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Last updated: August 13. 2014 6:49AM - 815 Views
By Lucie R. Willsie Lifestyles Reporter lwillsie@civitasmedia.com



Cornflake Chicken by Ann Lankford
Cornflake Chicken by Ann Lankford
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The Lankfords have a long tradition of cooking and baking in their family. In fact, Elsie Davis the grandmother of Ann Lankford, the matriarch of the Lankford family, remembered how the family gathered around a big Sunday dinner grandma Davis would make every week back in Anson County.


They go back at least four generations.


“I’m sure it goes back further than that,” Ann Lankford said.


In fact, Ann Lankford has a mixer — a Sunbeam mixer — that her grandmother, Elsie Davis, first used to cook and bake with. Great-grandma Davis was known for her special pound cake that she made with this very same mixer.


“It’s the only item of hers I hoped for when Elsie Davis passed,” Ann Lankford said.


The mixer is still going strong today and being used by Lankford and her family, her husband Van, a co-owner at Home Instead Senior Care, her daughter Molly, pursuing a nursing degree at Surry Community College, and her son Evan, a sports management student at Western Carolina University.


“It’s close to 50 years old,” she said. “We’ve all made dishes with this mixer.”


Helen Faulkner, Lankford’s mom, and Ruth Davis, Lankford’s great-aunt, her father’s sister, also did a lot of cooking. So cooking and baking is a legacy being passed down from both sides of the family.


Ann Lankford started cooking around 7 years old, learning from her mom.


“She was a stay-at-home mom and always cooked meals,” Ann Lankford said.


But her mom never wrote any recipes down on paper and just had it memorized in her head.


“One of the things I remember best is making meatloaf,” she said.


Her mom’s secret to her meatloaf recipe is the addition of Worcestershire Sauce.


The thought of her mom’s special meatloaf recipe is a bittersweet memory for Ann Lankford. You see, this meatloaf dish was the last dish Lankford made for her mom before she died. “I made three loaves on Monday and put two in the freezer for later.” But her mom died on Thursday that same week.


Daughter Molly, now 22, has been learning these family recipes from her mom since she was around 8 years old. The first recipe she remembers making was chocolate chip cookies, though she has gotten much more proficient in her cooking since then. She’s trying all sorts of other types of cooking and baking.


“Right now, I like crock pot recipes,” she said. She started with crock pot cooking by making a chicken and dumpling recipe that a friend had made and just kept trying other crock pot recipes from there.


She likes baking too, not just because she loves sweets, but because it’s usually the time she also spends with her mom, especially around the holidays.


“We spend the whole day baking,” she said. “It’s together time.”


She also is getting lots of practice in all manner of cooking because she is preparing dinner for the family almost every night with both her parents working. Dinner is on the table when her mom and dad come home.


The Sweet Potato Pie came from grandma Helen Faulkner.


“This is Mom’s recipe. Mom made it as we were growing up,” said Ann Lankford. “She made it for every reunion we went to.”


One of the tricks to the Hot Potato Soup recipe is to make sure to soften the cream cheese before using it in the soup, Ann Lankford said.


The Cornflake Chicken recipe, however, is “just something I had in my head,” Lankford said. “I didn’t have it written down. I also don’t remember where I first saw it.”


The Hot Potato Soup recipe Lankford thinks she first saw on Pinterest, but then made it here own.


And the Chocolate Pie recipe, well, the kids, Molly and Evan, just thought it sounded yummy.


Remember, Evan Lankford reminds folks, that you can learn more and more about cooking and how to do it right when you least expect it. For example, when he was making the Chocolate Pie recipe with his sister, he didn’t read it all the way through and had to run to the store at the last minute to get an ingredient he didn’t have.


“So, make sure to read the entire recipe through first before you start,” he advised.


Evan Lankford just recently started to become interested in cooking. He’s concentrating mainly on grilling and marinating. His initial foray into marinating started with a simple all-purpose marinade made with Worcestershire Sauce and butter, especially for steaks, or a dry rub for burgers from Olde Thompson.


The family plans on continuing their long-held cooking tradition in their new home here in Mount Airy, where they moved about three months ago from Mocksville.


“It’s a big milestone for us,” Ann Lankford said. “A dream plan for us … And we love it. We just love it here.”


RECIPES


SWEET POTATO PIE


BY THE LANKFORD FAMILY


FROM GRANDMA HELEN FAULKNER’S RECIPE


INGREDIENTS


2 cups of sweet potatoes


2 eggs


1 stick of margarine


1 cup of sugar


1 cup of evaporated milk


1 large package of instant vanilla pudding


2 unbaked pie shells


DIRECTIONS


Mix all the ingredients together with an electric mixer until the batter is smooth. Pour into the unbaked pie shells. Bake at 300- to 325-degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes or until set.


CHOCOLATE PIE


BY THE LANKFORD FAMILY


FROM MOLLY AND EVAN LANKFORD


INGREDIENTS


6 eggs


3 cups of sugar


1 stick of melted margarine


6 Tablespoons of cocoa


2 large cans of milk (Pet)


DIRECTIONS


Mix the eggs, sugar, margarine, and cocoa. Add the milk. Bake at 350-degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes. Makes 2 deep-dish pies.


HEAVENLY HASH CAKE


BY THE LANKFORD FAMILY


FROM GRANDMA HELEN FAULKNER’S RECIPE


INGREDIENTS


Cake


4 eggs


4 teaspoons of vanilla


2 cups of sugar


4 Tablespoons of cocoa


1 cup of chopped nuts


1 1/2 plus 4 Tablespoons of self-rising flour


2 sticks of melted margarine


Icing


1/2 box of 10X confectioners sugar


4 Tablespoons of softened margarine


4 Tablespoons of cocoa


4 Tablespoons of canned milk


Extra Ingredient


Marshmallow crème, 1 to 2 jars


DIRECTIONS


Mix all the ingredients together and bake at 350-degrees Fahrenheit for 25 to 30 minutes in a 15-inch-x-9-inch pan (greased or use Pam). Spread 1 jar of marshmallow crème on top of the hot cake. (Cook’s Note: Sometimes I use two jars of marshmallow crème.) Let it cool. Then, ice with chocolate icing.


CORNFLAKE CHICKEN


BY THE LANKFORD FAMILY


FROM ANN LANKFORD


INGREDIENTS


6 to 8 skinless chicken breasts or tenderloins


Cornflakes (crushed)


Margarine (melted)


Parmesan cheese


DIRECTIONS


Mix the crushed cornflakes and cheese together. Dip the chicken into the melted margarine and then roll the chicken into the cornflake mixture. Salt and pepper to taste or use seasoning salt. Place the chicken into a greased casserole dish. Bake at 350-degrees for about 45 minutes. (Cook’s Note: This is also good when baked with spaghetti sauce over it after the chicken is done and then served over spaghetti.)


HOT POTATO SOUP


BY THE LANKFORD FAMILY


FROM ANN LANKFORD


INGREDIENTS


1 package of cream cheese (not fat-free)


1 30-ounce bag of frozen diced hash browns


1 32-ounce box of chicken broth


1 can of cream of chicken soup (8 ounces)


3 ounces of bacon bits


1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese


Salt and pepper to taste


DIRECTIONS


Put the hash browns, chicken brother, cream of chicken soup and salt and pepper in a crock pot. Cook on low for 6 hours or until the potatoes are soft. An hour before serving, cut the cream cheese into small cubes and place the cubes into the crock pot — stirring often. The soup is ready to serve when the cream cheese is completely mixed in. Before serving in individual bowls, add the cheese and bacon bits on top.


Lucie R. Willsie can be reached at 336-415-4699 or on Twitter at LucieR.Willsie.


 
 
 
 
 
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