Familiar Face, New Role

— Written By

Growing up I spent a lot of time in my Granny’s kitchen. I can remember sitting on the counter as she rolled out dough for biscuits or acting as sous-chef by stirring together the ingredients for a chocolate eclair cake. Because Granny so patiently and willingly taught me all her secrets and tricks of the kitchen, it is her I can thank for my love of cooking and baking. Even though I now consider myself a better-than-good cook and baker, and over the years my techniques have taken a healthier approach, I still call Granny for her expert advice.

If I’ve learned nothing else from all the time spent with Granny in her kitchen, I’ve learned that food is the greatest expression of love. We use food to celebrate, to comfort, and even to heal (many of us often turn to chicken noodle soup when we’re under the weather). Food is the tie that binds family and friends and is deeply rooted in people’s culture and history. In the hustle and bustle of life, we are constantly searching for the quick and easy. As a result, cooking and baking is, in my humble opinion, slowly turning into a lost art. In an effort to preserve this art, it’s important to share my deeply rooted love of cooking and baking. As the new Family and Consumer Sciences agent for North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Robeson County Center, I have the opportunity to do just that.

Many of you may already be familiar with my name – you’ve certainly seen it if you’ve received any kind of email, flier, or newsletter from our office, as my journey with Cooperative Extension began as the agricultural secretary. In my new role, my goal is to provide you – the citizens of Robeson County – with resources, tools, and skills to help you make thoughtful and healthful decisions regarding everyday life and your well-being.

To achieve said goal, I will be offering classes and workshops on cooking as well as nutrition (this is where my love of cooking comes in). I’m currently working on a programmable pressure cooker (aka, InstantPot) workshop, so be on the lookout for more information. Med Instead of Meds is another program I plan to offer, which focuses on using nutrient-dense foods as a way promote health and decrease risk of chronic diseases. Since nutrition and physical activity go hand-in-hand, providing workshops on the importance of physical activity and how it’s not something to be feared is important to include in my programming plan. Of course, I will continue to offer workshops and trainings on food preservation as well as food safety.

In order to provide support and programs best suited for Robesonians, I invite you to reach out to me and let me know of topics you want more information on or workshop you would like to see offered. I look forward to hearing your suggestions. I can be reached at jessie_jones@ncsu.edu or 910-671-3276.

For more information, please contact Jessie Jones, Extension Family and Consumer Sciences Agent with North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Robeson County Center, at 671-3276, by email at Jessie_Jones@ncsu.edu, or visit our website.