A grandmother’s root cellar

Now, y’all stay out of my fruit cellar,” Granny warned my sisters and me each summer vacation. She needn’t worry. We would never turn the doorknob to that dark, spooky place with a small window facing the alley side of the house. Once, when she opened the door to...

It’s soup season

No one cooked and baked from scratch like my mother-except Granny, who assigned her first child to the wood stove when she was eleven. There, Mom mastered biscuits, cornbread, pies, roasts, gravies, stringed beans in pork fat, fried chicken and pork chops, and oxtail...

The life of farm and letters

My heart sank when trucks from American Tree lined up before our house at 8:30 a.m. It wasn’t easy letting go my last two lavender fields, about 500 shrubs in a lovely flurry of mid-October bloom. “The landscapers are here!” I informed my coffee hound in the kitchen....

Sunday morning musings

My husband slipped under the covers. “I hope the rain doesn’t wash away the seed I’ve planted.” Immersed in All Creatures Great and Small by the late James Herriot, I managed “me too,” and turned the page. An hour later, full of Herriot’s humor and the vet’s passion...

To love an onion

I was unaware Robert Farrar Capon, the late Episcopal priest and author, published The Supper of the Lamb in 1967. Furthermore, I knew nothing of Capon’s “culinary reflection” when I began housekeeping in 1970 with The Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook. I built my...