Great Georgia cooks: All in the family
‘Winning’ recipes from the McCrarys
BY JENNIFER J. HEWETT
When the McCrary family gathers together, the food is sure to be good.
“I have always loved to cook, as did my mom, grandmother and great-grandmother,” Mary Ann McCrary recalls. In addition to working with her husband of 39 years, Charlie, at McCrary Electric, the business they owned for 22 years and recently sold in Thomaston, Mary Ann is an avid painter; she also writes a cooking column for the Thomaston Times and is featured on cooking segments of WMAZ-TV’s newscasts in Macon. She and Charlie are long-time members of Southern Rivers Energy in Barnesville.
Over the years, Mary Ann has passed the love of being in the kitchen on to her three daughters, Christine McCrary Driver, Angelyn “Angie” McCrary Sheppard and Ashley-Barron McCrary, as well as to granddaughter Marlie Driver. Not only do they enjoy cooking at home, developing new recipes and sharing them with friends, they create award-winning recipes on the cooking competition circuit.
“My youngest daughter, Ashley, is the one who got all of us interested in the cooking competitions at the Georgia National Fair,” Mary Ann says. “She was very active in the 4-H and started competing in those competitions first.”
“Christine is a wonderful and very innovative cook,” says mother Mary Ann. Among her cooking achievements at the Georgia National Fair in Perry are a first-place win in the Georgia Egg Commission Breakfast Club Contest in 2000; placing second in the Shedd’s Spread Country Crock “Muffins Anytime” contest in 1999; and placing third in Fleischmann’s breadworld.com “Special Occasion” Bread Contest in 2001.
Christine, a right-of-way appraiser for the Georgia Department of Transportation, lives at The Rock with hubby, Shane, and daughter Marlie. They are members of Upson EMC in Thomaston.
“Angie will work on recipes for the entire year so that she has it just right before going to the fair,” says Mary Ann of her middle daughter. “She has way too much energy for the rest of us.” Angie placed first in the 2000 and 2003 Cluckin’ Good Chicken Favorite Recipe contests, first in the Adult Division [Cake] Mix Tricks contest in 1999, and first in Fleischmann’s Best Ever “Special Occasion” Bread Competition in 1989, among her culinary achievements.
Angie is married to Robbie Sheppard and has twins, Annie Grace and Charlie Grayson. She is a past Washington Youth Tour delegate and currently works as a systems support specialist with the Georgia Department of Transportation. She and her family will again be members of Upson EMC once their new house is built.
“Ashley and I won as a team in the Land O’Lakes competition at the Georgia National Fair, but in the general baking competitions, she has won many blue ribbons,” says Mary Ann of her youngest daughter. “Ashley has found a lot of people who work at the hospital who also like to cook and has had a wonderful time exchanging recipes with them.” Her pear jam was featured in a display of American foods at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, and she has won the youth sweepstakes award for the most blue ribbons for five consecutive years, as well as winning the Ball Award several times at the fair for her jams and jellies.
Ashley works as a registered respiratory therapist at the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon. She is a member of Central Georgia EMC in Jackson.
Below are favorite and award-winning recipes from Mary Ann, Christine, Angie and Ashley.
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