Martinsville Bulletin, Inc.
P. O. Box 3711
204 Broad Street
Martinsville, Virginia 24115
Toll Free: 800-234-6575
Moorefield learned to get cooking young
Linda Moorefield, the wife of the pastor of Bible Baptist Church in Collinsville, is getting ready for a big holiday event Friday evening: the church’s Victorian Christmas social. People will be dressed in period clothing, there will be displays of Christmas bells, trains, villages and Nativity scene and, of course, cookies and other refreshments. Moorefield enjoys cooking. She didn’t cook when she was growing up, but as a teenaged newlywed she learned by example that a young person can cook well. The Victorian Christmas social will be held from 6-8 p.m. at the church on Spring Drive in Collinsville. (Bulletin photos by Vicky Morrison)
When Linda Moorefield was a newlywed, she thought good cooking required experience. It took one dinner at the home of an 18-year-old friend to prove her wrong.
As a 19-year-old newlywed, Moorefield, now 68, and her husband were invited to have dinner at the home of Nancy and Clyde Morris of South Boston. The Morrises were newlyweds also, and they still are friends with the Moorefields today.
According to Moorefield, Nancy Morris made an excellent meal that left an impression on her for life. “Just the fact that I saw what she did” cooking, Moorefield said, pausing briefly to reflect on the amazement, “and I was like ‘Hey, somebody young can cook!’”
Morris’ meal got Moorefield to start a lifelong career of cooking. “She (Morris) gave me the inspiration to branch out and try different things,” Moorefield said. In fact, the yeast rolls Morris served at that dinner still are a staple for the Moorefields.
Before dinner with the Morrises, Moorefield tried her hand at food preparation just once when she baked a cake for a school event instead of asking her mother, the late Thelma Powell. The teenaged Moorefield made a chocolate cake with chocolate icing that “turned out great,” she said.
When Moorefield was a child, her mother was the only one who cooked for Moorefield and her eight siblings. “I watched, and we helped with the preparation,” Moorefield said. The family raised their own food, and her mother didn’t really follow recipes.
Moorefield has been cooking consistently ever since the meal she shared with the Morrises. She still cooks today even though her three sons, Jeff, Chris and Mark, are grown and have moved out. Every Sunday, she and her husband host family dinners for up to nine local relatives.
The typical Sunday dinner Moorefield cooks includes classics such as chicken and dumplings, lasagna or pot roast and sometimes unusual entrees such as chicken breast supreme. Moorefield’s chicken breast supreme is made with dry beef-wrapped, boneless chicken tenderloins with a sauce of sour cream, bacon and cream of chicken soup.
At Christmas, Moorefield said, she makes “goodies,” such as cookies and candies. Moorefield said each year she asks her children, “What kind of Christmas goodies do you want?” One of their favorite candies is walnut and coconut dipped in chocolate.
Many recipes she uses come from a nearly 50-year-old edition of “McCall’s Cookbook.” When Moorefield was soon to be married, she asked her mother for the cookbook. Her favorite recipes from it include its pie pastry and blueberry muffin recipes.
Generally, Moorefield said, “I find lots of recipes when you’re out and about.” She enjoys the recipes in “Taste of Home” and area church cookbooks. The church cookbooks are her favorite because the recipes use “ingredients you can find in our area,” she said.
One of the main churches where Moorefield gets recipes is where her husband is pastor: Bible Baptist Church in Collinsville. At each homecoming service, the church invites members to bring their favorite dishes. Many bring the recipes with them or are happy to provide one upon request, she explained. It’s convenient to get new recipes that way because “that way it’s something you know you’ll like before you try (to cook) it.”
The church will serve up some holiday-themed goodies Friday when it holds its second annual Victorian Christmas. Featuring more than just carolers and hot chocolate, Bible Baptist will create the classic ambiance of Victorian celebrations through period costume and food. Some of the costumes have been made, and others were purchased. Moorefield helped sew many of the costumes.
A live Nativity scene will be outdoors. In addition to the Nativity, a miniature church scene will be on display. Christmas bells and a Christmas model train and village will be on view, too.
Best of all, an array of classic cookies will put the icing on the event. Some of the cookies are from Victorian recipes, but regarding some Moorefield said she is “not sure if it’s Victorian, but they’re delicious.”
The event be held from 6-8 p.m. Friday.