By Ginna Parsons
CORINTH – If you’re a friend of Billy Carl “B.C.” Lipford and you get sick, you can just about count on him delivering a pecan pie to your doorstep.
“Every Thursday morning, a group of about 30 of us meet at Martha’s Menu for breakfast,” said Lipford, 71. “If one of them is sick, I’ll take them a pie. In fact, I have this neighbor and he caught me in the foyer at church and kind of hung his head and pretended to look real sickly and said, ‘B.C., how sick do I have to be to get one of your pecan pies?’”
But Lipford hasn’t always been a cook. He only took an interest in the kitchen about 20 years ago, when Chef Emeril Lagasse became popular on television.
“I’d watch his shows and then I’d get on the Internet and try to make a recipe he’d done the night before,” he said. “I used to tell my wife, ‘I believe he’s left stuff out of this recipe because if he gave me this on his show, I wouldn’t eat it.’”
Today, he enjoys watching Ree Drummond, “The Pioneer Woman,” and Ina Garten, “The Barefoot Contessa.”
“A lot of stuff the Pioneer Woman cooks is the kind of stuff we like, so I’ll make stuff she does,” he said. “And Ina Garten cooks a lot of down-to-earth stuff on her show. Sometimes, I’ll watch ‘Farmhouse Rules’ and go to the Web page the day after and get her recipes.”
Lipford and his wife, Margaret, have two sons, Ryan, who lives in Corinth; and Andy, who lives in Durham, North Carolina, with his wife, Kelly, and four daughters, Katie, Kaycee, Amelia and Annabelle. For 28 years, the Lipfords had Kiddie Kollege, a daycare in Corinth. They sold the business in 2013.
“Margaret worked as many hours a day as I did or more and I didn’t think it was fair for her to have to come in and cook, so we kind of shared it,” he said. “I like to get minute steaks and bread them and cook them and have creamed potatoes and peas and a pone of cornbread. Simple stuff. We’re no connoisseurs.”
Lipford says he cooks two to three times a week and very seldom on the weekends, when the couple likes to eat out.
“For 32 to 35 years, my family and my sister’s family ate over at Mama’s every Sunday unless we were on vacation,” he said. “When we lost them, man, you talk about a void. My biggest regret is I didn’t learn how to make her biscuits. They were so good that you’d have two or three for breakfast and then in the afternoon, after school, you’d come home and she’d have a dishcloth laying over them on a plate and they’d be just as good as they were that morning. I’ve tried to make them, but mine are like hockey pucks. It’s all in the way you handle the dough.”