Tammy Lee with grandchildren Kyndall and Caroline Lee
Tammy Lee with grandchildren Kyndall and Caroline Lee
The 10-year-owner of the Clothesline in Philadelphia has quite the good reputation at work and one equally as impressive in the kitchen and at the Fair.

Tammy Lee is loved by her employees at the Clothesline and she is loved by her family at home, especially when she prepares delicious meals for them. These dishes aren't just limited to home, however. Each year, Lee brings the most amazing food to the Fair, and to her, good food is one of the most important aspects of the annual houseparty.

"The Fair means family and reunions with old friends to me," she said. "I love the pageant, flea market, talent show and the horse races. I have a large family, and we like to attend those events together."

Taking the kids to the midway for rides and playing card games are among her Fair highlights.

"We always take at least one day out of the week and we will walk around and visit with old friends because that's what the Fair is all about," she said.

One of her personal favorite events, though, is the pageant, for a very important reason.

"The year my daughter was crowned Miss Neshoba County in 2006 was so special for me," Lee said. "It was a blessing to be able to see my daughter accomplish that. My older sister and I have both been in the pageant when we were growing up, and though we couldn't capture the crown then, it made me so proud to see my daughter do exactly that."

Cooking was a dream for Lee from high school, and she has thoroughly enjoyed getting to pursue it.

Lee loves working at her business on the courthouse square, and her employees praise her enthusiasm and kindness.

"She makes our jobs fun," three-year employee Baileigh Payne said. "I've never worked with anyone who is more generous and understanding to her employees. She's just a great boss and we really just love her to death," and she loves them right back.

"My employees are also important to me and how we work together is imperative. They've become family to me, too," Lee said.

The full-time mother, grandmother and business owner doesn't consider cooking a chore.

The lucky wife splits dinner duties with her husband, Jeff, because he enjoys cooking as well and can be seen in the kitchen as much as she is. Baked shrimp is a cabin favorite at the Fair and simple, delicious meals are a staple at their home.

"One of our favorites to make is chicken and dumplings. Give me some peas and cornbread with that and I'm fine," she said, laughing.

Family is everything to Lee. Her grandkids and kids are her entire life. Her son, Richard, and his wife, Robbyn, have two girls, Kyndall and Caroline. Her daughter, Hannah Johnson, and her husband, Allen Johnson, are expecting a baby boy in September, and Lee is beyond excited to meet her first grandson.

The Fair is easy to enjoy for Lee because it's all about family, and that's what makes her world go around. Her love for her family is lasting in a way only a mother's love can be, and Lee is ready to experience the Fair this year again with the ones who she loves most.

Baked Shrimp
1 stick of margarine
Juice from 4 lemons
18-ounce bottle of Wishbone Italian dressing
5 pounds raw shrimp, headless and unpeeled
Black pepper to taste
Salt to taste
Mix all ingredients together. Bake, lightly covered, at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Italian Potatoes
1 cup butter
1/2 cup water
4 medium potatoes, cut into thin slices
1 package dry Italian dressing mix
Melt butter in casserole dish. Place potatoes into dish. Sprinkle seasoning over potatoes. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Chicken Dumplings
2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup butter
3 chicken breasts
6 cups of chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon shortening
1 cup of cold water
Pepper to taste
Salt to taste
2 egg yolks
Mix cup of cold water and egg yolks together until yolks are mixed in. Mix all ingredients except for chicken breasts, broth, butter, salt and pepper together and knead dough. Roll out until it is paper thin and cut into small pieces. Drop dumplings in boiling chicken broth. When finished adding dumplings, add your cooked chicken. Then mix a little bit of water and dry mix of cream of chicken flavored cup of soup and add. Add butter and salt and pepper to taste.
Optional: can also add can of cream of chicken soup.

Corn Dip
2 cans Mexicorn, drained
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup sour cream
3 cups sharp cheese, grated
1/4 cup chopped green onions
3 whole jalapeño peppers, chopped finely
Mix all ingredients and chill well. Serve with corn chips, tortilla chips or crackers.

Spaghetti Salad
12-ounce of Vermicelli noodles
1 tablespoons Accent
1-1/4 tablespoons Lawry seasoning salt
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil/canola oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup purple onion, chopped
Can of chopped black olives, drained
1/2 cup chopped green olives
1 cup mayo
Cook noodles as directed on package after breaking four times. After cooked, drain and rinse with cold water. Mix Accent, seasoning salt, lemon juice, oils and mayo together. Add seasoning mix to noodles, then add all other ingredients and mix. Chill. Better if made and chilled overnight.

Strawberry Pie
4 tablespoon strawberry jello
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
Cook until thick. Cool. Slice one pint of fresh strawberries. Add to mixture. Put into 1 cool deep dish pie crust. Let setup in refrigerator. Then cover pie with Cool Whip and garnish with fresh strawberry pieces in center of pie.