy turned onto I-95 and then Abercorn…and there we were… bumper to bumper late afternoon traffic, everyone trying to get home. I see a police car and roll the window down ready to flag him down to let him know I needed help. Jimmy rolled that window back up. I asked him something about whether they taught labor and delivery skills in any of his college classes (no, we didn’t do Lamaze). We finally made it to Candler where they had to slow the labor so Dr. Edwards could make it to the delivery.

I received my special delivery at 8:45 that evening. Jimmy and I were both ecstatic. The nurses were so good to me and even found me something to eat at that late hour. Jimmy decided to go on home around 11:30 because he had basketball camp the next morning. As soon as he left, I get a call, “Mrs. Hires, we hate to inform you, but your baby has been placed in the neonatal unit.” I looked out the window of my hospital room just in time to see Jimmy pulling out of the hospital parking lot. I don’t think I have ever felt so alone in my life. Let me tell you, it is at those moments that take me to my knees…praying with all the intensity I could muster…I prayed for my baby. Then I knew what I had to do….I had to call my daddy. I had to have Momma and Daddy know what was going on and to pray. I apologized for calling in the late hours, but it was an emergency. Ironically, they were waiting for my call because Momma had called my house around 8:00 to see if I was ready to go to the hospital. I was such a Daddy’s girl….and a Momma’s girl in some ways, too, but Daddy always knew how to calm me and say, “Everything is going to be OK. God’s got this…he’s got you… and he has that baby.” He was right. I had prayed dearly over that baby while I was still expecting. God gave me the child I had prayed for daily.

This year, Father’s Day and Jay’s birthday land on the same day. I can celebrate my husband, son, and son-in-law in my life on their day…and thank God for them every day. My father is in Heaven now. I’m sure he’s watching over us and making sure we are protected. Oh, those guys….the husband, the son, and the son-in-law…they have something in common besides sports and family. They can COOK. James, my son-in-law, can make the best steak EVER. Jay, he can cook anything he puts his mind to, but his crab stew is amazing! Jimmy definitely will take the challenge of a new recipe if 1) it is vegan or 2) will bring back memories or give someone a smile.

Here are a few recipes that are favorites of ours. Enjoy!

Pasta Salad

(This is one Jimmy will make on his own now since he loves!)

• 1 (16 ounce) package spiral pasta • 3 - 4 ribs celery, rinsed and chopped

• 2 medium zucchini, rinsed, peeled, and diced

• 2 medium cucumbers, rinsed, peeled, and diced

• 1 large greenbellpepper,seeded, and diced

• 1 (10 ounce) can black olives, drained & rinsed (optional)

• 1 (4ounce)jar pimentos, drained (optional)

• 1 small Vidalia onion, peeled and chopped Italian Dressing (we love Olive Garden’s in this recipe) • Salt and Pepper for taste Directions: Cook pasta according to directions on box. Drain and rinse with cold water to cool. In a large bowl, combine pasta and vegetables.

Stir in about 1/2 cup salad dressing, and toss to coat. Add additional dressing to taste if you like. Cover and chill for at least one hour before serving. Refrigerate leftovers. **Additional add-ins: chopped pepperoni, grape or cherry tomatoes, shredded mozzarella or grated parmesan. You can also add some sliced banana peppers or a few sliced pickled jalapeños, if you want a little bit of heat.

Squash Casserole

Ingredients • 6 cups large diced yellow squash • Vegetable oil • 1 large onion, chopped • 4 tablespoons butter • 1 can cream of chicken soup • 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper • Dash garlic pepper • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese or shredded casserole cheese

• 1 cup crushed Ritz crackers Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all together well in a large bowl. Pour into a buttered 9 X 13 casserole dish.

Bake for 45 minutes or until set and lightly golden.

Singing She-Crab Stew

(If a recipe is “singing”, it’s got some alcohol in it.)

• 2 tablespoons butter • 1 small onion, chopped • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed cream of potato soup

• 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed cream of celery soup

• 1 soup can milk • 1 soup can half-and-half • 1 pound claw crabmeat, picked free of any broken shells (fresh or use canned if needed) 1/4 cup dry sherry* • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

• Dash Worcestershire sauce (optional)

• A couple dashes Old Bay Seafood Seasoning

Directions: In a large saucepan, melt the butter and sauté the onion until translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the soups, milk, and half-and-half. Add the crabmeat and bring just to a boil. Add the sherry, salt and pepper, & Worcestershire sauce to taste. Serve immediately. Refrigerate any remaining stew when cool. *If you choose not to use sherry, use more milk; add a dash of season salt.

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