58e586abc23db.imageCHARLESTON — It had been years since the 94-year-old Charleston resident was able to enter one of her cooking concoctions in a contest, let alone cook.

“It seemed like 100 years ago,” Madge Waltrip said.

However, Waltrip was able to see her decades-old contest-winning pork chop recipe come to life again when it was recreated and served to her and other Lakewood Village retirement community residents Wednesday.

In a cooking contest organized by the Charleston Daily Times newspaper years ago, Waltrip whipped up several homemade items, largely desserts, to enter in the numerous categories.

And in ’89, Waltrip entered her smoked pork chops on a potato apple bed, one of her favorites, and nabbed first place with the Charleston Times-Courier. Her daughter, Sherri Kamp, said Waltrip often took home awards from the contest’s stint. Waltrip accrued roughly a dozen awards for her recipes, Kamp said.

The contest in ’89, nor any of the other contests in which she participated, had really crossed her mind in the past few years until a card in the mail from a church friend came in with a clipping of a Times-Courier article detailing her award-winning pork chop recipe.

That mail sparked an interest in Lakewood Village staff to recreate her recipe for the retirement community, said Amy Neal, Lakewood Village director.

“I was visiting her in her room, and she said, ‘Look what I got in the mail today,'” Neal said.

Waltrip said a flood of memories of the contest and her making the pork chops came back to her when she saw the clipping.

Neal said she thought it would be a good idea to make it again sometime.

While Waltrip could not cook it, she was able to give her recipe along with some guidance to Julie Perry, dietary manager, who then cooked up the dish Wednesday to serve to the retirement community’s residents.

Waltrip said it was exciting to see her creation come to life again. Kamp said her mother always loved cooking and especially loved sharing her creations with others.

She could not remember exactly how the pork chop recipe came about, however Waltrip often read recipe book after recipe book and spliced ideas from all of them to make her own special dishes and flavors.

Kamp said she would often switch up recipes slightly during her experimenting.

Waltrip noted it was exciting to smell the flood of aromas come off of the dish as it came out of the oven Wednesday.