Sunday, September 29, 2019


Some people will see nothing more than a battered old cookbook but I see my mother sitting at the kitchen table leafing through the pages to see what she will cook for us that day.  She loved and relied on this book and I don't think it ever let her down.  It is the Lily  Wallace "New AMERICAN COOKBOOK" and the original color was this bright 

A notation she made on page 279 next to Deviled Salmon reads: "Good. July 20 '44".I don't recall the Salmon dish but I would have been 11 years old them and CAN remember how  much my  sister Peggy  and I loved making cakes and other desserts. I'm sure the recipes came from this book. I have no idea when Mother put a new cover on the book but it was probably sometime in the 50's. She was still living on her own in the early 80's and it was then that she passed the book on to me.

Here are a few of the recipes that I'm sure I'll never try … and will probably not see in another cookbook either. SHRIMP SHRIGGLE, PIG's FEET ala RUSSE, BEEF & KIDNEY PIE with SPAGHETTI and FRIED SAUERKRAUT. However, the recipe for YORKSHIRE PUDDING is the best I've ever found.

It's so easy to run to the computer when I want to know how to cook something, but it can't compare to the warm feeling I get every time I open the pages of my very old “New AMERICAN COOKBOOK”

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Wendy settles down …

Wendy is now in the town of  Cesky Krumlov, in the Czech republic and plans to stay there for a month while concentrating on her writing.  She is thrilled to finally be in her little pension room. It is located in a residential  neighborhood, a 15 minute walk up a steep hill from the "Old Town" center.  

The town is home to the Egon Schiele Centrum, an art museum situated in an ancient brewery building.  Schiele worked with Gustav Klimt and had a short but productive painting career.  There is a café associated with the museum and is a gathering place for art types so Wendy feels very much at home there.  Feast your eyes on her photos:

                                                                           Entering the "Old Town"

                                      The café associated with the Schiele museum

      The café garden 

                      Part of the Cesky Krumlov Castle with the Vitava River winding along below 
                                                           Another view of the castle

Pardon the spacing of the photo write-ups.  I can't get blogger to show them centered as I posted !

Thursday, September 19, 2019


One dictionary definition of Matriarch is: "a mother who rules her family or tribe" and that would certainly apply to the two women pictured here.  They are my maternal grandmother Prentiss and my mother Ruth Lee.  They both outlived their husbands and "ruled" will into their 90's. They were, to my mind the type of women who fit perfectly into the role of the matriarch. It was a great comfort to be able to pick up the phone and call Mother, knowing that her advice would always be there for me … for earth shattering moments or just to be reminded of the ingredients for a favorite recipe. 
Thinking  of them reminded  me of  the wonderful TV show "Mama's Bank Account" that  aired in the50's and was based on the best selling book by Kathryn Forbes.  Mama was determined that her  children  would grow  up secure and well  educated despite the fact  that they were always one step
away from "the wolf at the door." She would advise them to hold on, that there was nothing to worry about as long as they had her bank account to  fall back on in case of an emergency.    It wasn't until Mama died that the family realized that the "bank account" never existed ... at least not  in the  form  of money  …  but  it  had  worked  like  a  charm  for  years.                                                                

In 1990 Grandma, mother and my husband were gone & I realized that I had become the matriarch.  
I  decided  to follow  the  fictional  Mama's  resourceful  example and found  that  it  actually works.
Now  I've been  the  matriarch  for  almost 30 years and I've come  to realize  something  else too ...

A college degree, gray hair and 86 years of experience don't wipe away the little girl that dwells
within.  I still  want  to make that  phone call  to mother  and be assured  that  "all will be OK"

PS:  Just created a website      Tell me what you think ...

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Wendy in Prague ...

Wendy writes:
I arrived in Prague from Bulgaria at noon yesterday.  I’m in a hostel in the thick of the touristy part of town, getting my bearings, figuring out where I’ll be staying for the next month or so. I walked for hours today, up the hill to the Prague Castle and monastery, then down into the Old Town where I found a textile/fashion exhibit at the Museum of Decorative Arts that rivals similar shows I’ve seen at the Met in NY.  

Food here is amazing and cheap. After a feast last night of bean/sausage soup, fresh tomato salad and roasted new potatoes, tonight I’m cooking at the hostel. I got a delicious loaf of stout rye bread, 1/2 dozen eggs, and yogurt, all for the US equivalent of $2.42!
                                       View of Prague from Strahov Monastery hill.

          The 14th century Charles Bridge tower (my hostel is the blue building to the left).

                                                        Steeples at Old Town Square  


                            Stained glass panel at the Museum of Decorative Arts  

Next up:   Wendy travels a few hours south of Prague to Cesky Krumlow where she will 

settle in for a month and concentrate on writing articles about her exciting journey.


Monday, September 09, 2019

At the Romanian/Bulgarian border

Wendy returns to Bulgaria … this time to the ancient town of Nessebar on a Black Sea peninsula on the east coast of Bulgaria).

                                      At the Romanian/Bulgarian border at 6:00am

                            View of the Black Sea from her guest house balcony 

                                    Nessebar beach (town is a UNESCO site)

                                         One of many Byzantine churches.

Wendy's next stop will be the historic town of Cesky Krumlov in Prague where she will settle down for a bit and do some writing.

                                            To be continued ...
                                        Special add-on:   Just got this from Wendy (9/12/10)
Hi Ginnie,
Our tour guide just sent me this picture he took of me as I was watching the sweet children folk dancing in Romania. This was the porch of the house I stayed in. The colorful “tree” of pots were a tradition there. They hung pots like this near the front of the house when a young girl in the house was eligible for marriage. If I remember correctly, the pots signified her skills as a potential homemaker.
Hugs,  Wendy                             

Saturday, September 07, 2019

North Carolina is home to me …

where the hurricane Dorian touched down on our coast two days ago. Luckily I live far enough inland that it didn't affect me. However, look at what it did to Emerald Isle,

and to the Outer Banks.

We have yet to hear words of condolence from our President but I guess he's busy elsewhere. 

Not to worry Birmingham, Alabama. The “chosen one” is on your side and the weather forecast for the rest of your week is mostly sunny. It's such a comfort to all of us to know that !

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Wendy travels to a small town in Romania.

A welcoming smile
Hand stacked hay stacks, ready for winter


   Worker on a horse-drawn wagon 

 Dancer with apple

The drummer playing the cymbal with a screwdriver

TO BE CONTINUED … still traveling !




Sunday, September 01, 2019

Abaco hit hard by Dorian

I first posted this in December, 2017 and apologize for repeating it. I do so because it explains why I have such a deep love for the Island of Abaco and why it is breaking my heart today to see it being devastated by Dorian.

The winter of 1974 my husband and I took a trip to a small “out-island” in the Bahamas. We knew it was remote and with few amenities but it was within our budget and we agreed that it would be good for Dick who's diabetes & asthma were acerbated by the cold weather.

After a flight to Eleuthra and a short boat ride we found ourselves in a picturesque fishing village on the island of Spanish Wells. The people were very friendly and the island was so small that we were able to see it all on the first day. The fishermen were on shore that week so the local “watering hole” was really hopping and they were thrilled to have a new set of ears to listen to their folklore. We also met the only other visitor to the island. He was a man in his 40’s, casually dressed in beach garb and we could tell he was a regular and very well liked.

We found that we had a mutual interest in cards and spent the night playing penny-ante poker and trading stories. The next day was raining and we took up the card playing again. It was fun at first but then we realized that Dick was starting to have a hard time breathing. Our new friend became quite concerned for him since there were no phones, no doctors and no way to get medications quickly. He told us that he had a good friend, a Scottish doctor, who worked at “Treasure Cay”, a resort on the Island of Abaco. He said he would make all the arrangements and that we could transfer our next 5 days in Spanish Wells to the resort in Abaco.   

He was as good as his word and we soon found ourselves on a small private plane heading to Abaco. When we landed there was a chauffeur waiting for us and the driver whisked us off to our beach-front cabana at “Treasure Cay”. We were still in shock when Dr. Hameish Fraser arrived. He told us his friend (and ours) had contacted him and that he was at our disposal. It was such a comfort to have this friendly man welcome us and it was just in time. Dick was getting in trouble with his breathing again and the doctor put him to bed and started him on medication. It would be three days before he was able to get up and Dr Fraser visited every day.

During that time I wandered the beach and marveled at the white sand and the teal colored ocean that lapped the shore. It truly is a paradise on earth, I thought, but can we afford it? The day before we left I went to the office to settle our bill. “What bill?”, said the manager. I explained about the transfer of funds from Spanish Wells and she just smiled. It seems that our card-playing friend was a co-owner of “Treasure Cay” and both he and Dr. Fraser refused payment. Of course I wrote a heartfelt letter to him but I never got an answer. I have thought of that so often over the years and still marvel at the generosity of those two amazing men.