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Passion for cooking leads to cookbook for Selma native

Joyce Marie Ross remembers clearly the first thing she ever cooked.

She was eight years old and decided to make French fries and potato chips with her relatives.

She recalled pushing potatoes through the cutter they had and dropping them into pans of sizzling-hot grease.

Ross was surrounded by all sorts of good food growing up. Her grandmother on her mother’s side, Rosa Bell Hines, made the best gingerbread. Her other grandmother, Mary Frances McWilliams, created mouth-watering blackberry slickem dumplings.

Blackberry slickem dumplings, Ross explained, was taking blackberries and boiling them down until the juice came out.

Then, you take dumplings made out of pie crust and bake them in the juice.

Ross’s love of good food and cookie carried through to her marriage to C. Ross, now her ex-husband. Both of them had a sweet tooth, she said.

But, she didn’t have enough of any particular ingredient to make a cake.

So, she started experimenting and putting different things together.

What resulted are her trademark Cherry Almond Delight Cookies.

Ross began making the cookies for friends and relatives. They loved them. So, she kept on baking them.

In 1996, while attending Wallace Community College, she received a letter about publishing her recipe in a book.

She put it away and did not look at it again until early in 2002, when she moved. Then, she came across the letter.

In the interim, she had been trying to market the cherry almond delights to bakeries both in and out of state. She had also created other recipes that range in everything from fish to black-eyed peas. The result was &uot;Marie’s Magnificent Recipes,&uot; which is now available for purchase through the phone or online.

Ross has enjoyed writing the first book so much that she is already working on creating more recipes for a second book.

And, for those who want to try out one of &uot;Marie’s Magnificent Recipes,&uot; here is the recipe that started it all:

CHERRY ALMOND DELIGHT

2 Cups of plain flour

2 cups of sugar

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon

salt

1 cup of sliced almonds

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

1/3 cup melted butter

1/4 cup of milk

1 teaspoon of vanilla flavor

1 tablespoon of honey

1/2 cup slice cherries

Directions:

Mix together all liquids for 30 seconds.

Next pour liquid into dry ingredients then mix for 12 seconds. Grease your cooking sheet. Put teaspoon size of cookie dough on cookie sheet. Bake at 3500 for 7 minutes or till lightly brown.