Walters mom shares pound cake recipe

Published 8:38 am Wednesday, May 12, 2010

WALTERS—Tina Walters says her mother was so anxious to have her three daughters learn to cook, that she never bought one cookbook at the time; she bought four, one for each girl and herself.

“Mama wasn’t the best cook when she got married, and she was determined that we would not end up like she did,” Walters said. “She didn’t need to worry, though. We all love to cook and have turned out to be pretty good, so people tell us.”

The people are right. Walters’ creations are known throughout the community.

The mother of son, Connor, 3, and daughter, Cori, 5, Walters spends long hours at work and participates in activities at Colosse Baptist. When there is an occasion to eat, she is one of the first to arrive with one of her famous casseroles or pound cakes.

Walters and her Aunt Lisa are in charge of a church group the “Go Getters,” all senior citizens who have activities outside the church. Walters is also the leader of a “little folks” group called the “Bible Builders.”

“We all love to eat and that gives my aunt and me a reason to cook,” she said.

One of her favorite visits is when she cooks and delivers a meal to new mothers, Walters said. She recently took steaks, a hash-brown potato casserole and dessert to a friend who had a baby.

“One of my friends did that for me when I had my children and it’s wonderful,” Walters said.

She and her extended family, going back to her grandfather, parents, siblings, nieces and nephews, get together often.

“We all cook and bring our favorite dishes,” Walters added. “And it’s a sight to behold.”

She admits there’s no place she’d rather be than in her kitchen.

“I cook old-fashioned, like mama taught me,” Walters said. “I can’t tell you how much freezing and canning I do when my husband, Clint’s, garden comes in.

“But I also like to visit and share some of the things I make with my friends,” Walters added. “I once took some banana-chocolate chip muffins and homemade strawberry jam to my children’s day care. Now, the care givers have threatened to hold my children hostage until I bring them another batch.”

Name: Tina Gwaltney Walters

Age: 31

Occupation: Physical therapist at Wakefield Physical Therapy

What is your favorite food? Mama’s chicken pie, Grandma’s pancakes and Aunt Lisa’s pimento cheese

What is your least favorite food? Liver

What is the first thing you remember cooking? No specific thing, but my first cooking experience was when my two sisters and I would help mama get ready for our birthday parties. My sisters and I would each be in charge of a recipe, and mama would watch over us to see that we did it right. We’d stay up late the night before, cooking tons of food, then enjoy it the next day with our family.

What has been your worst cooking experience? This happened just last night when I cooked a pound cake for a cookout. I substituted self-rising flour for all-purpose flour. The cake boiled over, then fell. I threw the whole thing out and started over. We are currently enjoying “burnt cake smell” in the kitchen.

One ingredient you can’t cook without and why? Sugar. It just makes everything taste a little better.

What is the most important thing you have learned about cooking? Food is best when you make it with love.

Who is the best cook you have ever known and why? My mother, Sharon Gwaltney. She couldn’t boil water when she got married, but now enjoys teaching her grandchildren the art of southern cooking and she’s good. I never miss an opportunity to eat at her table. In fact, my family is at her house for dinner at least two Sundays in every month.

I try to cook for my family like she did for us.

If you could eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? My sister, Bonnie Jo’s macaroni and cheese.

Tina Walters’ recipe

S’mores Bars


1 stick butter, softened

¾ cup graham cracker crumbs

¾ cup sugar

1 ¾ cup self-rising flour

1 tsp vanilla

1 egg

6 Hershey’s chocolate bars, (1.5 oz each)

1 jar marshmallow cream ( 7 oz )


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line an 8- by 8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil. Spray foil with nonstick cooking spray.

Mix butter, graham cracker crumbs, sugar, flour, vanilla and egg well to make a dough. Press half of the dough into the bottom of the baking dish, and place chocolate bars in a single layer on top of the dough, covering bottom of pan completely. Spread marshmallow cream over chocolate bars evenly.

Spread rest of graham cracker dough over the marshmallow cream. The dough will be sticky and will need to be flattened and placed onto the marshmallow cream, sealing the seams as you go. Bake the bars for 20 to 25 minutes until the top layer of the dough is golden brown.

Let bars cool completely in pan, then lift foil to remove bars from the pan and cut into 2-inch squares.