Classic Cookbooks—More Than Just Recipes (Part 2)

Many of the cookbooks in my mother-in-law’s vast collection reflected the love of Southern cooking that she never left behind when she moved to Buffalo as a young mother.  One of my favorites is The Southern Heritage Cookie Jar Cookbook in which the diversity of cultures that make up the Southern U. S. is naturally […]

Classic Cookbooks—More Than Just Recipes (Part 1)

I begin by admitting that I am a native Georgian who likes to cook, and I imagine that partially explains my fascination with Southern cookbooks and recipes.  I have several boxes of recipes, many of them handwritten by my mother, my grandmothers, my aunts, and women who have been neighbors and friends.   I have also […]

The Wren’s Nest Forty Years Later

  Approximately forty years ago, my mother and her sister, whose family lived in the close by community of Lakewood,   took my brother, cousins, and me to visit The Wren’s Nest in the West End neighborhood of Atlanta.  I can’t remember anything about the visit except a general sense of the adventure I always felt […]

Obituaries Make Good Reading and Writing

One of my routine activities is reading the daily obituaries published in the local paper.   My enjoyment of these columns has  nothing to do with a fascination with death; to the contrary, it comes from the same part of me that enjoys good biography—an interest in the lives of people.   The columns in The Atlanta […]

South Alabama—No Cultural Desert Part 2

Eighteen miles south of Wetumpka, Alabama, the Coosa and the Tallapoosa merge to form the Alabama River just north of the state capital of Montgomery.  This city, founded on the site where Native American tribes once flourished on both sides of the river, is steeped in Civil War and civil rights history.  Home to the […]

South Alabama—No Cultural Desert, Part 1

A little over 250 miles from Atlanta lies the small Southern town of Monroeville.   Back when I was a child and my family traveled to visit my paternal grandparents, the main attraction of Monroeville was the Vanity Fair Outlet Store, where the prices of everything were reduced by at least one-half. Today the town is […]

Knowing and Remembering People Through Letters

Recently I received a wonderful surprise in the mail.  In the midst of the usual junk mail and bills, I uncovered a letter with the return address of a sorority sister with whom I hadn’t spoken in over twenty years.   I was so intrigued that I opened it while I sat in the car and […]

Literary Travel

Almost thirty-five years ago, a vacation trip to California provided the genesis of a hobby that is now a source of infinite pleasure for me and often for my friends and family as well.  Bob, my first husband, was driving as I navigated.  As I studied the map, the old-fashioned kind that I still prefer […]