Troy University First Lady unveils school’s third edition cookbook

Published 11:00 pm Friday, November 9, 2012

First Lady Janice Hawkins holds open the third edition cookbook of Troy University, ‘Celebrating 125 Years of Tastes and Traditions at Troy University’ Friday morning at Trojan Arena.

Troy University First Lady Janice Hawkins unveiled Troy University’s third edition cookbook, “Celebrating 125 Years of Tastes & Traditions at Troy University,” Friday morning at Trojan Arena.

The 2012 volume of the Troy University cookbook is more than a cookbook. It uniquely tells the story of the university “from the beginning” and defines the Trojan Warrior spirit.

“Celebrating 125 Years of Tastes & Traditions at Troy University” tells the story of the university through historical milestones and through the recipes and menus that members of the university family have shared through the years,” Hawkins said. “We had more than 900 recipes submitted from students, parents, alumni, faculty and staff members of the community, state leaders, international partners and other who consider themselves members of Troy’s one great family.”

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The cookbook is divided into eight categories and each category has its own special place in the history and the traditions of Troy University.

The categories are defined by the university presidents, beginning with Joseph Macon Dill, who was president of the State Normal School from 1887-1888 and continuing through the present administration of Chancellor Jack Hawkins, Jr.

Hawkins said, with a smile, that her favorite category in the new cookbook is the last one, Chancellor Jack Hawkins, Jr., Sept. 1, 1989 to the present, and features “The International Flavors of Troy University.”

The Troy University First Lady said she believes the international ‘flavor’ of the university will be her husband’s legacy at Troy University.

The 2012 volume of the Troy University cookbook contains more than 400 recipes that run the gamut from fig preserves to Yarpakh Dolmasy.

“Some of the recipes are from Mrs. (Elizabeth) Bashinsky’s ‘Tried and True’ cookbook that dates back to the 1920s,” Hawkins said. “The cookbook also includes favorite recipes from the first two volumes of the university cookbooks, such as the bacon and tomato party sandwich, the scrambled egg and onion sandwich that was so popular years ago at Wilson’s Barbecue and Doug Hawkins’ famous ice cream recipe.”

Hawkins said that the cookbook was put together with the realization that this is no longer the world of grandma’s kitchen.

“The cookbook committee included recipes with calories in mind and recipes that are good and easy to prepare,” Hawkins said. “And we’re always looking for recipes that our mothers used to make, like teacakes and those recipes are included. There are many wonderful recipes in this cookbook and many ‘favorite’ recipes.”

For the unveiling of the “Celebrating 125 Years” cookbook, Hawkins chose two recipes from the to share with the students who attended the event – Janice Blakeney’s smoked tuna ball and her own brownie recipe.

A main purpose behind the “Celebrating 125 Years” cookbook was to offer it to Troy University organizations as a fund-raiser.

“The two earlier Troy University cookbooks have been very successful fundraisers for the organizations that participated,” Hawkins said.

The Troy University Foundation paid for the publication of the cookbook and, therefore, maintains ownership of it. However, student organizations may purchase the cookbooks at a reduced price and sell them for $25, which is the going Foundation price.

Deric Kennedy is a member of 101 Elite Men, a student organization dedicated to enhancing the image of the African American male on campus. He attended the unveiling of the Troy University cookbook to learn more about it as a fund-raising opportunity for his organization.

“This is definitely something that we could benefit from,” Kennedy said. “A lot of on-campus organizations could benefit from it. This cookbook is a lot more than a cookbook. It’s the history of what will one day be our alma mater. And it would be a good way to show our parents our appreciation for helping us achieve our dreams.”

The first person to purchase a copy of the cookbook at the Friday event was Alan Farmer from Oklahoma.

Farmer has no connection to Troy University other than his Marine platoon commander in Vietnam was Chancellor Jack Hawkins, Jr. They got together several years ago after not having any contact with each other for 43 years.

“My wife, Paulette, and I have been coming to Troy for three years now,” Farmer said. “We’re here for the big weekend and wanted to be one of the first to buy a cookbook. Troy University has a great history and a great tradition and we’re proud to be a part of it.”

“Celebrating 125 Years of Tastes and Traditions at Troy University” is, like so many have said, more than a cookbook. It is the story of Troy University and how it has grown so tremendously over the years.

Hawkins said the publication of the Troy University cookbook was possible because of the contributions of many members of the Troy University family and she thanked them all.

“The spirit of the Troy University family is the secret ingredient that makes Troy University special,” she said. “I thank each one who contributed recipes and memories to make this book possible. Troy University students will benefit because of those contributions.”