The Davis brothers make great food and a lifetime of memories in their grandparents' kitchen.
Cooking Up Family Fun
Saying grace, learning manners, and lots of laughter are part of suppertime. The guys set the table with china, crystal, candles, and silver.
| Credit: Ralph Anderson / Styling: Cari South / Food Styling: Vanessa McNeil Rocchio

The hottest Friday night action in Bryan, Texas, may be the Davis family's boys'-night-out gathering. It's a once-a-month happening dreamed up by Elizabeth and Cletus Davis. "My aliases are Bets and Bebe," Elizabeth jokes. Her husband earned his nickname, "Cowboy," back in the day, when he was one.

The couple hit on this idea to teach their grandsons a lifetime skill--cooking--as a novel and practical way to spend time together. The boys come over a week ahead to pick recipes, plan the menu, and make a shopping list. They rotate the chief chef position; this child gets to invite a buddy to come as guest chef. "When a grandson learns to read, he joins the group," Bets explains, "and when he marries, he leaves it."

Goof-off time is a-ok here. "When we built our house, we included a lure to coax the boys over," Bets says with a wink. "We have a room outfitted with computers, games, a TV, and three sets of bunk beds, so all of them can sleep over." Spend a mere hour with this family, and you'll realize it's not the bunk room that brings them to Bets and Cowboy's house time after time. It's love.

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This article is from the January 2006 issue of Southern Living.