COOKING LAUREL COUNTY STYLE: The loneliest place I know... a hospital waiting room

Shelby Sizemore

I'm sitting in the waiting room at Central Baptist Hospital while my son, James, has another heart procedure; he's had many, and this is just minor compared to some of them. He's having a generator or battery installed in his pacemaker; however you always worry until the surgeon comes out and says "everything went well."

I look around at all the people, sitting quietly in their 6-foot apart chairs, masks on, just waiting. I am writing this letter to you. Normally, we would be conversing with each other, but not this year. Most are on their cell phones, one lady is knitting a beautiful scarf and one man has just decided to sleep until his wait is over. We check our individual cases often on the big screen on the wall, telling us when they're 1. checking in, 2. surgery beginning, and then 3. in recovery. That's the one we're waiting for!!

James has had so many procedures. He probably had these problems the day he was born, but they didn't begin to show up until he was teaching French at Laurel County South. He would almost pass out for a minute ...quite often.

His determination is unbelievable. He has many different heart problems but keeps going... to the point of driving me nuts, as I've told you before. He never sees an obstacle, but I do. He has helped me through many dark, dark days and I fervently hope that he can see lots of sunny ones.

I'm fortunate to live close to both my sons - James and Shane - and I can look out my window and see where my oldest son, Dean, lies in Whittaker Cemetery. My daughter, Carla, lives in Paducah and we talk every day. Family and friends get you through; they are God's special gift to us.

I just knew if I stood by that mailbox long enough you would answer my request. I got the wonderful letter last week, and yesterday I received three recipes. Thank you! They are from Mary White, who lives in London, and sound so good. I'm going to try this one first...gonna make you wait until next week to see what the other two are!

Barbecue-Glazed Drumsticks

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and coat a baking dish with cooking spray. Remove skin from 8 drumsticks and place them in the pan. In a medium saucepan combine 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/3 cup yellow mustard, 2 tablesp. brown sugar, 1 tablesp butter, 1/2 tsp. soy sauce, 1/2 tsp. chili powder, 1/2 tsp. black pepper and 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes. (red pepper optional.)

Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until sauce thickens. Pour sauce over the drumsticks and bake 40-45 minutes. (I can almost smell that sauce!) Now I hope last week's lady will send us a recipe, so I can tell you who she is.

Thought this one was pretty funny, so here goes: "I decided to take an aerobic class. I bent, twisted, gyrated and jumped up and down for an hour. But, by the time I got my leotard on, class was over."

Take care, everyone of you. Maybe Fall will surprise us with some COVID free days. Wouldn't that be wonderful? See you soon.

Shelby Sizemore has written cooking columns for The Sentinel-Echo previously in 1999 to 2001 and in The Times-Tribune from 2008 to 2011. With many years of experience cooking, Sizemore loves to share her knowledge in the kitchen and her recipes. You can contact her at

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