BWB REMEMBERS THE BOOKS OF OUR CHILDHOOD (3 OF 3)
The third and final part in our Children’s Book Week series on the books that BWB employees remember from their childhood. Don’t forget...
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It turns out Mrs. Whaley, at eighty-seven, had a good deal more on her mind that she had no intention of keeping to herself. Her other favorite hobby--cooking delicious meals and serving them to the people she loved--was ripe for the picking and her opinions on fostering friendship and love as quotable as ever: "What experience has taught me is that people consider it a special compliment to be invited to a meal. "But" if the hostess is all aflutter like a butterfly caught in a net, then as the Irish say, "I wish I was to home and the party was to hell!"
So, here are all the admonishments of Mrs. Whaley passed along to generations of Charleston hosts and hostesses. Such as "Don't serve guests dishes you haven't made successfully two or three times--and quite lately." And after supper, "leave the dishes on the table, blow out the candles, shut the door and serve finger desserts and coffee in another room...do not let your supper guests help you clean up!"
Here, as well, are her favorite on hundred recipes--regional delectables like "Edisto Breakfast Shrimp," perfect summer party dishes like "Pawleys Island Crab Cakes," fine old-fashioned breads like "Little Thin Cornmeal Pancakes," her variations on old standbys like "Dancing School Fudge," and the recipes painstakingly collected for dealing with what the fisherman and hunter might bring home. Sprinkled throughout are more of her juicy little family stories and her priceless explanations of Southern parlance. For example: "We call it grits when it's in the box at the grocery and these same grits are called hominy when we have cooked it for an hour."
Just as he did in their first collaboration, William Baldwin perfectly captures the Whaley cadence and positive spirit: "I've got to admit that eighty-seven doesn't figure out as middle age. All right, I'm no longer middle-aged anymore. But this categorizing of where old age starts and what it looks like should be kicked overboard.
Mrs. Whaley Entertains indeed.
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