October 2016

 Who is our October Spotlight?


Soror Ida Annette Minor Ward



Why we are shining light on this Soror?


Soror Ida Annette Minor Ward was featured in the Richmond Times Dispatch  Food & Drink section on Tuesday, September 27, 2016.

She refers to her mother  as “the ultimate homemaker”.  That is why she wrote a cookbook and household reference guide in her memory, titled Switchin in Da Kitchin with Mama ‘Nem”. 


The 600 pages are filled with recipes from Ward’s mother, Ida, their friends and relatives and others who influenced their lives, plus nutritional tips, kitchen tips, household remedies and more. There are also international recipes, handed down from friends Ward has made throughout her life’s travels.

Soror Ward remembers the scenes as a young woman – Her mother, laughing and carrying on with two of her three sisters, Nolie and Gertie, as they whipped up deep-dish sweet potato pies, fudgy chocolate cakes and “mile-high pound cakes that cracked on top..   Ward said she would stand outside the kitchen and peer in, watching as the three sisters seemed to be having the time of their lives, yet not understanding a single word they said because they were have conversations in pig Latin.

Soror Ward continues to cook her mothers recipes on a 1960’s Frigidaire Flair range in her Henrico County home, which she and her husband built in 1963.  She prefers  her faithful old dinosaur,  just as she enjoys her beloved gold 1985 Corvette .

A retired sociology, Western world culture and global economics teacher from Henrico’s J.R. Tucker High School, Ward also worked with the American Institute for Foreign Study, coordinating U.S. arrangements for exchange students from various countries.  After leaving the education field, Ward began working for the Virginia General Assembly. (This year marked her 20th year.) It’s there that a colleague — after tasting her mother’s famed sweet potato pies — encouraged Ward to collect those recipes and create a cookbook.

Ward was honored in 2015 with a Senate resolution that speaks to her work within the community as well as her cookbook.

For those who don’t spend hours in the kitchen, or say they can’t cook, Ward instructs them to turn to Pages 64 and 65 in “Switchin in Da Kitchin with Mama ’Nem.” There they’ll find specific recipes that belong to Ward’s mother — her Sweet Potatoes Yum-Yum, Corn Pudding, Rice Pudding (with and without raisins) and Honey-Buttered Glazed Carrots.  Much of the book is classified as Southern cooking, and these dishes, Ward said, exemplified the essence of Southern home cooking as only her mother could do it — simple and straightforward.

Sadly, her mother died in 2012 and didn’t see the finished cookbook. However, Ward said she’d finished the dedication page before her mother died.

While  Soror Ward never mastered pig Latin like her mother and her aunts, Ward said she did learn one phrase from Mrs. Ida: “Iway Ovelay Ouyay Eryvay Eryvay Uchmay.”

It means, I love you very, very much.


To read in pdf format, please click link below:



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