By MATT CRANE
Minnie Fox said regardless of the recipe, a few ingredients should always go in to every meal.
"Joy, happiness, peace and a little amazing grace," Fox said. "You have to feel this to do this, and I can do this."
While residents of Starkville and Oktibbeha County have known her name and tasted her food for years, Fox is on the brink of becoming a national sensation when her cookbook debuts later this year.
"I wanted to write a soul food cookbook with step by step instructions so you can do it yourself," she said. "A lot of people don't know how to cook soul food."
Featuring a collection of original and family recipes, Fox invited friends and community members to her home last Friday for culinary feedback and support.
"I fixed them my chicken and dumplings and tenderloin and apples," she said. "I wanted them to see who it worked, and to give me comments about the recipes."
Fox said her parents were farmers and started cooking at the age of 11.
"They would leave me at home to do the food," she said. "I loved to do anything pertaining to the house, and I loved to cook because that was my enjoyment."
Fox, who worked for 14 years organizing and preparing the menu for the county jail, said it was former Sheriff Dolph Bryan who encouraged her to write the cookbook.
"When I retired, I went to thinking real hard about it," she said. "I just decided to do it because people kept saying, ‘Minnie, as much as you love to cook, you should do a book.'"
Fox said she is excited about the possibility of people across the nation getting a taste of her soul food recipes.
"I'm excited and I thank God and my friends for getting me to do something I wouldn't have thought about if it weren't for them," she said. "It feels good."
Fox said she is confident in the book and its recipes and cannot wait to share them with the world.
"God's brought me a long way, so I'm giving him the praise," she said. "I have enough faith in God to know that this book is about to fly."