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Recipes and Stories

30 June 2021: Summer Squash and Pasta

Thin Spaghetti with Yellow Summer Squash, Bacon, and Scallions

30 June 2021: Summer Squash and Pasta


Last week I was finally able to visit my parents, whom I had not seen since December of 2019. It was bittersweet: Finally seeing and actually touching them was undiluted joy; witnessing the toll that age and pandemic isolation have taken was heartbreaking. Hearing it in their voices on the telephone, and in regular reports from my brother, was one thing, but experiencing it in person was something else altogether.


One of the single saddest things of all was that my mother is no longer able to do the thing she loves best: garden. Her large vegetable garden plot is now indistinguishable from the rest of the yard. And there was not one single green vegetable to be found in that house.


Still, it was good to actually see them and, if only for a few days, take some of the burden off my brother, and do things Read More 

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16 June 2021: Chilled Avocado Soup

Chilled Avocado Soup, here garnished simply with thinly sliced scallion, sour cream, and oregano.


People often ask why I never considered opening my own restaurant. My ready answer is that I'd as soon climb onto a chair, put a noose around my neck, and jump. I like cooking and want to keep it that way. But it's actually deeper than that: the truth is I've cooked professionally—only a little, but just enough for me to promise myself I'd never do it again.


While awaiting the publication of my first cookbook back in the early nineties, in what can only have been a moment of complete insanity, I let myself get talked into running the kitchen of a lunch café in downtown Savannah. The owner, who I suspect was a few bricks shy of a load (for goodness' sake, she'd hired an ex-architect who'd never cooked professionally to run her kitchen), had decorated the place without any idea of what kind of food it would offer.


Nor had any thought been given to how that food would be prepared.  Read More 

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3 June 2021: Of Fish Tacos and Mrs. H

My Fish Tacos: Be Kind. The name is Fowler and they happen to be really tasty.


One of my early mentors and friends in food writing was the late Marie Rudisill, whom you may have known as the outrageously frank Fruitcake Lady on The Tonight Show. Her first and best advice was, "Don't change your phone number, sugar: Half the fun you're gonna have from this thing is the phone calls you'll get."


The trouble was—and is—that I chose a profession that imposes solitude for a reason. I'm not outgoing by nature. But she was right; the best compensation for being reluctantly pushed into the public eye is that rare, unexpected call or letter that comes out of nowhere and lifts the spirit just when you need it most.


Over the years, they've sparked many treasured friendships, but none has meant more than the one that bloomed over a duck.  Read More 

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