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Today is December 3, 2021

Featured Cookbook

My Delicious Mississippi Life

By Sandra M. Buckley

My Delicious Mississippi Life

There are three things that Deborah Hunter of Ridgeland is especially passionate about: Southern hospitality, Mississippi and cooking. 

“Southern hospitality is so much more than a slogan, it’s a wonderful way of life,” said Deborah, whose nickname has been Honey since childhood. “Mississippi is the place you really can pull up a chair, make yourself right at home and enjoy some of the best people, food and entertainment in the world while you’re at it!”

As far as cooking, that passion did not take root until she was an adult. It came after she experienced a personal tragedy, the loss of her brother, which shook her comfortable, content life. One day while standing in her gourmet kitchen, deep in grief and trying to make sense of her pain, she was struck with the thought that she didn’t use or appreciate her beautiful kitchen. In that moment, the Bible verse, “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think,” Ephesians 3:20, came to her. And in a blend of sorrow and faith, she uttered this prayer: “Dear Lord, please teach me how to cook.”

Not understanding at that time the incredible chain of events that would soon follow, Deborah, at age 45, began a journey that she would have never dreamed – and it started with baking her very first cake. She dove headfirst into learning to cook and then started to creatively share her new hobby with others on social media. From there, she launched a successful social media and local television brand called “Cooking with Honey and Friends.” That led to her six-year career hosting Mississippi Public Broadcasting’s “Deep South Dining” program, which ranked No. 1 in the state for local programming last year. Her latest venture is the debut of her cookbook and memoir, “My Delicious Mississippi Life.”

“There are so many wonderful memories that lie between the pages of this cookbook,” she said, noting that one of those is Mama Genary’s Homemade Chocolate Cake recipe from her grandmother, Genary Edwards Hunter. “She was such a graceful woman with the warmest heart you could ever find. Whenever I saw her, she would give me the biggest hug. I could feel the love and joy coming from the heart.”

The book also shares treasured quotes from her other grandmother, Daisy Bell Morris. One is, “Be willing to speak before you are spoken to, and always speak with kindness. And, if nobody speaks back still, it’s ok; they heard your kindness.” “Her wisdom was very simple, never complicated; and when she spoke, it was in a tone that made you want to listen and remember everything she was saying,” Deborah said.  “Without a doubt, I know it’s that wisdom and the kindness of her voice that carries me every day of my life, especially when things are a little difficult.”

For Deborah, “My Delicious Mississippi Life” is more than an opportunity to share special recipes and her life’s story – it is also intended to encourage others to follow their dreams and inspire adventures both in and out of the kitchen. 

“We seem to always be in a hurry, but my one prayer for the readers, which I hope echoes from my heart and the pages of this cookbook, is that people would absolutely find some time to slow down a little. My hope is that they create a space for a delicious meal and to indulge themselves in the most wonderful conversation to better take care of themselves, their families and friends,” she said. “Because at the end of the day, it is those kinds of delicious moments and memories that will matter the most. It is what will make a life worth living!”

By turning heartache into healing, Deborah continues to bring life to her three passions – Southern hospitality, Mississippi and cooking – thanks to Ephesians 3:20 and that one simple prayer. “I hope to always be that curious little girl, in the presence of God, discovering something new every day about myself,” she said, “and that somehow, my life and love will be a testimony to others that faith, a little prayer and determination truly will take you on the most amazing life adventures.”

To purchase the cookbook, in print or eBook, visit Search Cooking-With-Honey-and-Friends on Facebook for more information.

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