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What’s Cooking in Bryan County: Jimmy Hires is in the recipe column
Libby Hires
Libby Hires

Jimmy and I will have been married for 30 something years in December (even though I’m still 29). We had our first date on February 10, 1985. Spending over 3 decades with someone affords you the ability to really learn a lot about them.

If you ask an “old-timer” of Bryan County if they know Jimmy Hires, they will mention, “coach” and “basketball”. Baseball, track, cross-country and a few other words like “loud” might also be mentioned. Lord have mercy, when we were dating, the 1st home game that I went to, I really paid attention to him. I thought, “Oh no! He’s going to have a heart attack!” I looked around at the fans and they were not concerned.

After a few games, I realized that this…THIS…was Jimmy Hires on the court. Off the court, he was the guy that would open the car door (what happened to that one?) and pull a quick prank on you if he could get away with it. He said the most endearing phrase whenever our visits or dates would end. “See you in the funny paper.”

Well, after we dated longer, I realized that he had spent a little bit of time in the kitchen with his momma, bless her soul. He could cook! OK Some of the things he knew were the basics, but he learned more along the way. Give him a recipe and he can follow it.

Let me tell ya though, sometimes it gets pretty intense just like on the court, especially if it’s a recipe that’s tedious. When we were dating, he mainly specialized in fried foods, like fried fish, green tomatoes, squash, etc. After we got married and added two kids to the family, he tried his hand at chicken fingers and about anything Kala or Jay would ask him to try. I taught him to make hushpuppies and he loved experimenting with all the add-ins. What’s that old proverb about giving a man a fish? Yep.

Give a man a cookbook and you’ll teach him to cook forever.

So, this week, Jimmy Hires, we’re not going to see you in the funny paper or even the sports page. We’re going to see you in the recipe column. Here are some of Jimmy’s recipes…some that he’s perfected over the years and he’s quite proud of when he makes.

Oh, and they are safe to eat. You can ask “old-timers” about that last statement.

Jimmy’s Corn Casserole (Commonly called “Corn Pudding” this recipe can be doubled; bake in a larger 9x13 Pyrex dish) 1 20 oz. tube frozen creamed corn, thawed 1 15.5 oz can whole kernel corn, drained 1 pkg. Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix 1 cup sour cream ½ cup butter, melted (1 stick), plus additional to grease pan 1 ½ cup shredded mild cheddar cheese Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a casserole dish (around 8”x 8” size) with butter.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix well and pour into prepared dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes, until browned and mixture has thickened.

French Toast (Jimmy is semi-famous for his French Toast) 4 large eggs 1 cup milk 1 tablespoon sugar 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional) pinch salt 1 loaf white sandwich bread* Vegetable oil or butter for frying Maple Syrup for serving Directions: Add the first 6 ingredients into a large mixing bowl.

Mix well. Preheat a large skillet over medium heat, melting 1-2 tablespoons of butter or heating oil in skillet. Quickly dip a slice of bread into egg mixture (about 2 seconds each side) and place into hot skillet, repeat with 2 slices (or as many will fit skillet). Cook about 3-4 minutes each side or until golden brown. Remove from pan and serve or place on a baking sheet in a warm (200 -250 degree oven) until ready to serve). Repeat with remaining slices of bread until you have as many servings as you need, adding additional oil or butter to grease pan as needed.

Serve with your favorite syrup.

*Can use thicker bread if you would prefer. I also like to dust a little bit of confectioner’s sugar on mine occasionally.

Editor’s note: Jimmy Hires coached Richmond Hill High School to three Georgia High School Association state basketball titles in Class A, turning the then-tiny coastal school into a state powerhouse. In all he coached nearly 800 games as a high school coach, going 647-151. In 2014 Hires was inducted into the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

And yes, he was loud on the court, but is one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet off of it.

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