Last updated: June 03. 2014 2:31PM - 1756 Views
By Lucie R. Willsie Lifestyles Reporter

 The children and their families of the late James and Maude Easter celebrated Mothers Day this year with a luncheon they catered and held at the Chase and Charli's restaurant.
The children and their families of the late James and Maude Easter celebrated Mothers Day this year with a luncheon they catered and held at the Chase and Charli's restaurant.
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Maude Easter died doing what she loved.


“Mom looked forward all week long to cooking for her family — roughly 50 or so — every Sunday,” said Grace Moore, one of Maude’s six daughters.

One of Maude’s grandsons went to check on grandma Maude one Wednesday after her family couldn’t reach her. Opening the door, smoke greeted him as it billowed through the kitchen door. He made his way through the smoke, and, as he reached a clearing, he found his grandma lying on the floor.

That was nearly fifteen years ago — she died on Aug. 18, 1999, at the age of 88.

Maude Easter was known for being a “great cook,” Moore said.

“My mother cooked the best cabbage,” Moore said, remembering fondly on eating her mom’s cooking.

Her mom would shred some fresh cabbage and put it in a plastic bag for a day or two before the big Sunday family meal after church every week. On Sunday, she would add fatback, sugar, salt and red peppers.

“Mom would even dry her own red peppers,” Moore said.

Then, her mom would mix everything together with the shredded cabbage and serve it up for dinner

An old wood stove stood in Maude Easter’s kitchen, her daughter also distinctly remembers.

Moore’s mom would keep pintos simmering in her old wood stove until a thicken gravy formed. Then, most likely, Moore remembered, her mom would pan-broil them, resulting in a rich and flavorful dish.

Her mom also added fatback to stewed potatoes, as well as peeling potatoes and letting them sit in water to get the starch out.

In honor of James and Maude Easter, the extended Easter family, roughly 50 family and friends, coming from various locations in North Carolina, celebrated the late James and Maude Easter on Mothers Day at Chase and Charli’s Restaurant with a luncheon.

The children and grandchildren of the Easters arranged this slightly different Mothers Day party for their moms this year.

“The daughters cooked lunch for their mothers … They wanted to do something special for us,” said Grace Moore, one of the five matriarchs out of six daughters in the Easter family. “One of them is gone now.”

The family does something every year for Mothers Day, but this celebration was the first time the daughters made an entire buffet themselves and held it at a locally owned restaurant on a Sunday when the restaurant is normally closed.

“We’ve never done it before,” Moore said. Moore’s niece and her family owns the restaurant. “They just wanted everyone to get together.”

Some of the guests — Sandy Love, Ginger Moore, Debbie Norman, Karen Hiatt, Casey Hiatt, Lorie Norman, Beverly Marion, Kelly Cave, Pearl Moore, and Shelley Bryant — brought their own homemade culinary creations to celebrate the event.

The meal included ham, chicken tenders, hamburger pie, tossed salad, broccoli, green beans, corn, creamed potatoes, baked beans, mac and cheese, and rolls. The desserts included: chocolate syrup pound cake, honey bun cake, lemon lush, coconut pie, chocolate pie, homemade strawberry and vanilla ice cream, and dirt pudding.

“Most of them are old family recipes,” she said.

Moore mentioned a few tidbits regarding some of these homemade, traditional Easter family dishes.

“The homemade ice cream is a special taste treat,” Moore said. The Honey Bun Cake is really great with coffee. “And, the Lemon Lush cake is simple to make, but also refreshing.”

The “trick” with the baked beans is to use hamburger instead of bacon.

“I just had the idea to start to substitute the bacon with hamburger one day. Not sure why exactly,” she explained. “But it does make a meatier-tasting dish.”

The chocolate cake is actually a “light” dessert, she added.

The creamed potatoes don’t clump up because fatback is used in their preparation.

One of the secrets of the wonderful taste of the creamed potatoes, as well as the clump-free texture, is the use of fatback.

Some of these recipes follow.




(Chef’s note: Must have an ice cream freezer to make.)


Strawberry ice cream

1 quart of frozen sweetened strawberries

2 cups of granulated sugar

1 cup of powdered sugar

1 quart of Half and Half

1 quart of heavy whipping cream

Rock salt


2-percent milk, enough to finish filling up a 6-quart freezer

Vanilla flavoring

5 teaspoons of vanilla flavoring


Add all the ingredients together, including the vanilla if you want vanilla-strawberry flavor combo. Fill the ice cream freezer with all of the ingredients. Then, add enough 2-percent milk to the entire mixture to reach an inch below the rim of the central container with the milk. Use ice and rock salt around the outside edges of the ice cream freezer around the inside container holding the ice cream ingredients in the center. (Chef’s note: Use a little more ice than rock salt. Makes six quarts.)





1 box of yellow cake mix

3/4 cup of Crisco oil

4 eggs

1 cup of sour cream

1 cup of brown sugar

2 teaspoons of cinnamon


1 cup of powdered sugar

2 Tablespoons of milk

1 teaspoon of vanilla


Mix the first four ingredients by hand until well blended. Pour half of this batter into a well-greased 11/14-inch cake pan. Mix the brown sugar and the cinnamon together. Sprinkle half of this mixture onto half of the batter in the pan. Swirl it into the batter. Pour the remaining batter into the pan. Then, sprinkle the remaining sugar and cinnamon mixture on top of this second layer of batter. Again, swirl the sugar mixture into the batter. Bake 1 hour at 300-degrees Fahrenheit. After finished baking and while the cake is still hot, combine the glaze ingredients and pour the glaze over the cake.




1 cup of plain flour

1/2 cup of pecans

1 stick of margarine

1 (8 ounce) package of cream cheese

1 (16 ounce) container of Cool Whip

1 cup of confectioners sugar

3 cup of milk

2 packages of instant lemon pudding


Melt the margarine. Mix in the flour and the nuts. This makes a paste dough. Mash out this mixture into a 9-x-13-inch dish. Bake at 350-degrees Fahrenheit for 15 to 20 minutes. Mix the cream cheese, one half of the Cool Whip container, and sugar together and spread this mixture over the crust. Let set. Top with the remaining Cool Whip and sprinkle nuts on top. (Chef’s note: Garnishing with the nuts is optional.)




1 package of Oreo cookies, crumbled

3/4 of a stick of margarine

1 (12 ounce) container of Cool Whip

1 (8 ounce) package of cream cheese

1 cup of powdered sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla flavoring

2 boxes of instant vanilla pudding

3 cups of milk


Mix the crumbled cookies with the margarine and press into a medium-sized dish. Mix the powdered sugar, cream cheese and half of the Cool Whip. Spread this mixture on top of the cookie mixture in the dish. Mix together the pudding, milk and vanilla. Layer this mixture on top of the first layer of Cool Whip. Then, top with the remainder of the Cool Whip.





3 cups of plain flour

3 cups of sugar

5 eggs

1 cup of milk

1 stick of margarine

1 stick of Crisco

1 (16 ounce) jar or bottle of Hershey chocolate syrup

1 Tablespoon of vanilla

1 teaspoon of baking powder

Chocolate frosting


1-pound box of powdered sugar

1/2 cup of evaporated milk

1/2 cup of Hershey’s cocoa powder

1 stick of margarine, softened

1 teaspoon of Crisco

1 teaspoon of vanilla


Beat the eggs, sugar, margarine, and Crisco together. Add the chocolate syrup to this mixture. Sift in the flour and the baking powder together, and then add the milk to this mixture first before adding the first mixture of eggs, sugar, margarine and Crisco to the flour, baking powder and milk mixture. Bake at 325-degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour and 25 minutes. Mix all the frosting ingredients together and frost when the cake is cooled.




2 cups of uncooked elbow macaroni

8 ounces of cheddar cheese, shredded

1 cup of whole milk

1/2 cup of sour cream

2 eggs

1/4 cup of unsalted butter, melted

1 teaspoon of Texas Pete hot sauce, optional

1/4 teaspoon of salt


Preheat the oven to 350-degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9-x-13-inch baking dish. Set aside. Cook the macaroni according to box directions. Drain. Return the noodles to the saucepan. While the macaroni is still hot, add the cheese and stir well. Spread the macaroni mixture into the baking dish. Whisk the milk, sour cream, eggs, butter and salt together in a bowl. Pour this mixture over the macaroni and bake for 35 to 40 minutes until golden brown and bubbling.




1/2 to 1 pound of ground beef

1 small green pepper, chopped

1 small onion, chopped

1 Tablespoon of bacon grease

2 small cans of pork and beans

3/4 cup of ketchup

1 Tablespoon of prepared mustard

1/2 cup of brown sugar


Brown the beef with the peppers, onions, and bacon grease. Add the beans, ketchup, mustard and brown sugar together. Let this mixture come to a boil for 3 to 5 minutes. Then simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.




8 ounces of cream cheese

3 cups of plain flour

3 sticks of butter or margarine

6 eggs

3 cups of sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla

A dash of salt


Let the cream cheese and butter soften at room temperature. Blend them together well. Add the sugar to this mixture and beat well. Alternate adding the flour and the eggs until all have been blended into the initial mixture. Add the vanilla and mix together for 5 minutes. Pour into a greased and floured tube pan. Bake at 325-degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Lucie R. Willsie can be reached at 336-719-1930 or on Twitter at Lucie R. Willsie.

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