Local woman at home in the kitchen

Published 12:01 am Monday, December 24, 2007

Natchez — Most Christmas memories involve food, and Effie Mae Freeman is keeping that memory alive.

Freeman, 83, has been cooking since she got married at the age of 17.

“I got married so young I learned how to cook on my own,” Freeman said. “We didn’t know anything when we got married.”

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After perfecting her skill, Freeman became a housewife with a habit. She now creates desserts, which include peanut chocolate drops, chocolate dipped fig newtons, chocolate pecan clusters, divinity, Oreo cream cheese balls and various cakes. Freeman uses her creativity in order to think of new spins on her dishes.

“Divinity is my favorite, but I love to make cakes too; they all come from scratch,” Freeman said.

Every Christmas her kitchen and freezer are transformed into a whirlwind of blenders, cookbooks and food. She begins two weeks before Christmas and does not stop until her seven children, 12 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren have eaten her meals and desserts.

“They would rather me sit down and watch them cook, but this is my kitchen,” she said.

Her children and grandchildren share her talent for cooking, Freeman said. She also teaches them new techniques and allows them to perfect their skills.

“Everyone has the ability to cook,” Freeman said. “It’s all in doing it.”

Freeman also cans vegetables and preserves. All the produce she uses comes out of her own garden. But many of the things Freeman makes, she cannot enjoy herself.

“I am a diabetic so I do this for everyone else,” Freeman said.

And she doesn’t plan on stopping.

“I’ll cook as long as I am able to put one foot in front of the other,” she said.