Recent posts

  • The memory-making power of Dad’s skillet - Eston Boles was a great cook, his daughter remembers. He had to be, because he was the eldest of 13 children born to tenant farmers in Spring City, Tennessee. “His mother taught him to cook to help her,” says his daughter, the Rev. Sherry Boles. When Sherry’s parents married, they moved to Chattanooga, but Eston... Continue Reading →
  • Chaos, forgiveness, and great burgers - It took me all week to write this, because I was ashamed. On Sunday night, we resumed our “Second Sunday Dinner Party” after canceling it for two months due to COVID-19. This dinner was so, so different than the monthly meals our friends and I have prepared since December 2018. The obvious difference is fear... Continue Reading →
  • How the little girl in the photo became a cake decorator - You could say Alex Shelton has a bun in the oven, but for the moment, she’s taking a break from baking cakes. That’s because this talented cake decorator is expecting her second child, Sophia Grace, on June 18. She’s staying off her feet until the baby comes, yet the requests for sugary fantasies have not... Continue Reading →
  • So we got your attention? - It’s been a while since we posted about chocolate gravy from Camp Lookout. Several people responded, saying they have great memories of chocolate-infused Southern breakfasts. We reached out to three of them to find out more. Click here for the chocolate gravy recipe. Soppin’ chocolate “My grandmother used to call it ‘soppin’ chocolate,’” said Bernice... Continue Reading →
  • Chocolate gravy: Camp memories are made of this - The first time I ever heard of chocolate gravy, I was well into my 50s. “That’s a thing?” I asked. “It’s a Southern thing?” How could I have missed it? Yet miss it I did. I was visiting Camp Lookout when introduced to the notion of ladling warm chocolate sauce over split biscuits for breakfast.... Continue Reading →
  • Oatmeal Cake for such a time as this - “To ease the pandemic stress, we started baking.” That’s what Chris Sneed posted on his Facebook page with this photo of an appealing slice of cake. Of course, I had to call Chris to find out more. “Today we made my Great-Granny Mattson’s Oatmeal Cake,” Chris said. “Many people say I am just like my... Continue Reading →
  • Blogs that went on to become video stars - Sometimes our blog stories inspire great video stories! On April 9, a Knoxville news station did a story follow-up on Macy Mitchell, the schoolteacher who makes home-cooked meals for senior citizens and others who can’t get out during the pandemic. Macy is a member at Bearden United Methodist Church. We featured Macy’s cooking ministry on... Continue Reading →
  • Taco Twist Soup: A colorful, easy meal in a pot - When I shared the story about the meal ministry at Kingston United Methodist Church, I learned that “Taco Twist Soup” is a favorite of their monthly lunchtime guests. Here’s the soup recipe, courtesy of Janet Moore. I tried it tonight, and I’m really impressed. It’s a great meal in a pot with common pantry ingredients,... Continue Reading →
  • Humble but yummy: Cooking with what you’ve got - Yesterday I had an eye-rolling moment as I listened to an NPR interview. The subject was Sam Sifton, founding editor of NYT Cooking – of which I am a fan and paid subscriber. Sam talked about how he enjoys going to his pantry and conjuring creative meals with available foods that don’t require another risky... Continue Reading →
  • Trying to feed people in a world changed by coronavirus - A lot of good people want to help others during the pandemic, but the question is … How do you do that without spreading the virus? Several United Methodist groups have found what they hope are temporary, safe solutions for getting meals to people who need it. At Kingston United Methodist Church, a group of... Continue Reading →

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