Reese Witherspoon has written a wonderful book “Whiskey In A Teacup” about life and recipes from the South – Nashville to be exact.
But it’s not just a cookbook. Although the recipes are truly fantastic. I mean, who can pass up great tips to making Southern favorites like sweet tea, lemonade, pecan pie and fried chicken.
And all the other wonderful tried and true recipes from her family and friends. You can’t beat those special meals handed down from generations ago. They are each a small treasure to be guarded, enjoyed and passed on to the next generation.
Added to the recipes are the touching stories of her childhood years in Nashville and the impact of her mother and grandmother They are priceless!
After such good training from such strong women, Reese can and does give us all appropriate advice on how to be beautiful and proper on the outside, and fierce and warrior-like on the inside. Hence the name of the book, “Whiskey In A Teacup”.
She shows how Southern friendship and community breeds women with good manners, hospitality and a sense of decor who will fight for the rights of others, see that everyone is fed and will never lose an argument.
Included is a list of Southern Expressions and a Southern Pronunciation Key so we can all understand each other. Although since I’m from Texas, I didn’t have any problem “talking’ Southern”. My favorite, of course, is “Well Bless Your Heart!” which, as Reese points out, has many meanings. The tone of the voice will tell you which version is meant.
A good portion of the book is devoted to how Southern women deal with entertaining especially during all the holidays. Of course, a Southern woman will tend to overdo everything, so Reese’s best advice is to try to simply as best you can. Good luck with that!
I really loved reading this book .It is charming. It is sweet. It is comforting. It is like a big hug from a friend. In fact, some people I know will be getting this book as a birthday or Christmas gift.
Shh – don’t tell them!
Gramps and I went to see the movie “Emma” today. Despite the fact that it is pretty much a chick-flick and he had a tough time keeping up with all the characters, he was very concerned that everyone would end up with the right partners. Good man, Gramps!
The movie is an adaptation of a Jane Austen novel. That alone would be reason enough for me to see it. But the costumes and the sets were astounding! Even the hairdos were captivating! Needless to say, I loved the movie.
Besides reveling in the look of the move, I enjoyed what Jane Austen had to say. She always has plenty to say about love and “Emma” was no exception.
Here is what I learned in two hours of period drama:
Lesson #1-Never interfere in others’ love choices. People fall in love for a lot of reasons, most of which we are unaware. Maybe even they are unaware of them.
Interfering in, or worse, judging, someone else’s choice of love can lead to unbelievable heartache. It hurts both parties and you. It can damage a relationship forever and can break a trust for a lifetime.
It can be so hurtful that the friendship can never be repaired.
Best to be a good friend and supporter. Be happy for their choices and rejoice in their joy.
Lesson #2-Never judge people by their wealth alone. The amount of income a person has can be the least important thing about them. Of much more importance is their character, their morals, their ethics, their spirit, and their humor.
The income or wealth of a person may be temporary. It may be the result of something beyond the person’s control, such as a health crisis. It is beyond our knowledge to know and so should be beyond our ability to judge.
Lesson #3-Love words should be spoken often. Too often we think our loved one understands what we are thinking and feeling. Even if they do, they need to hear the spoken words of love.
More often there is miscommunication through looks and gestures that are unclear. False conclusions are assumed and actions are taken based on false premises. The ending couldn’t be farther from the intention.
We all must speak what is in our hearts every day. Feelings of love, gratitude, pleasure and need should be expressed often to that special loved one.
Very often, they too are simply waiting for the opening to speak those very words back to you. They are bursting to tell you exactly what you have been dying to hear from them – love words.
Don’t miss any occasion or opportunity. Don’t let a precious moment go by when those caring words can be shared. You’ll never regret saying them. But you will regret locking them in your heart and keeping your silence.
That will haunt you to your dying day. Jane Austen gave good advice through the language of her novels.
Listen and learn
This charming colorful book tells a fable for our times and celebrates the joy of giving and sharing.
A generous quilt maker, with magic in her fingers, sews the most beautiful quilts in the world. But she does not sell them. She only gives them to the poor and those who need them.
A greedy king, with every treasure he can stuff into his storehouse, remains sad and lonely. He yearns for the one gift that will make him happy.
Could that gift be a quilt?
Will the quiltmaker sew a quilt for the king?
Can the quilt maker teach the king to be happy?
What will the king do with all his splendid treasures?
Look for clues to the story in the quilts–all 250 of them!!!
Does this book look at all familiar? It sure does to me! It is my mother’s cookbook! She bought it in 1968, the year it was published. I grew up with this wonderful fount of recipes in her kitchen daily.
It was used on the stove, on the counter, on the table and in her hands. Sometimes I held the book while she read the directions and cooked the dish. This pretty red and white number has withstood many a spill, spoon and steam over. It has been dropped, slammed, cut, burned and soaked. But it has survived to be cherished by a second generation, a third and now a fourth.
One of the great things about this cookbook is the basic information it has on the inside covers. I can’t tell you how many times I have used these substitutions in my cooking. Do you see all the rub and wear marks on the page? How many times has this cover been opened and closed over the last 50 years? I cannot even imagine!
The Chapter I remember the best is the one on Pastry and Pies. Mother was the best baker I knew and made the best pies ever. I think about her most often during the Holidays when I am making my pies. While rolling out the dough made with her recipe, I have conversations in my head with her. I tell her all about the happenings of the year, what the kids have been up to, the good, the bad, everything really. I trully believe she hears me up there in Heaven, where she is making angelic pies for the saints.
I learned to cook with this cookbook. Basic things and complex things too. I started with cream sauce. This exact recipe seen here was my first dish. I added a can of tuna and poured it over saltine crackers. I loved having pictures to follow. It was mistake proof at the time.
Years later I made this for my family. The kids loved it! My daughter still talks about it being one of her favorite dishes from her childhood. Who would have guessed?
For many years the magazine Better Homes and Gardens printed recipes that were to be used in the cookbook. This recipe was printed in 1972 and was to be filed under Meats. My cookbook is jam-packed with dozens of these stuffed under their proper headings. Most of them are award winning recipes, but very few of them are low calorie.
Most of them are wrinkled and torn but that just adds to the charm for me.
Take a look at these suggested menus! I’m very interested in Crab-artichoke Bake, but who does Hot Fruit Compote anymore? And isn’t that stain at the bottom of the page as sweet as can be? Is that broth or soup or tea? Could it be meat drippings or vegetable stock? What memories are in that little discolored spot on that page in that old book.Have a gander at their idea of the ideal kitchen. I have to say I love all the blue! But where are all the windows! It is way too dark for me. And who needs a rotisserie anymore, really.
Mother’s cookbook symbolizes so many things for me. It is a great repository of recipes, memories, nostalgia, good times. It continues to teach me lessons about cooking, life, sharing, relationships, old math principles and good housekeeping.
My daughter saw me cook with it and now my grandson Mac is getting to use it. Fifty years it has been our family, teaching its many lessons to four generations of cooks.
It is a tough little book with tender ways. No matter how many mistakes we make, it continues to forgive and forget.
It sits patiently on the shelf until needed. It always has the answer to any question asked of it. It never makes demands and only has suggestions for success. It never wears out and seems only to get better with age.
Mother’s cookbook. Ready for another fifty years of devoted service.
Not So Tall For Six written by Dianna Hutts Aston and illustrated by Frank W. Dormer is a wonderfull book about being brave and smart and big at heart.
Meet Kylie Bell, the not-so-tallest one in the first grade. She might be small but she never lets size get her down. Nope. Kylie Bell is brave.
When that bully-boy Rusty Jacks slithers around her like a half-starved rattlesnake, what is Kylie Bell to do? Can she keep hold of her courage, not to mention her good manners
Take a fresh and funny look at bravery in this heartwarming book
As a child author Dianna Hutts Aston was afraid of clowns, ducks and oral reports. Since then she has learned that no one is born with courage. As Kylie Bell finds out, courage takes practice.
Illustrator Frank W. Dormer says he is not afraid of anything. Well, maybe he’s afraid of rickets. And scurvy. He overcomes his fears by sitting in the sun with a tall glass of orange juice.
What are you afraid of and how do you overcome your fears?
Grandparents’ Day is coming soon. September 11 to be exact. Want to get a great gift for yourself or any other grandparent in your life? I have a wonderful suggestion: The Grandparent Book by Amy Brouse Rosenthal.
This is not a book about grandparenting skills. It is not a humorous book about funny interactions between grandparents and their almost always funny grandchildren. It is not a book about famous grandparents.
It is however, a place to record those precious family memories and special traditions you would like to pass along to the next generations.
It is most definitely a platform for sharing the lifetime of wisdom you have surely accumulated and that your family needs you to share.
It is absolutely a keepsake in the making. Your own personal legacy of memories, thoughts, cares, wisdom and learning, all stored in one easily transferrable book.
The book starts out with the basic statistics of who you are and where you come from. Then comes page after page of leading questions to be answered. . . . . or not. It’s a free country! There are plenty of spaces for photos and souvenirs to be added to the written words.
Some of the great topics are: The Inside Scoop On My Siblings, Life At The Family Dinner Table, What Drew Me To My Future Spouse. There’s even space for family members to write special notes and comments.
When filled in, this book becomes a treasure trove of memories, thoughts, feelings, traditions and unique family moments to be gifted and shared with those you love the most.
First it is a gift for the grandparent and then it becomes an incredible inheritance for the grandchild. What other book could do more than that?
Cowboy Slim by Julie Dannenberg and Margot Apple
Cowboy Slim always wanted to be a cowboy, but he is a poet who can’t rope, whip, or ride. Who ever heard of such a thing?
But Slim knows he could be a real cowboy – if only the ranch hands would give him a chance.
Slim saves the herd from a stampede with his wonderful poetry.
This book is perfect for cowboys and cowgirls who long to ride at the head of the herd.