“I’m not a gourmet cook, but I love to cook,” Mills said.
She is married to James Mills, who moved here when he was 5 years old. She graduated from Marietta High School in 1949 and worked at Lockheed until she had her only son, Dr. Scott Mills. She also worked as an aide at Westside Elementary School for 20 years. She has four grandchildren.
Mills learned to cook at an early age.
“My mother had me standing up in chairs as a child teaching me how to cook. She said, ‘Now, Mary, you need to know how to cook.’ She wasn’t a gourmet either. She was just a little bit of this, a little bit of that. I would stir for her and that’s where I learned to cook,” Mills said.
Grape salad is a favorite among the Mills family.
“I found that adults and children like it too,” she said.
Mills’ 16-year-old grandson, Joe, particularly loves her grape salad.
“When I fix it, if we don’t watch (Joe), he’ll try to hide it so he’ll get all of it,” Mills said, laughing.
“(Grape salad) is wonderful. It will last a day or two if (the family) doesn’t eat it up. It’s wonderful with entrees especially pork, or it’s just good as a salad,” said Mills, who received the recipe from her husband’s cousin who got it from a work colleague.
“(Grape salad) is light. It’s not heavy. You’ve got all those grapes in there and it just makes it real good,” she said.
“That’s my thing — I just love to cook,” Mills said.
THREE GRAPE SALAD
A: 2 Cups green seedless grapes
2 Cups red seedless grapes
2 Cups black seedless grapes
Wash, drain, and dry grapes and set aside.
B: 8 ounces sour cream
8 ounces cream cheese
1 Cup powdered sugar
¾ stick of butter, softened
1 Cup brown sugar
1 Cup chopped pecans
Beat the sour cream, cream cheese and powdered sugar with a mixer and set aside.
Combine A and B into a 9-by-13-inch Pyrex dish and refrigerate. (This could be prepared the day before if desired.)
For the topping mix: Combine all ingredients and spread on cookie sheet. Toast at 250 degrees for 35 to 38 minutes. Let the topping cool. Then crumble and place on top of grape mixture. Serve cool.