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What’s cooking in Bryan County: Concession stand recipes for your favorite sport(s)
Libby Hires with husband
What’s Cooking in Bryan County columnist Libby Hires, right, with her husband Jimmy Hires in 2014 when he was honored by Richmond Hill High School for his upcoming induction into the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Hires won more than 600 games and three state titles while at RHHS, the last coming in 1994. Libby Hires spent a lot of time during games working the concession stands, and coming up with new ideas for both the stand and for supper. File photo by Bryan Browning.

As far as groundhogs go, do we trust them or not? Punxsutawney Phil in Pennsylvania opened his sleepy eyes, saw his shadow, and declared more winter. Georgia’s very own General Beauregard Lee scampered out and exclaimed he was tired of Mother Nature doing this roller coaster thing with the weather.

He yelled out, “Let’s go ahead and get spring on the way!” Poor Phil, his yankee counterparts weren’t too happy with his prediction. He probably just wanted to hang out in his lounge pants in his man-cave for a little bit longer. Honestly, I’m not too happy with ol’ General Lee’s forecast for the South. I was still hoping for those few flurries that could possibly fall. Nope. Time he announced it, the pine trees and other allergy- inducing specimens celebrated by showering Bryan County in yellow pollen. I know, some of you guys are saying that at least it wasn’t yellow snow. Nope. Ain’t goin’ there.

I guess I could still hold out in hopes of a wicked plan by that Chinese “weather balloon” creating a wild weather pattern and bringing us some snow in March.

Do you ol’ timer Bryan Countians remember when it used to snow in March? Remember the blizzard of 1993 that took place during the first week of March? We were in Macon for the Georgia High School State Basketball Final Four. Bryan County and Richmond Hill both won that Friday night and were going to face each other for the championship game on Saturday evening.

Mother Nature had other plans. It began snowing Saturday morning and we all had to “head back to Dodge” quickly before we got snowed in. The sports reporter said that it was the first time in state history that a blizzard postponed the championship.

I know it doesn’t sound like I’m going anywhere with a cooking column on this, but stick with me…I am. That little bit of history brings back some great memories for Bryan Countians. The anticipation of the big game, the pilgrimage back to Macon for the final showdown… it had the best ingredients of any recipe. It contained a lot of school spirit and county pride.

Yes, Richmond Hill was small at that time and played in the same region as Bryan County. If you moved here recently, you missed a great era. Fans were packing the gyms no matter where the games were held.

The week prior to the final four in Douglas at South College, they barely had enough room to fit us all. Richmond Hillians cheered for Bryan County High and vice versa.

We did it again the next Friday night. It wasn’t just for the playoffs though.


You know what? It’s time to show up again.

The young people in our communities need to know they live in a great county.

You know what season it is, General Lee and Phil? It’s baseball, basketball, soccer, and more… that’s what. Welcome to the beginning of March Madness. Let’s get back to the days like when Coach Jimmy Hires had a sore throat for his hollerin’ and not his allergies. OK so that was me, too… but, we’re not going to go there, either. (Prayers and peppermints, y’all! That’s the key to surviving the sports seasons).

This week, I’m going to share some of the most absolutely wonderful concession stand food that you can possibly enjoy at home while watching your favorite game. Yep, I did my time in the stands: bleachers and concession.



(Created when I worked the RHHS concession stand during basketball. You do a lot of things to figure out something new for supper!

Fans? They loved them.)

1 1 ½ lb. package Roger Wood smoked sausage, cooked according to your preference and package directions (great on a grill, boiled, steamed) 2 pkgs. Hotdog buns, quality brand, warmed.

1 jar queso cheese dip, nacho cheese dip, or Velveeta cheese dip, favorite flavor, heated 1 small jar jalapenos, optional Mustard, Ketchup, Mayo, optional Directions: After you have cooked your sausages according to your preference, place the individual sausages into the warmed hotdog buns. Top with 1 to 2 tbsp of heated cheese dip. Top each with a few jalapenos and other condiments if desired.

Serve hot. (Sausages can be split in two lengthwise if you prefer. You can also substitute beef or chicken franks/wieners for the sausage.)


1 package Nathan’s or Hebrew National Beef Franks, grilled.

1 package Hotdog buns warmed or lightly toasted.

1 small Vidalia onion chopped fine.

1 lb. container Ruth’s Cole Slaw (or homemade) 1 small jar Mt. Olive Pickle Relish (or your favorite), optional 1 small jar jalapenos, optional Mustard, Mayo, Ketchup, salt, pepper, as desired Directions: Place the grilled franks into each of the warmed/toasted buns. Top with the remaining toppings to the amount desired. Serve hot. (Want to take it up a notch?

Place a slice of American or Swiss cheese on the buns and toast until cheese is melted. After cheese is melted, top with remaining ingredients and serve.)

Nacho Momma’s Fries

2 lbs. Crinkle Cut Fries fried or baked until golden and lightly crisp.

Season-All salt or Mexican seasoning mix 1 large can Hormel chili, without beans (or homemade chili), heated.

1 small can nacho cheese sauce or queso cheese dip, heated.

2 cups fresh Pico de Gallo or salsa (purchased in deli or refrigerated section, if not homemade) 1 small jar jalapenos, drained, optional.

Taco Sauce Ketchup Directions: Lightly season cooked fries with the Season-All or Mexican seasoning. Top each serving with a small scoop of chili, then hot cheese dip.

Top with Pico de Gallo, jalapenos, and a drizzle of taco sauce. Offer ketchup, if desired.

Richmond Hill’s Libby Hires is a longtime local cooking columnist and sports fan.

Libby Hires
Libby Hires
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