• 46°

Barton learned joy of cooking early

By BY LYDIA GRIMES – Feature Writer
Cheryl Barton loves to shop. Her shopping skills combined with her cooking skills have made her something of a television star. She won't be recognized on the street as a star but one of her recipes was featured in a cookbook that is selling on television.
Barton loves to watch QVC, a shopping channel, and it was there that she found that the network was looking for recipes to include in a cookbook called "Best of the Best from QVC Cookbook; Favorite Recipes from Viewers, Hosts, Employees and Friends." She quickly submitted three recipes for consideration and was pleasantly surprised to be notified that one of them would be included in the new book. Her recipe for Sweet Potato Cobbler was selected to be part of the book that is now selling on the network.
She believes in QVC because they completely refunded a computer she had bought when it broke. She said that they asked no questions, but happily refunded the amount of the computer.
She has bought several of the books and shared them with her friends and is very proud of her recipe being published and sold on a nationally known forum.
However, this was not the first publication that Barton was involved in. Several years ago she compiled a cookbook and sold about 800 copies to friends and relatives.
Barton learned her cooking skills at the side of her grandmother, Alice Banks. As a small child she spent all of her time with her grandmother and watched her bring in wood and splinters to build a fire in the old wood stove where she would cook all the good food that a child remembers.
Later on, when she was about 6-years-old, the family moved from Lime Hill in Conecuh County to Fairview and purchased an electric stove. She became even more interested in cooking and continued to watch her grandmother cook. Barton didn't cook that much but as she says, "I was a good observer."
Her love for cooking continued to grow and she used that love to plan her future occupation. She is now a teacher at Escambia Brewton Technical Center where she teaches child care and elderly services.
Barton was born in Lime Hill in Conecuh County. She was one of eight children that lived next door to their grandmother. She loved to stay with her grandmother and in effect lived at her house.
She attended school at several schools within Conecuh County and graduated in 1968 from Thurgood Marshall High School in Evergreen. She then attended Jefferson Davis Junior College from 1968-69 where she met her future husband, Fred Barton. After graduation she moved to Detroit with plans to work and save for college. She attended Alabama A&M in Normal, Ala. and graduated in 1973 majoring in home economics and minoring in early childhood education.
After graduation she came back to Conecuh County where she married Fred Barton in the summer of 1973 and then moved to Brewton. She got her first teaching job at a school in Demopolis and commuted back to Brewton on the weekends. She gave birth to her first daughter, Freda in 1974 and didn't work for a while. She then worked at Castleberry for a short time before she was hired by W.S. Neal Elementary School to teach kindergarten. It was the first year that the school had a kindergarten and she was the first teacher to teach public kindergarten there.
Barton taught at Neal for the next 24 years and gave birth to her second daughter, Ingria, in 1982. She was thinking about retiring when she was asked to go to the technical school to teach childcare and elderly services. That was in 1998 and she is still teaching there.
Diabetes has never been a personal problem for Barton, but her mother and two of her sisters have the disease. She is very proud of one sister, Cathy Preyer Briggs, who lives in Marlboro, Md. She is a diabetic and was featured in the March issue of Ebony magazine in an article about diabetes.
She has recently decided to attend Ed Reid Technical College to learn about cake decorating. She is currently teaching her students how to bake and decorate cakes. They bake a lot for the children who are brought to the school for the students to work with.
Barton is a very busy lady these days. She is raising her granddaughter, Joshmene, who is 8-years-old. She hopes to continue working at her job and spending her free time doing what she loves to do most - cooking and shopping at QVC on television.