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Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Recipes From The Heart – A Relay for Life Fundraiser Remembering Randy Buchanan

By Sherrie Norris

When Avery County native Randy Buchanan was diagnosed with cancer in November 2017, his coworkers at Lowes Hardware in Banner Elk were devastated. His death, just a few weeks later, on December 28, left them in a state of shock and disbelief.

We’ve since learned that the compassionate team members formed a Relay for Life Team in Randy’s memory — Randy’s Warriors — not only to celebrate his life, but also to help lead the fight for a world without cancer.

As part of their efforts, the store employees began to compile a cookbook featuring some of their favorite recipes.

Today, “Recipes From The Heart” represents a special memorial tribute to someone they all loved and continue to miss today.

According to Human Resources Manager, Stephanie White, the cookbook has already begun to help toward the team’s fundraising goals.

“Randy was a beloved friend and family member of our Lowe’s team here in Banner Elk,” White said. “Randy was funny, friendly, and a ‘do anything for you’ kind of guy. He was also the one who always put others first; between work and being an avid outdoorsman, he rarely went to the doctor.”

After what White describes as “a nagging headache,” Randy did see a doctor and was diagnosed with cancer. “His decline was so quick, there was no time to process or prepare.”

White said she will never forget walking around the store a short six weeks after his diagnosis, telling employees of his passing. “The sadness that consumed our little store in the days and weeks to come was unbelievable.”

White said she felt sure that Buchanan, “humble man that he was,” would not want any of this attention. “He wouldn’t want any of this, nor would he want us to still be overcome with emotion when we talk about him. But, we do know that he would appreciate it, as he watches over us, knowing that we are using his platform for something bigger.”

White said this cookbook was something that she and the team hopes will be a help to others — “We hope the next family member or friend will not have to go through what Randy, his family, his friends and we all went through. Cancer is bigger than Randy, or this story, or this cookbook, but these recipes have helped us to heal, to remember and to move forward in helping the cause. This cookbook is our heartfelt remembrance of a friend gone, but never forgotten.”

The cookbooks can be purchased for $10 each at both the Boone and Banner Elk Lowe’s stores, White said.

Make plans today to purchase your copy as a way to help Randy’s Warriors do their part to help find a cure for cancer.

Following are just a few samples of many wonderful recipes that you will find inside the cookbook:


BLT Bites

Melissa Upthagrove

16 to 20 cherry tomatoes

1 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled

½ cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup chopped green onions

3 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

2 Tbsp. snipped fresh parsley

Cut a thin slice off each tomato top. Scoop out and discard pulp. Invert the tomatoes on a paper towel to drain. In a small bowl, combine all remaining ingredients; mix well. Spoon into tomatoes. Refrigerate for several hours.


Paradise Smoothie

Chris Brewer

1 can tropical fruit salad (undrained)

1 cup vanilla nonfat yogurt

1 small banana

6 oz.. pineapple juice

¾ cup ice cubes

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.


Orange Salad

Roxanne Franklin

1 pkg. (16 oz.) cottage cheese

1 can crushed pineapple

1 can mandarin oranges

1 lg. box orange gelatin

1 (9 oz.) carton Cool Whip

Drain all fruit. Pull all ingredients together in bowl and mix. Ready to serve. Refrigerate leftovers.