mildred Edna Cotton Council (aka Mama Dip) was born in Chatham County, North Carolina, to Ed Cotton and Effie Edwards Cotton. She was raised in Balwin Township where she started cooking at an early age. Mildred was the youngest of seven, and was dubbed "Dip" by her siblings because she was so tall and had such long arms that she could reach way down in the rain barrel to scoop up a big dipper full of water when the level was low. Mama Dip first learned to cook watching family members make meals by using the "dump cooking" method. Dump cooking means no recipes, just measure by eye, feel, taste, and testing.