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Central Georgia YouTubers plan to honor first responders through cooking

The women from Wheeler County will have a free cookout for first responders Veterans Day

WHEELER COUNTY, Ga. — During the COVID-19 pandemic, most of us have done a lot more cooking at home, and you may have consulted a video or two for recipe ideas or just general techniques in the kitchen.

When COVID-19 hit this year, sisters Debbie Hartner and Elsie Johnson started a YouTube channel because they thought folks might want to get back to some down-home cooking. Now, they're taking their goals a little bit farther by honoring first responders.

"Two Sisters Southern Cooking is comfort, it's old times, it's good times, it's happy time -- it's love," Elsie said.

Debbie and Elsie put up a new segment every other day or so.

They post on YouTube, but they've also gained quite a following on Facebook.

"It's awesome to be able to cook with family and recreate what we had when we were kids," Debbie exclaimed.

Well, the dining room didn't have lights and cameras back then, but the women say the family all had big meals together.

When Debbie grew up, she became an emergency room nurse, working at Houston Healthcare.

"I don't have the words to tell you how stressful it can be some days," Debbie admitted.

It's stressful because, as you can imagine, the emergency room has to deal with a good bit of coronavirus. Debbie lost her first patient this past spring.

"She asked me to call her family to say goodbye to them and she passed away. She was terrorized of dying alone," Debbie described.

When Debbie feels pain, her sister Elsie can't help but feel it, too.

"I don't want to get emotional about it, but it's very important. I want to truly honor my sister," Elsie said with tears in her eyes.

They are both going to honor health-care workers and military folks by cooking for them.

They'll stage a heroes lunch on Veterans Day at the Little Ocmulgee State Park.

Right now, they're asking for donations through their social media pages.

"We're doing pulled pork and we're doing smoked chicken," Elsie said.

Until then, the women will keep taping, having fun with each other, and sharing recipes with anyone tuning in.

For Debbie, this is an outlet a recipe to just relax.

"I love to cook and I love to bake, and it gives me an outlet for all the stress we've been under," Debbie said.

You can check out Two Sisters Southern Cooking on YouTube and their Facebook page.

As for the cookout, it will be free for military, healthcare workers, and first responders on Veterans Day in November.

The women will serve from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m..