Recipes and Stories

24 November 2015: Finding Home by the Recipe II – Meet Boyd Clayton

November 24, 2015

Tags: Finding Home, Recipes as Stories, Pan-Broiled Steak, Roasted New Potatoes with Garlic and Rosemary, Boyd Clayton

Boyd's Steak is accompanied by roasted new potatoes with garlic and rosemary, a favorite of his daughter, Clara's, and the dish whose aroma restored Charlie Bedford's atrophied appetite
Chapter Two of Finding Home finds Charlie Bedford back in Maple Grove, the town where he had been born and raised. He’d not been home since his mother died three years before, and his sudden return naturally caused a buzz of excitement. After all, he was the closest thing to a celebrity that the little town had ever known.

But the buzz quickly turned ugly when Charlie walled himself up in his mother’s house and refused to open the door to anyone. Within a week, he’d been pronounced as crazy as a bedbug by everyone—with the lone exception of his childhood best friend, Boyd Clayton.

Everyone should have a friend like Boyd. He never gave up on anybody. (more…)

17 November 2015: Finding Home by the Recipe

November 17, 2015

Tags: Finding Home, Recipes as Stories, Chocolate Pound Cake, Classic Southern Cooking, Introducing Finding Home

Finding Home is set in Maple Grove, a sleepy little village in the hills of Carolina that in my imagination looks a lot like this.
Most of you probably don’t know, but cookbooks and culinary journalism are not my only forays into story-telling. Like most Southerners, I’ve been telling stories my whole life and have been writing them down for most of it. None of it has ever felt mature enough to publish, but for the last few years, I’ve been working on a novel that feels ready, and am now looking for a home for it with a publishing house.

Called Finding Home, it’s the story of award-winning children’s book author C. F. (Charlie) Bedford, who turned a childhood pet rabbit into the hero of a best-selling storybook series and rode its success right out of his small-town childhood into the kind of charmed life that every writer dreams about but that most never achieve. At thirty-eight, he’d conquered the world of children’s literature with eight bestsellers and had been living the good life in New York City.

But then he came home one afternoon to a note, an abandoned ring, and a half-empty apartment, and his charmed life began to unravel. Before he knew what was happening, he found himself right back where he’d started, in his run-down childhood home in Maple Grove, a sleepy little village in the hills of upstate South Carolina. (more…)

9 November 2015: Roasted Pecans

November 9, 2015

Tags: Pecans, Southern Cooking, Classic Southern Cooking, Roasted Pecans, Southern Baking

Slow-roasted pecans make an ideal savory nibble for fall and holiday entertaining: they're simple to make, keep well, and are pretty much irresistible. Photography by John Carrington
One of the best features of the house where we live is an enormous old pecan tree that canopies our entire back yard. Despite its age, that tree is still prolific, although we’re lucky to get more than a few handfuls of its nuts. Mostly that tree just shades the yard and helps me mark the seasons from my office window.

The problem is that the yard it shades is also a playground and free cafeteria for a motley assortment of spoiled, fat, urban squirrels. (more…)