Colosse farmer shows off his ribs

Published 8:24 am Wednesday, May 26, 2010

COLOSSE—William Bradshaw is the only one among his seven siblings who likes to cook.

“I’d spend hours in the kitchen with mama, especially on Sundays when she cooked our biggest meal of the week, like fried chicken, collard greens and potato salad,” Bradshaw said. “And she’d always have a cake. Even when I was little, she’d let me help stir the cake batter.

“Oh, I loved it,” he continued. “I guess that’s the reason I like cooking so much today.”

Bradshaw, a single father of three, said he used to help his wife, Pamler, in the kitchen.

“Since she passed away nine years ago, though, I’ve been doing it all, except for some help from the children,” he said.

Bradshaw’s children, Sheena, William Jr. and Brittany were 12, 11, and 9 when his wife died. All now are either in high school or college.

“They’re always “on the go, but they are all good cooks,” Bradshaw said.

Although Bradshaw farms, he tries to cook for friends who needed extra food for special occasions. He makes things like chicken and fish.The extra money was a help.

“Then one night, after I had gone to bed, I felt that God told me I could do better,” Bradshaw said.

A religious man, he said he made himself a grill. Not just any grill, but one to his own specifications, bigger than most with five burners.

“I had had some welding classes and it wasn’t hard,” Bradshaw said.

He then started expanding his cooking talents.

“Until then, I had just cooked a few things, like chicken, hamburgers and hot dogs,” Bradshaw said. “But when word got around that I could do barbeque chicken and ribs, with sides of potato salad and baked beans, I had all the orders I could handle.”

He cooks some foods in his kitchen, but most things are handled on the grill. When Bradshaw needs extra help, he enlists his daughters.

Calling his endeavor “A Taste of Glory,” Bradshaw said, “I’m already booked up for several weeks, everything from family reunions to anniversaries and birthday parties.”

Last week, he served 200 people at a wedding party.

“They asked for the works,” he said.

Bradshaw says he likes to be accommodating, but there is one thing he will not divulge — his secret barbeque sauce recipe.

“Some things are best left secret,” he said.

Name: William Bradshaw.

Age: 48.

Occupation: Farmer.

Favorite food: Barbeque ribs.

Least favorite food: Onions.

The first thing you remember cooking: Helping my mother stir up a cake for Sunday dinner.

The worst cooking experience: I was cooking cabbage once and left the pot boiling. The water boiled down so much that the cabbage scorched and stuck to the pot. What a mess.

One ingredient you can’t cook without and why: Sugar. It just gives everything a better taste.

The most important thing you have learned about cooking: Don’t start cooking and walk away. Pay attention to what you’re doing. It just takes a few minutes to ruin some of the things you could be cooking, like fried foods such as fish and chicken, for instance.

The best cook you have ever known and why: My mother, Sarah Bradshaw. There were eight children in our family and she had to know how to stretch things. She was what we call a country cook—she could cook collard greens and make potato salad better than anybody I’ve ever seen. I just loved to watch her cook and I learned a lot from her.

One thing you could eat for the rest of your life: Barbeque ribs.

William Bradshaw’s

Homemade potato salad


10 pounds potatoes

8 eggs, boiled

1 quart Duke’s mayonnaise

½ quart sweet pickle relish

2 tablespoons mustard

½ cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt


Peel and cube potatoes, cover with water and boil until tender. Boil eggs. While potatoes are cooling, peel and mash eggs. Mix sugar, salt, mustard and mayonnaise to make dressing, then combine eggs and dressing with potatoes. Refrigerate.