As Easy As Pie

We inherit many things from generation to generation. Smiles, senses of humor, height, family china, family Bibles, etc. One of my favorite things that’s been passed down to me has little-to-no monetary value, but it is immeasurably valuable to me is family recipes. This past weekend I decided to cook some pies.

Now, in my household, pies are what the world revolves around. True story: When my nearly ninety year old grandmother starts to get full during a meal, she’ll stop eating to make sure she saves enough room for dessert. This sweet lady has, thankfully, never had diabetes or sugar issues. It’s a miracle, too, considering she sweetens even Lucky Charms. I think my body nearly went into a sugar shock once I learned that after I’d already started eating my cereal when I was staying with her once. Clearly, desserts, pies in particular, are important in my family.

In the South, pies are used to convey sorrow, joy and every emotion in between. They are proudly displayed at church pot lucks and are brought to homes to welcome new babies and comfort those who have lost loved ones. As easy as pies may seem to be, hence the saying “as easy as pie,” the immense number of recipes I have inherited for each type of pie seems to say differently, with subtle variations seemingly making big impacts in the results of the pie.

Debates in the pie world include everything from using cornstarch vs. flour to meringue vs. cream. Every family has their own “perfect” recipe for each part of the pie, including the crust, filling and meringue or cream.

As I combed over the many variations of a chocolate meringue pie I had received from my sweet granny, I realized no pie I make will ever be like hers, even if I followed each recipe to the T. She just knows “her” pie. She doesn’t need to measure each ingredient for the crust, because the recipe might warrant change, even by a teaspoon of flour, because of the weather. She cooks by feel and by heart, something I’m slowly learning to do. She’s taught me and given me so much over my life, but I’ve only started to realize how much she’s impacted who I am and my value system. I pray one day I pass on not only her recipes but her essence to my own daughter as we bake pies together.

In fact, a bit of that love is shared each time we bake for each other. It isn’t the ingredients but the time and care that we are putting into food that we give to others when we share our food with them. Not much is more Southern or hospitable than that. As I continue to go over various traditions, I hope you’ll join with me in sharing our food and our love with others.

What is your favorite thing to make for others?

As always, thank you for reading!
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Silver and Gold

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Ok, more silver than gold, but the silver is so tarnished, it has a golden appearance. Today, my mom and I headed east to Jefferson, a place that is near and dear to my heart, as it’s where my husband proposed (swoon). Anyhow, aside from being known for their numerous (though, sadly, declining) bed and breakfasts, a common past time for said B&B goers is, apparently, antiquing. I’m pretty sure I saw an antique store on every corner.

My mom is always on the prowl for a good deal. While she dug through piles and boxes in a search for old cast iron skillets (because there is no such thing as too many cast iron skillets to a Southern cook), I hung around the china area. My spirits were quickly dampened when I saw the prices, and I held my purse a little more closely, just in case.

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Imagine my surprise when my mom stumbled across some wooden boxes. Guess what they held? Anyone? That’s right. Silverware!!!!! I have wanted my own set for ever. Even though most of my mom’s side didn’t have kids, not much has been passed down, yet, so I have been silver-less. We’ve made do with our flatware just fine, but it’s still been something I’ve wanted for years.

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Given the prices I had already seen, my hopes weren’t too high. I still wanted to check things out, though. A perfect set for 12. Wow. Beautiful. The end was perfect for monogramming. I cautiously flipped over the white price tag and thought I missed a zero. It was actually affordable!! Actually, after checking out eBay, it was a steal, even though it’s silver plate, not sterling silver. With 79 pieces in excellent condition, I am still beyond excited for this find. The pattern is 1881 Rogers “Flirtation.” And I cannot wait to use it tduring Christmas. 🙂

Look at how happy my china is knowing it will be joined by this silverware at Christmas.

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I’d love to know your silver pattern! As always, thank you for reading.


 

For The Love Of The Glove

I was recently gifted a bag of beautiful, vintage gloves from my mother. She inherited them from my grandmother who passed them down from her mother. I was beyond ecstatic to inherit such beautiful works of art. Aside from their beauty, I am, apparently, my great-grandmother made over, and the gloves fit me, well, like a glove. 🙂

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This is especially exciting for me because I, like many Americans who do not have to deal with the day-to-day aspects of being royal, am a major Royal Family fan. HRH Duchess Catherine is the epitome of grace and glamour, and the world is at a point we could use a little more of both. Honestly, it makes me a little sad to hear that people think etiquette is antiquated. She’s doing quite a lot to counter that thought process. I much prefer this to the oh-so-popular pajama pants in public trend…I digress.

Here are my “new” gloves. Aren’t they amazing??!

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Gloves, while still worn, are primarily now used for warm and protection. My husband wears gloves weekly….to work on his jeep and the yard. I am actually going to start wearing my great-grandmother’s gloves to church on Sunday. We have relaxed so much in our way of living, which can be a good thing. It can have its cons, too, though. Please allow me to clear up a common misconception: Taking care of your appearance isn’t for you. It’s about respect for those around you. Many of you may disagree with me on this, but please allow me to explain. It is not about doing better than the person next to you but about being your best you. Clean hair, clean teeth, etc. all make a big impact on others.

When I was active in my sorority, we had a few “appearance” rules. They’re probably very different than what you’d expect. In general, the rules consisted of (1) wear clean clothes, (2) no pajama pants in public and (3) no wet hair in public.

Pajama pants may be easy, but a good blazer garners respect and credibility. It may not be fun to hear, but first impressions mean a lot. Gloves help make it an even better impression. I’ll let you know the results. 🙂

A few etiquette rules about gloves:

Don’ts:

  1. Wearing gloves while eating or drinking at a table; remove one glove (the one you will eat with) at a cocktail party,
  2. Wearing gloves after you arrive at an inside informal meal or luncheon,
  3. Wearing jewelry over the gloves, other than bracelets
  4. Wearing short gloves to a formal occasion.

Dos:

  1. Wear gloves to church or a place of worship; It’s a sign of respect.
  2. Wear gloves while dancing.
  3. Wear gloves to outdoor parties, such as a garden party.
  4. Wear gloves! 🙂

That’s it, folks! I hope you enjoyed this post. Please let me know if you have any questions. I’d be happy to answer them. Thank you for reading!

Election Etiquette

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Some of you may know that I am involved in local politics, currently serving as my town’s mayor. I recently ran for re-election to our city council and won. While I won by more than 2/3 of the vote, the campaign season was not easy for my family or myself. It was hard to remain quiet while slander and lies were being thrown from the opposing side. However, I stayed above the fray, and I’m proud to have done so. This all lead to my hesitation to write this post. As we enter a much larger election cycle, I feel this post is now timely and appropriate. Additionally, many may not understand campaign etiquette, so it needs to be said.

During a campaign, etiquette dictates that only facts are used – not hearsay, assumptions or anything else not based on facts. Additionally, the campaign should stick to issues at hand. There are enough true issues without bringing up a candidate’s family or personal appearance. To be quite honest, it you have to rely on slander or bullying to win, you are part of the demise of the American government.

Politics are only effective when people vote. So, please do so! When you are at the polls, etiquette dictates that you are quiet and respectful of other voters, not rushing them or waiting too closely to the person casting their ballot. As a candidate, there are laws legally enforcing your proximity to the polling place. However, out of courtesy for the voters, proper etiquette would dictate you not post camp right at the border, either.

If you are running for a position, no matter your choice of campaigning, you should never badger your potential constituents. Yes, absolutely get your name out there. But try to get to know the people because you genuinely care – not because they are a means to an end. Likewise, understand that your credibility will be shot in a “do as I say, not as I do” situation. Do you want people to vote? VOTE! And do so in times you’re not up for election.

Finally, regarding the results from the election day, it is up to the losing candidate(s) to reach out to the winning candidate(s). I’m making this plural in the event of a potential run-off election. It is NOT the responsibility of the winning candidate(s) to reach out to the losing candidate(s). In fact, it is considered pompous of the winning candidate(s) to do so. It will come across as “rubbing it in.”

So, now that election etiquette is out there on a small level, I hope to see it utilized more frequently in both national and local elections. At the end of the day, our integrity is what we must live with.

As always, thank you for reading! Thank you to the three readers who specifically asked me to write on this subject. I agree it is needed.