BOONVILLE, Mo. — For Deloris Patton, food and social life are closely linked. Her farming heritage has impacted both, from the style of food she cooks to the importance she puts on being a good host and helping provide food for friends and family.
“We’re farm folks from long ago,” she says.
Patton and her husband, Marshall, live in Boonville now. She volunteered with the local hospital auxiliary, and started making desserts for their twice-a-year bake sales. She quickly became known as someone who enjoys cooking for people in the community, family and neighbors.
“Especially at Christmas time, I like to bake for neighbors,” she says. “We’ve always enjoyed our neighbors.”
Patton makes a popular cherry pie using cherries from a tree on her property. She likes to have baked goods on hand in the house.
“We love pie,” she says. “Pies have always been my favorite, and of course cookies. We can’t hardly go a week or so without baking cookies. They’re just handy to have on hand.”
Another favorite is her grandmother’s raspberry cake recipe, as well as her “million dollar sugar cookies,” Payday bars and a pork chop and potatoes recipe that’s one of her favorites for Sunday dinner. Patton says her cooking style is simple and down-home.
“I don’t do fancy,” she says.
Patton mostly gets her recipes from family cookbooks, although sometimes she checks online for new recipes to try. She says she also gets her love of cooking and entertaining guests from her family.
“I just want to share my favorite things,” she says. “I come from a family of good cooks. My grandmother probably entertained every day, Marshall’s mother probably entertained every day, with hired hands or whoever came by on the farm. My mother was a good cook as well.”