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The Dart: Natchez resident’s cuisine ranks supreme

Cynthia Waldrop, left, watches her husband Jody cook breakfast Sunday morning. In the Waldrop household, Jody does all the cooking, while Cynthia handles the cleaning. A retired investigator for the Adams County Sheriff’s Office, Jody has always loved to cook. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

Cynthia Waldrop, left, watches her husband Jody cook breakfast Sunday morning. In the Waldrop household, Jody does all the cooking, while Cynthia handles the cleaning. A retired investigator for the Adams County Sheriff’s Office, Jody has always loved to cook. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ In the Waldrop household, the kitchen is Jody’s domain.

The West Monroe native can often be found cooking up breakfast, lunch and dinner for him and his wife, Cynthia, often using recipes passed down to him from his mother and other family members.

Jody cuts the corn bread he made for breakfast. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

Jody cuts the corn bread he made for breakfast. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

“I guess I’ve been cooking just out of necessity for at least 30 years,” Jody said. “I’ve just always loved to cook.”

When The Dart landed on Duncan Avenue Saturday afternoon, the Waldrops were enjoying a relaxing Saturday afternoon.

Normally, Jody would have been preparing to cook supper at that time.

But Jody, who retired from the Adams County Sheriff’s Office with 24 years of law enforcement experience, got a break from the kitchen since he and his wife were attending a birthday party for a family friend that evening.

Even Cynthia admitted the scene was a bit unusual for them.

“He usually cooks everything, and I don’t mind at all,” she said smiling. “I just clean.”

When Cynthia gets off work from Riverpark Medical Center in Vidalia during the week, Jody normally has supper waiting for her at their house.

Supper, combined with breakfast each morning, make for a variety of meals Jody prepares for him and his wife each week.

Jody describes his cooking style as having an “Acadian influence,” which he credits to the recipes he learned while growing up in West Monroe.

Jody cooks breakfast at their Duncan Avenue home. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

Jody cooks breakfast at their Duncan Avenue home. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

Those recipes range from simple items, such as hot water cornbread that’s made by mixing cornmeal and water, to more complex items, such as blueberry skillet pie.

Sunday morning, Jody prepared gravy, rice, beans and some deer meat for breakfast before attending church service.

Cooking in the Waldrop household once entailed feeding a few more mouths.

When Jody and Cynthia married 15 years ago, they combined their own families in their own Brady Bunch style way.

Jody had two children, Jeremy and Sarah, and Cynthia had two children, Meghan and William.

The children ranged in ages from 13 to 10, but Cynthia said she and Jody were fortunate that everyone was able to get along in their new family.

“It definitely had its challenges,” she said. “But everyone got along great.”

Now, their family is spread out across the Miss-Lou, but keeping in touch is as important as ever for Jody and Cynthia, who are now proud grandparents.

“But we don’t like to be called grandpa and grandma,” Jody said. “They call me ‘Big Daddy’ and her ‘CC.’

“We’re too young to be called grandparents.”