Volume 5 Issue 5
*** Random Thoughts
I feel calm, the type that is usually preceded by the word “eerie.” The wedding is less than a month away and things have gone/are going relatively smoothly. The wedding bands are ordered, the cakes are set, the photographer lined up. I say that with fingers crossed so that I don’t jinx myself.
Approximately 30 seconds after I wrote that, I began typing up a quick little list of what we have left to do before the wedding. That list is now two pages, single-spaced. So let’s talk about something else.
For a variety of reasons, including longevity and old-fashioned vanity, I’ve been trying to live a healthy lifestyle – eating fresh foods and exercising five days a week. Turns out all that stuff I’d heard for years is ALL TRUE. I feel better, have more energy, and a positive outlook. Who knew?
It makes me want to garden. Our community doesn’t have a farmer’s market though I wish it did. I’d like to try to start one, but have no idea how. And probably the month I’m getting married is not the best time to take on such a project. I hear about Community Supported Agriculture groups, wherein you can pay a subscription fee that goes to farmers and in return get a crate of fresh, locally grown, seasonal fruits and vegetables. I’d love that. Why doesn’t someone around here do that?
My grandfather was a gardening enthusiast. He grew everything, he grafted different varieties of fruit trees. When he got home from the furniture and appliance store he and my grandmother owned, he didn’t go inside first; he winded down by walking the gardens, the trees, the vines.
I don’t have a green thumb but I love the idea of planting, tending, and harvesting our very own food that we grew our own selves! It seems so remarkable. My grandfather would have chuckled at that notion; he and his family grew vegetables growing up because that’s what folks did. It wasn’t a charming hobby; it was a necessity if they wanted to eat.
I like the idea of revisiting that notion, of my son watching vegetables grow. I want him to know and understand that produce isn’t born at brightly lit grocery stores. We don’t have the yard space for an actual garden but surely we can put something (peppers? Cucumbers?) in pots. Big pots? Right? See, I don’t know anything about horticulture, which is all the more reason I want my son to know, as I did because of time spent at my grandparents, that work – hard and rewarding – and grit, time, care, and patience go into growing food.
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*** Great Quotes
Every spring is the only spring - a perpetual astonishment. – Ellis Peters
*** Fun Food Idea
It’s summer, never mind what the calendar reads. I know this because A) I’ve been to a family reunion and those are summer events and B) I’ve made pimento and cheese, also a summer event.
I like my pimento cheese made with sharp cheddar or extra sharp or a combination of the two, and with a little bit of white onion in it. I like it with a little bit of bite. That pimento and cheese reminds me of the sound of shelled peas falling in an enamel pan, the smell of fresh corn on the cob, fireflies in mason jars, my grandmother’s screened in back porch, the smell of chlorine, and that particular tired that comes only from playing in the sun all day. I really like pimento cheese. It packs a lot of flavor and a lot of memories in each bite.
I make pimento cheese like this: grate an 8-ounce package of sharp or extra sharp cheddar. I grate a bit of onion – about a tablespoon or so. Add one small jar of diced pimento, well drained. Add mayonnaise, a spoonful at a time, until it comes together. Season with black pepper and a bit of salt. Refrigerate several hours or overnight.
Red Velvet Cupcakes
Check out the food blog!
*** Pass It On
If there’s someone you think would enjoy this newsletter, please forward this issue in its entirety. Email me at kudzuuu at gmail dot com to subscribe.
*** Hit the Highlights
I could have sworn I was still young and hip.
This month’s photos.
Contrast or Irony – A trip to New York made me realize how much I loved the big city yet I know I want to live only in a small town.
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*** Shameless Bid for Commerce
“Keetha DePriest Reed's "More Culinary Kudzu: Recollections and Recipes from Growing Up Southern" is part cookbook, part collection of wonderful essays on food, family and growing up Southern and altogether great fun… I would very highly recommend "More Culinary Kudzu" to anybody who enjoys good food and good writing as well as to anybody who wants to find out more about the South. As for me, I only have one question left - how do I get invited to one of their family reunions?” – review by ReaderViews.com
*** Recommended Reading
Last weekend I finished “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” and it’s incredible. I’ll have a full post on it at the end of the month but I feel certain it will be one of my favorite books of the month, and probably the year.
Books I read in April.
*** Adorable Thing My Child Said
I tried on the dress for the rehearsal dinner. My son touched the baby blue silk shantung fabric. His eyes were wide. “You look like a princess.”
My fiancé was standing nearby. “She is one.”
Sigh of bliss.
BLESS THEIR HEARTS. So sweet.
*** Mississippi Writers Guild
The Mississippi Writers Guild sponsors writer workshops, conferences, writer retreats and reputable writing contests. Membership dues are only $40.00 per year.
The Mississippi Writers Guild is a non-profit association of writers from all over the state and is a growing part of Mississippi’s literary art landscape.
*** Reminders and Unsubscribe Info.
The June issue will go out sometime next month, although I can pretty well assure you it won’t be the first Wednesday of the month as I’m getting married a few days earlier.
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