“I daresay any fine recipe used in Jackson could be attributed to a local lady, or her mother – Mrs. Cabell’s Pecans, Mrs. Wrights’ Cocoons, Mrs. Lyell’s Lemon Dessert. Recipes, in the first place, had to be imparted – there was something oracular in the transaction – and however often they were made after that by others, they kept their right names. I make Mrs. Mosal’s White Fruitcake every Christmas, having got it from my mother, who got it from Mrs. Mosal, and I often think to make a friend’s recipe is to celebrate her once more, and in that cheeriest, most aromatic of places to celebrate in, the home kitchen.” — Eudora Welty of Jackson, Mississippi
I returned this week from Bloomington, Indiana to find a box containing my copy of The Southern Foodways Alliance Community Cookbook. One part old-timey church cookbook, one part storybook, the compilation of recipes from SFA Members is spectacular. Edited by friend John T. Edge with Sara Roahen, the recipes vary from Brown Butter Creamed Winter Greens by Linton (“Why It Is Worth So Much”) Hopkins (on page 70) to Shout Hallelujah Potato Salad by our friend Blair Hobbs (page 61). Indeed, the entire book contains the best of the best.
According to friends, I might be the only person in North Alabama still harvesting tomatoes. I was angry at myself for not getting them in the ground earlier this year; however, it seems that my busy life made the perfect storm for a great harvest. One of Zach’s friends gave me a load of heirloom plants to try and I have to say that there were some great selections in the mix: purple, yellow, and plums to name a few. However, the “Green Grapes” have become coveted around my house. I have saved some seeds for next year and will certainly (hopefully) have more than one plant.
Try out this great lunch: Six Week Slaw (recipe below) with shaved Parmesan and halved green grapes.
I am headed to the mountains of Chattanooga today for a weekend of stitching, cooking and playing with high school girlfriends. Maggie has her bags packed with loads of books for the trip and I have my sewing kit and a book ready for a girls (and kids) sewing weekend with wine, food, reading and relaxing. Sigh. The thick smell of trees and mountain air…
A book arrived on my desk not too long ago and, unfortunately, I don’t know who sent it. In a moment of needing a break from new collections, writing the new book, working on a website update, being a mom, and keeping the garden, I landed on my couch the other night with Consuming Passions by Michael Lee West.
Thank you to everyone at the New York Public Library for having me ‘round for the Handmade Crafternoon back in May. And thanks to Jessica for this inspired reading list; I would like to have each and every one of the books she selected.
Thank you to Sara for showing me the work of Lauren DiCioccio and a new way to look at the everyday.
My work investigates the physical/tangible beauty of commonplace mass-produced media-objects, most recently: the newspaper, magazines, office papers and writing pads, plastic bags, 35 mm slides. These media are becoming obsolete, replaced by the invisible efficiency of various technologies. In some cases, this transition is a good thing- faster transmission and distribution of information, streamlined systems, openness to user input, less waste. But a hole is left behind by the disappearance of these everyday objects. What will happen when we no longer touch information? When newsprint does not rub off onto our fingertips? When we no longer write longhand?
The tedious handiwork and obsessive care I employ to create my work aims to remind the viewer of these simple but intimate pieces of everyday life and to provoke a pang of nostalgia for the familiar physicality of these objects.