Jacksonville State junior handles job and family

Cindy Wilson at work at the Sarrell Dental and Eye Clinic.

Sherry Kughn

Cindy Wilson has fond memories of watching her mother, Phyllis Mitchell, and her grandmother, Margaret Mallows, cook. She learned a lot from both women as they prepared meals. Her grandmother has just turned 90, and her grandfather, George Mallows, is 92.

After Cindy graduated from Piedmont High, she attended Gadsden State. She’s always worked full time and tended to her family so attending school full time has been impossible. She’s currently a junior at Jacksonville State University majoring in business.

For the past two years, Cindy has worked at Sarrell Dental and Eye Clinic, a non-profit organization, in Anniston. As patient coordinator, she handles many different things in the office, including making appointments and verifying insurance.

“We’re cross trained to do everything, so we stay busy,” she said.

Doctors in the clinic see patients up to the age of 20.

“I love it,” she said. “I love seeing the younger ones come in.”

Cindy and her husband, Jay, have four children. Jayson Wilson lives in Pensacola, Fla., and works with a commercial plumbing company. Mackenzie Wilson is pursuing her nursing degree at Gadsden State. She works at a nursing home in Oxford. Tylin is a senior at Piedmont High. She plays several positions on the school’s softball team including third base and catcher. She pitches sometimes. Cole is in the sixth grade. A left-hander, he pitches sometimes.

“He plays all over the field, but he mainly plays first base,” Cindy said. “The kids’ sports keep us busy. There’s never a dull moment. It seems like one season starts before the last one is over. I feel very blessed with my life, my husband and children. It’s a blessing to have a family and to be able to do things for them.”

Cindy’s sisters, Carly Miller and Dana Poole, live in Spring Garden. Dana keeps Carly’s youngest child while she teaches at Spring Garden High.

Cindy said she and her family eat at home more often than they eat out. She and Jay rotate the cooking duties. They’ve been married 14 years. They became reacquainted when Jay volunteered to help rebuild Cindy’s mother’s and step-father’s house after it burned.

Contact Margaret at pollya922@gmail.com

Recipes

PEANUT BUTTER CORNFLAKE

COOKIES

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup light corn syrup

1 cup creamy peanut butter

1 t. vanilla extract

6 cups corn flakes

   In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, and peanut butter. Cook over medium high heat until center starts to boil. Make sure to stir constantly so the sugar doesn’t burn.

As soon as the sugar mixture comes to a boil, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract and corn flakes. Mix until corn flakes are evenly coated in sugar mixture.

   Use an ice cream scoop to drop cookies onto wax paper as quickly as possible before mixture starts to cool and harden. Let cool on wax paper for 20-30 minutes.

RITZ CRACKER CHICKEN

Ritz crackers, crushed

Chicken breasts or tenderloins, boneless

Butter, melted

   Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Crush the Ritz crackers in a food processor Ziplock bag using a rolling pin. Put in a shallow dish.

   Melt butter in a shallow dish in microwave. Dip chicken in melted butter then dip in crushed crackers until well coated. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until chicken juices run clean.

   The amount of crackers and butter you will use depends on how many chicken breasts or tenders you are making.

   I use 1 sleeve of crackers and ½ stick of butter for 6-8 tenders depending on size.

So just start with that and if you need to see more you can.

LEMON PULL APART ROLLS

12 frozen dinner rolls, thawed but still cold

Zest from 2 lemons

½ cup sugar

¼ cup butter, melted

For the glaze

1 cup powdered sugar

1 T. butter, melted

2 T. fresh lemon juice

   Set the rolls out to thaw (about 1 ½-2 hours). While the rolls are thawing, zest the lemons and mix the zest with the sugar.

Spray a 12” cast iron skillet or 9x13 pan. Cut the rolls in half. Pinch the rolls into a small ball and place in the prepared dish evenly.

   Melt the butter and pour over the rolls. Sprinkle half of the lemon sugar mixture over the rolls, then cover with plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray.

   Place the rolls in a warm place. Let the rolls rise until double in size (about 2 hours). Sprinkle on the remaining lemon sugar mixture.

   Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 20-25 minutes. While they are baking, whisk the glaze ingredients together in a small bowl. Drizzle the glaze over rolls.

BANANA PUDDING CHEESECAKE

2 blocks (16 oz.) cream cheese, softened

¾ c. sugar

2 c. heavy cream

1 t. pure vanilla extract

13.4 oz. pkg. instant vanilla pudding mix

1 ¾ c. whole milk

1 prepared graham cracker crust

3 bananas, sliced, plus more slices for garnish.

30 Nilla Wafers, plus more for garnish.

Whipped cream or Cool Whip for serving.

   Make cheesecake filling: In a large bowl, using a hand mixer or in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat cream cheese until fluffy and no clumps remain. Add sugar and beat until combined. Add heavy cream and vanilla and beat until stiff peaks form. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together pudding mix and milk. Let pudding stand for 3 minutes in the fridge until thickened.

   Fold into cheesecake mixture until combined. Pour half the filling into graham cracker crust. Add a single layer of sliced bananas and Nilla Wafers.