Martha Simmons and I were both University of Southwestern Louisiana (now University of Louisiana at Lafayette) home economics graduates, and our paths continue to cross when it comes to food.

She recently sent me a copy of “Cooking Up a Legacy of Faith” by the St. John’s Rosary Altar Society in Zachary. The Altar Society produced the cookbook as a fundraiser with all sale proceeds going to the capital campaign for their new church.

I tested Simmons’ recipe for Scalloped Eggplant because I like eggplant and had one sitting in the fridge. It was easy to make, and the Stove Top Stuffing Mix added a unique flavor to the eggplant. I’m including another recipe from the book for Mom’s Fig Cake, which has my name and hers on it. It’s a Simmons family favorite and one of her most requested recipes.

A while back, when she first mentioned the fig cake to me, I asked her to send me the recipe.

She said, “It was your mother’s recipe from your column, don’t you remember it?” Frankly, I did not, and we’ve joked about it ever since. I’m still not sure if it was my mom’s or from someone else’s mom.

The recipe calls for a pint of fig preserves, which I tend to be a little “stingy” with and she’s not because of the fig trees in her backyard.

Many good cooks shared their best to make this fundraiser cookbook a success.

Corinne Cook is a columnist for The Advocate. Reach her at