Name: Harold Tony Martin Sr.
Family: I have three children: sons Harold Tony Martin Jr., born in Italy, and William Christopher Martin, and a daughter, Kimberly Anne Martin. I have three granddaughters, one grandson and two great grandkids.
Background: I was born in Athens on a farm and moved to Chamblee when I was 10. I grew up there until I went to college in Tennessee, then spent four years as a commissioned officer in the Army, separating as a captain. For 40 years, I was a teacher and a coach. I moved to LaGrange four years ago and built my house in the Mountville community.
Job: I am a retired teacher and football coach – 33 years in Georgia and seven years in Virginia.
Hobbies, activities: Working on my property and teaching exercise class at the Active Life senior center.
How did you learn to cook? When I had to.
What ingredient is always in your pantry or refrigerator? Tabasco sauce, garlic, romaine lettuce and chow chow.
What is your favorite cooking tool? My little cast iron skillet that I make my cornbread in. It cooks good and is just enough for me and my little dog, Lucky.
Do you have a favorite cookbook? I don’t own one.
What would people be surprised to find in your kitchen? Sardines.
When you go out to eat, what is your favorite thing to order? Greek salad and green lasagna.
What recipe is your comfort food that reminds you of home? Cornbread, butter peas, creamed corn, okra, fresh collard greens, vine-ripened tomato and Vidalia onion.
Do you have a favorite cost-saving cooking idea? I buy and cut my own filet steaks.
What was your biggest disaster in the kitchen? I tried to boil eggs in a microwave and it blew out the glass of the microwave.
What is your “old faithful” recipe that you rely on time after time? Family style ribs cooked in Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey Chipotle barbecue sauce overnight in the crock pot, along with oven-baked sweet potato with brown sugar, cinnamon and butter. I eat the potato peeling also, as it is very healthy for you.
What is the weirdest thing you ever ate or cooked? Rattlesnake, which tasted like chicken, and bear meat, which is very greasy. I ate them at a wild game supper.
4 bone-in thick pork chops
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon lemon pepper
Dry mustard, to taste
1 (32 ounce) can chicken with rice soup
Melt Crisco in a frying pan. Sprinkle a mixture of flour, garlic powder, lemon pepper and dry mustard on both sides of each pork chop. Sear both sides of each chop, then put them in a crock pot. Add Crisco, fry pan sear both sides then put in crock pot with chicken with rice soup and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours.
2 1/2 cup self-rising corn meal (I use Nora Mill)
2 - 3 jalapeno peppers, diced
1 (17 ounce) can creamed corn
2 medium onions, chopped
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine self-rising corn meal with all the other ingredients, mix well. Pour into a well-greased iron skillet or muffin pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
Swai fish filets
Take a big filet of Swai and sprinkle with lemon pepper, garlic, lemon juice and blackening seasoning. Wrap in foil and cook on the grill until flaky. Add Tabasco sauce to taste.
1 package shredded cabbage
Walnuts or almonds, chopped
Toss all ingredients together.
Baked Sweet Potatoes
Take a medium to large size sweet potato and wash it well. Rub it with butter, then wrap in foil and bake at 350 degrees until soft, about 45 minutes. When it’s done, it will be so tender you can eat the peeling. Sprinkle with cinnamon, but there’s no need to add more butter.
To a bowl of cooked oatmeal, add any or all of the following:
Chopped almonds or pecans
Then add 1 tablespoon of pure virgin coconut oil. This gives it a great taste and a great consistency.