Walnut Cake by Mail

Okay, so to start I’m going to confess I’m a long-time criminal.  Yup, it’s true.  The last time I committed the crime was December 20th.  It happened at the counter of our local branch of the United States Postal Service.  I know, that makes it a federal crime.  Scary stuff: prepare yourself. I drag my … More Walnut Cake by Mail

Growing Irish Potatoes in the North Carolina Piedmont

When it comes to potatoes, aren’t we all a bit Irish?  I adore the earthy orbs, baked, boiled, steamed, or fried; and I’d be quite content to eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  When I ate my first homegrown ones though — little baby spring taters robbed from the plants that morning and then … More Growing Irish Potatoes in the North Carolina Piedmont


When I was a little girl, I believed my Grandpa James was a great wizard.  If I woke up early enough while visiting his beach home, and I crept quietly to the stair landing of the loft where we slept, I could watch him work his magic in the kitchen below. Somehow, through the sheer … More Popovers

Freeing Seeds

I will never forget the first time I watched Grandpa Jack deadhead a marigold and scatter its seeds.  It was a flat out miracle.  I took high school biology, so I knew about the birds and the bees, but somehow I never quite put it together that flower seeds would be a part of the … More Freeing Seeds

Organic Applesauce

I would definitely have eaten the apple.  Wouldn’t have even waited for Adam to name it.  So when it’s apple season — ah, glorious, glorious autumn — I try to bring into our home as many of the juicy orbs as I can.  We eat them raw, in pies, in cakes and in breads, and … More Organic Applesauce

Harvesting Honey

As a child I went often with Papa Bear and Small Bear on The Big Honey Hunt.  Over river and through dale I laughed and laughed as Papa Bear chased his bee, sticking his paw into every tree but the honey tree.  Back then it never troubled me that the final message of the book … More Harvesting Honey

Mystery Pot Pie

If I can keep my kids guessing, there’s a chance a veggie or two might make its way into their bellies.  So sometimes when they ask: “Mom, what’s for dinner?” I simply answer “Pie!”  It definitely works until they notice the bread instead of ice cream a la mode.  But even if they pick their … More Mystery Pot Pie

Butternut Squash Soup

Peeling a butternut squash is not on my list of favorite kitchen prep work.  It’s a messy affair during which the fruit usually slips from my hands at least twice.  But it’s that thick skin that makes the butternut one of the stubbornest veggies our garden produces.  I pulled the last of them in late … More Butternut Squash Soup

Cockeyed Cake

This is a great recipe to get children engaged in the kitchen.  We used to make the entire thing in the cake pan, sifting together all the dry ingredients first, then creating crater holes for each of the liquids.  When the vinegar mixes with the baking soda, it does cool bubbly things. This happens to … More Cockeyed Cake