Beverly Lillis first began cooking when she was 13 years old. She loves cooking for large groups.
Beverly Lillis first began cooking when she was 13 years old. She loves cooking for large groups.
Beverly Lillis is one of many Neshoba County residents who will be creating tasty dishes for abundant table spreads on Thanksgiving this year. 

Beverly began cooking when she was 13 years old, frying chicken fresh from Molpus Groceries. Her mother taught her to cook and bake just about everything, but she paid particular attention to desserts and baked goods. Desserts are still her favorite culinary creations today, and these crowd-pleasers add to the fun. Beverly says, “I cooked all my life, and I love cooking for large groups.”

As Beverly Lillis prepares to visit her mother, Lynn Martin, on Thanksgiving, she’ll bring several of her own dishes for a family gathering of around 30 people. It’s a time of faith, gratitude and excellent food. Among the blessings she’ll be counting this year, Beverly and her husband Larry have been married since 1993 and regularly attend Faith Tabernacle church. Her sons and their wives, Tyler and Allison and Taylor and Brianna, are active community members, all working in the area. Beverly’s three grandchildren, Sawyer, Banks and Kate, are sure to enjoy some of the desserts with her. “You have to take care of the Boos,” says Beverly.

Food for large groups is best when presented deliciously. As such, table decoration becomes paramount. “Pretty dishes, silverware, it all goes into beautiful tablescapes,” says Lillis. The joy found in an aesthetically appealing table makes for happier group get-togethers, and Beverly considers it a very rewarding hobby. She loves to help others create great experiences, as well.

Professionally, Beverly has recently become the MDS+ Nurse at Neshoba General Nursing Home where she’s worked in other roles over the past 20 years. Her position primarily involves managing documentation for reimbursements, ensuring that the Nursing Home receives appropriate funding per resident. She enjoys this post because it allows her to take care of residents by managing administrative details vital to their care, while interacting with a wide range of coworkers, among whom she’s made many lifelong friends. This Thursday, she’s thankful for these relationships and also seeing the growth in hospital services over the years.

While grateful for the present, she’s also anticipating the near future. Beverly is in the process of planning one of her famous “girls trips” to Nashville or the surrounding area. While there, she may pick up a few ideas for painting or other decorating projects. 

When she returns home, she can count on one unique and heartwarming thing on the 9th of any month. Every month since 1993, Beverly’s husband Larry brings her a rose. 

Have there ever been any exceptions? No.

Prying further, it was discovered that Beverly often cooks a perfected version of her husband’s favorite meal: fried deer tenderloin smothered in gravy and onions, served with mashed potatoes, cornbread and tea.

Local florists may want to stock up on roses.

Marinated Cheese


1(0.7oz) envelope Italian dressing mix

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup white vinegar

2 Tbsp minced green onion

2 Tbsp water

1 1/2 tsp sugar

1 8oz block Monterey Jack cheese


1 8oz block Cheddar cheese, chilled

1 8oz package cream cheese, chilled

1(4oz) jar chopped pimiento, drained

Assorted crackers


1. Whisk together first 6 ingredients.

Set aside

2. Cut Monterey Jack cheese in half

lengthwise. Cut each half crosswise

into 4-inch-thick slices. Repeat with

Cheddar cheese and cream cheese.

3. Arrange cheese in 4 rows in a shallow

2 qt. baking dish, alternating Monterey

Jack cheese,Cheddar cheese, and cream

cheese. Pour marinade over cheese

Cover and chill at least 8 hours

4. Drain marinade arrange cheese on

a platter in rows. Top with pimiento

and serve with assorted crackers

Banana Pudding Dip

For filling, use the following ingredients:

4egg yolks

1 cup sugar

1 can pet milk

1 tbsp of vanilla

1 tbsp flour 

Cook on med heat until thick

stir frequently set aside to cool.

For Meringue use the following ingredients

6 egg whites

1 1/2 cup sugar

1/2 tsp cream of tartar 

Whip these with mixer until it peaks (due to extra sugar, it takes longer to whip!)

For pie assembly, use the following ingredients:

1 package vanilla wafers

5 sliced bananas



In baking dish place vanilla wafers, then sliced bananas, then pour filling in.

Top with meringue and bake @ 425 until brown, be careful not to burn!

Then, when brown, place wafers on side of dish! Enjoy!!!

Green Bean Casserole


8 oz. sour cream

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 stick oleo, softened

1 pkg. Ritz crackers, crumbled

1 lb. Velveeta cheese

1 can whole kernel corn

3 cans French cut beans

1 small onion, chopped


Mix beans, corn, onion, chicken soup and sour cream. 

Slice velveeta and lay on top. Top with oleo and Ritz crackers. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes.

Chicken-Rice Casserole


2 cups chicken, cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces

1 10oz can of cream of chicken soup

¾ cup of mayonnaise

1 cup rice cooked in 3 ½ cups of chicken broth

1 Tbsp lemon juice

½ cup butter melted

1 stack Ritz crackers, crushed


Combine chicken, soup, mayonnaise, rice, and lemon juice. Pour into a greased casserole dish. Mix together melted butter and crushed crackers and sprinkle on top of casserole. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Cheese-stuffed Garlic Bread


1 cup shredded mozzarella

¼ cup mayonnaise

¼ cup softened butter

1 minced garlic clove or tsp garlic powder

3-4 dashes dried parsley

1 Frenchbread loaf split lengthwise


Beat first five ingredients together until well blended. Spread onto cut sides of bread. Put bread back together and cut into 2-inch slices. Wrap in oil and bake on 350 degrees until desired crispness.