A proud southern matriarch, Miss Jessie was, the most "tell-it-like-it-is" woman her family ever knew. She was also the "cookinist" woman in Poughkeepsie, chuckled her granddaughter Titi. Never one to hold her tongue, Miss Jessie reserved her most colorful commentary for two subjects: good food and good grooming. It wasn't uncommon that her food and hair preparations contained some of the same ingredients. If Miss Jessie couldn't find what she wanted in a local shop, she'd figure out a way to make it herself (right at her kitchen table).
Miss Jessie never worked from recipe books and had excellent dexterity. She was a "common sense" type of person. Able to identify a problem and create a solution, Miss Jessie use to whip up an egg and mayonnaise treatment when her granddaughters complained about their hair. Many of her preparations included remedies for hair and beauty which she shared with her family.