Holidays give Doxie reason to create

Published 9:03 am Wednesday, May 6, 2009

ZUNI­—Tracey Doxie calls herself a stay-at-home mom, but others may call her the Easter Bunny, or even one of Santa’s elves.

The young mother has for years cooked and filled Easter baskets and festive Christmas stockings with goodies for her neighbors.

From chocolate bunnies and eggs to fruit cakes, fudge and holiday pies, she cooks for days to prepare as many as 30 gifts for her friends in the neighborhood.

This includes adults as well as kids, she said, adding that larger families get larger baskets to accommodate all the members there.

“Last Easter I made 144 chocolate eggs, in addition to bunnies and chocolate/peanut butter balls,” she said. “Children, especially, seem to like the chocolate.”

She says she purchases some of the baskets she uses and others are made by her aunt, Betty Billups, who saves and decorates coffee cans.

“They make such pretty containers and afterwards they can be used for a number of other things.”

Doxie, 40, says she has cooked for as long as she can remember.

Living in the small community of Zuni with her family and her mom for the past 18 years, she has plenty of opportunities to show off her culinary skills.

“I do a little catering,” she said. “And whenever there is a party in the neighborhood, I help out.

“For instance, I made the cake for a friend’s retirement party a couple of years ago. There were at least 100 people there.”

Doxie also makes cakes for other occasions, such as birthdays, anniversaries and special events. She estimates that she made from 75 to 80 cakes last year alone.

“I learned a lot from mom,” the active homemaker said. “I always thought it was fun to help out in the kitchen and watched her as she prepared a meal for our family.

“Then we always had a big garden, so I knew how to can and freeze vegetables and fruits when I was a teenager.

“As I got older and had my own family, cooking just seemed natural to me,” she went on.

Doxie, who with her husband Clifton, has three children — Leighlyn, 19, Nickolas 13 and Taylor 6 — has and still is a room mother at her kids’ schools.

“I’ve made more cupcakes than I can ever count,” she said with a grin. “And it isn’t over yet.”

Name: Tracey Doxie

Age: 40

Occupation: Stay-at-home mom

Favorite food: Fresh vegetables

Least favorite food: Liver

What is the first thing you remember cooking? Scrambled eggs

What has been your worst cooking experience? When I was about 10, I left a pan with grease in it on the stove unattended. When I came back to check on it, it had caught fire — the flames almost reached the ceiling. I was absolutely terrified, and tried to put the fire out with water. Big mistake. Fortunately we did get the fire under control and I learned a valuable lesson.

One ingredient you can’t cook without: Salt. I think it gives everything a better flavor.

What is the most important thing you have learned about cooking? Never leave anything cooking unattended.

Who is the best cook you have ever known and why? My mother, Virginia Rawls. She can cook anything. In fact, her chicken salad is so good, our neighbors bring over whole chickens for her to make into chicken salad — she says her secret is her homemade pickle. She just has a knack for making her dishes taste different — it’s hard for others to duplicate. I learned a lot from her, but I’ll never be the cook she is.

If you could eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? Cheese

tracey doxie’s vanilla almond pound cake Ingredients

2 sticks of butter

1 stick of margarine

3 cups sugar

5 eggs, unbeaten

3 ½ cups cake flour, sifted

½ tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

1 cup milk

1 tsp. almond extract

1 tsp. vanilla extract


Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees. Grease and flour large tube pan. Cream butter, margarine and sugar thoroughly.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one. Combine cake flour, baking powder and salt. Sift into batter alternately with milk. Add almond and vanilla extracts and beat until well mixed.

Pour into greased and floured pan.

Bake for from 75 to 90 minutes. Do not overcook. Cool in pan for 15 minutes — remove from pan to wire rack.

Sprinkle top with powdered sugar.