Tim Self

Tim Self

Tim knows his way around the kitchen. He is one of the great cooks from the Del Rio community. His mom, who worked seasonally at Bush’s, began teaching him to cook when he was around eleven years old. She began by teaching him how to make bread, and he states, “It went on from there!” to beans and potatoes and frying eggs and ham.

It took awhile to master gravy, but it also came right along. Both his sisters, Oree and Opal, also taught him many things throughout the years. He was always allowed and encouraged to do whatever he wanted to in the kitchen...as long as he cleaned up his mess.

Over 60 years ago, he went solo on cornbread; today his favorite meal to prepare is meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and peas. As a member of Jones Chapel United Methodist Church, he is called upon to cook for church functions, including Homecoming.

He usually takes cornbread, a pot of beans, and a couple of desserts. He also enjoys taking food to Feed My Sheep. Most of the time, he takes a dessert, such as homemade cobblers. He says he is blessed to be a small part of this ministry.

If he has a specialty dish, it is fried chicken livers. His philosophy is that any food is good when you’re hungry. He closes our interview with, “God bless, and enjoy your meal.” Today he shares with us his recipes for Pork Chops in Asian Sauce, Fried Sweet Potatoes, Goulash, and Egg Custard. To the best of my recollection, this is the first time any of these recipes has been shared, so try each of these, and above all ENJOY!

Pork Chops

in Asian Sauce:

4 or 5 pork chops

2 TBSP cooking oil

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup sugar

2 TBSP vinegar

2 TBSP sesame oil

1 tsp minced garlic

Brown pork chops in oil on both sides.

Add garlic ad stir.

Pour soy sauce, sugar, and vinegar over the chops and bring to a full boil.

Reduce heat and simmer and allow to cook about 30 minutes on low heat.

Turn chops once or twice.

Stir in sesame oil.


1-1/2 lbs ground chuck

1 medium onion, diced

1 small can sliced mushrooms, drained

1 15 oz can tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes

1 clove garlic diced finely

1 stalk celery, thinly sliced (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste

  • I cook this in a cast iron Dutch oven over medium to medium high heat. I use 85% fat free meat.

Brown the ground chuck, onion, and garlic together until all the red is gone from the meat.

Drain the fat.

Add the tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes along with the mushrooms and celery.

  • it is fine to used home canned tomatoes or tomato juice if there is no tomato sauce on hand.

Cover and simmer until done to desired consistency.

  • This is very good with a grilled cheese sandwich or cornbread.

Fried Sweet Potatoes:

3 large sweet potatoes

3/4 stick butter

2/3 cup brown sugar (approximately)

1/3 cup white sugar

Melt butter in a skillet and remove from heat.

Slice the sweet potatoes and place in the skillet with the butter over medium heat.

Cover with brown sugar.

Add white sugar.

Cover with lid.

Stir and turn frequently to keep from scorching.

Cook until potatoes are fork tender.

Egg Custard:

  • This recipe is an old family one dating back for many years.

3 eggs

1-1/2 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup sugar

Pinch salt


1 deep dish pie shell (Pillsbury)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, vanilla, sugar, and salt.

Mix with a hand mixer until thoroughly mixed.

Pour mixture into the pie shell.

Sprinkle nutmeg over the top of the pie.

Place in oven.

Bake for 38 minutes.

  • If the pie is cooked too long, it will be watery.

Remove from oven and cool.

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