Thanksgiving meal comes early for Tupelo family | Food | – Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal

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Nena Lowe’s pork tenderloins marinate overnight in a mixture of oil, soy sauce, vinegar, lemon juice and spices. See her recipes, Page 9A.
Pork Tenderloin

Nena Lowe’s pork tenderloins marinate overnight in a mixture of oil, soy sauce, vinegar, lemon juice and spices. See her recipes, Page 9A.
TUPELO – Tonight, Nena Lowe will have close to two dozen people at her home for the annual Thanksgiving Eve meal.
“We’ve always done Thanksgiving on Wednesday night,” Lowe said. “We did it that way when Mama was alive, and we still do it. Used to, the men would go hunting on Thursday, so we did the meal the night before. But now that the Egg Bowl has been moved back to Thanksgiving Day, they won’t go hunting until Friday.”
The Thanksgiving Eve meal will look like this: Lowe will prepare turkey, ham, dressing, cranberry sauce, purple-hull peas, creamed corn, mustard greens, dirty rice, potato casserole, slaw, deviled eggs and rolls. Guests will provide the desserts.
“On Thursday, we’ll just lie around all day,” Lowe said. “We’ll put leftover ham in biscuits or rolls, and I’ll make crab canapes, jalapeno poppers and curry dip with vegetables. That will be our lunch. That night, I’ll fix vegetable soup, or chili or spaghetti – something different than a holiday meal.”
Lowe, 59, was born and raised in Tupelo, the youngest of four children – and the only girl – born to the late Dan and Willene Hester. She’s graduated from Tupelo High School in 1979, then went on to Ole Miss to study education.
She and her husband, Lacey, a retired pilot for Fed-Ex, lived in Germantown after they married, but moved home to Tupelo in 1992. They have three children; Lacey III and his wife, Emily, live in Oxford; Mitch and his wife, Callan, live in Tupelo; and daughter Hester also lives in Tupelo. The Lowes’ also have two grandchildren, William and Charlotte, and another one on the way.
“Both of my boys and my daughter are also big cooks, and my daughters-in-law are good cooks, too,” Lowe said. “Hester cooks more healthy than I do.”
Lowe calls herself a country cook. She didn’t spend time in the kitchen learning from her mother, but she paid attention and watched a lot.
“I’d help her put up peas and corn in the summer,” Lowe said. “The boys helped, too. So I still do things like that. When I married, I knew what to do, I just hadn’t really had to do it until then. I was too busy being a tomboy – riding motorcycles, fishing, skiing – I still I am, I guess.”
Lowe co-owns Warehouse 605, a home furnishings shop on Daybrite Drive that’s typically open three days a month. So she has plenty of time to cook for her family – sometimes five nights a week.
She might make sauerkraut and weenies, purple-hull peas, creamed corn and potato salad, or pork tenderloins, mustard greens, butter peas and deviled eggs.
“I never know who’s going to show up for a meal,” she said. “I always make plenty.”
DO YOU KNOW A GOOD COOK? Send your nominations to Ginna Parsons, Cook of the Week, P.O. Box 909, Tupelo, MS 38802. Or you can call (662) 678-1581 or email them to
6 cups biscuit crumbs
10 cups cornbread crumbs
1 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon sage
1 cup chopped onion
2 cups chopped celery 
4 sticks butter, melted
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth, or more
In a large bowl, combine biscuit crumbs, cornbread crumbs, salt, pepper, poultry seasoning and sage. Stir in onion and celery, then melted butter. Add broth and stir until everything is combined. Pour into a large greased pan and bake, covered, at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 minutes more. Serves 25.
1 (8-ounce) block cream cheese
8 ounces shredded Parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons diced jalapenos, from a jar
1 large egg, beaten
3 cups Panko Japanese breadcrumbs
In a bowl, combine cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, jalapenos and beaten egg. Roll into small balls, and roll the balls in the Panko breadcrumbs. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes or until they start to brown.
1 jar Kraft Old English Cheese Spread
1 stick butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 can white crab meat, drained and picked through
1 package English muffins 
In a bowl, combine cheese spread, softened butter, garlic powder, seasoned salt and mayonnaise. Gently fold in the crab meat.
Split the English muffins in half, so you have 12 rounds. Divide the crab mixture evenly on top of the muffins. Cut each muffin round into six wedges, like a pie.
Place the wedges on a cookie sheet and freeze through. Once frozen, place the wedges in ziptop freezer bags.
When ready to cook, place frozen wedges on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes. (They must be frozen to cook.)
Pork Tenderloin
1/2 cup peanut oil
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
2 pork tenderloins
In a large ziptop bag, combine oil, soy sauce, vinegar, lemon juice, Worcestershire, garlic, parsley, dry mustard and pepper. Add the tenderloins. Seal the bag and place in the refrigerator. Marinate overnight.
When ready to cook, sear the tenderloins in a hot pan for 5 minutes on each side. Place in the oven and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Let cool before slicing.
1 cup Hellmann’s mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Durkee sauce
1 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 heaping tablespoon prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
Tabasco sauce
Black pepper
Raw vegetables, for serving
Combine mayonnaise, Durkee sauce, celery seed, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, horseradish, curry powder, seasoned salt and Tabasco and pepper to taste. Refrigerate overnight. Serve with raw vegetables, such as carrots, broccoli, celery, cauliflower, bell pepper strips, etc.
1 box Duncan Hines yellow cake mix
1 small box white chocolate pudding
4 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup water
1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
1 (12-ounce) bag white chocolate chips
In a large mixing bowl, combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, oil, water and sour cream. Fold in white chocolate chips. Pour batter into a greased Bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
1 1/2 pounds medium-sized raw shrimp, peeled
1 1/2 sticks butter, melted
3 tablespoons lemon juice
Cayenne pepper
Place shrimp in a single layer in the bottom of a 9×13-inch casserole. Combine melted butter and lemon juice, and pour over shrimp. Sprinkle shrimp lightly with salt and dust with cayenne pepper.
Cover dish with foil and bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes. Serve with a toasted baguette, sliced, for sopping up the juices. This can easily be made ahead, and baked when ready to serve.
Ginna covers food, entertainment and lifestyles for the Daily Journal.
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