Cafeteria lady’s recipes still cherished by her family

Betty Wrenn Day - Posted on Mar 26, 2014 - 01:50 PM

Photo: Joyce and Hayes Williams spend an afternoon on their porch reminiscing about Hayes’s mother Mae Williams, her recipes and her good cooking. Photo by Betty Wrenn Day

Joyce and Hayes Williams spend an afternoon on their porch reminiscing about Hayes’s mother Mae Williams, her recipes and her good cooking. Photo by Betty Wrenn Day

Recently a picture was published in this newspaper asking for identification of four ladies making biscuits at Abingdon Elementary School in 1968. Three names were attached to this photo but not in order, and the fourth person was not noted. Hayes Williams immediately called identifying the missing name. It was his mother, Mae Williams.

Mae Williams taught fourth grade at Hayes Elementary School for a couple years and then moved to managing the cafeteria. When Hayes School closed, she moved to the new Abingdon Elementary School retaining the same position. Mae remained there until her retirement. She lived in three centuries. Born on April 6, 1899, she died on April 2, 2001. Her recipes live on.

Visiting with Hayes and his wife Joyce and the family cat Sam at their home in Gloucester in the Crockett’s Woods area, one finds the great memories and recipes that Mae has passed on. And one also finds two very good cooks.

“I love to cook,” Joyce explained, but added “I don’t cook as much as I once did. Hayes’s mother was an inspiration. I didn’t do so well in cooking when I was married 59 years ago. She gave me recipes. If she had a good one she would pass it on. She introduced us to so many good foods. Later on in her life she was staying with us for a while and I tried to fix dishes that were new to her. She commented to me one day that I was a good cook.