PERRY, Missouri — During her life on the farm, Willene Asbury made countless field trips, sometimes in tractors and trucks, other times with food for the family members who worked there . She has lived on the same road all her life and she knows the rhythms of agricultural life in the region.
In her home in Ralls County, she enjoys cooking for family, friends and community events, using skills she first developed growing up.
“My mother was a wonderful cook,” says Asbury.
She also learned through 4-H and then spent decades teaching 4-H classes.
Asbury always helps keep the family farm operation moving, especially during busy planting and harvesting times.
“I take them to dinner in the fields and help them change fields,” she says.
When the weather permits the family and hired help to eat at home, Asbury likes to provide them with a good sit-down meal experience.
“I set the table,” she said. “I serve it in bowls. My mother did this.
Asbury enjoys using and sharing family recipes, collected and passed down over the years. She still uses her mother’s angel food cake recipe. For another dessert recipe, fudge cake, Asbury makes tally marks in a well-worn cookbook for each time she makes it. She doesn’t know when she started making marks, but it currently shows she’s done it 170 times since she started tracking.
She got a recipe for Scandinavian coffee buns from a farm magazine 45 years ago and taught it in 4-H classes, and she says the recipe is still popular with 4-H students in the area. .