pecan pie

Joyful in the moment

The holiday season is peeking around the corner…

Events start moving fast in October—for our family, we celebrate two wedding anniversaries in mid-month, sweet Penny’s and Jack’s birthdays and then we roll right into November with four more birthdays followed by Thanksgiving. We are only 4 weeks out from Turkey Day! I am not trying to stress you out. Rather, I want to encourage you to steal a moment of peace through the madness.

Try to be present for each and every celebration in the coming months without dwelling on where you have to be next or your to-do list or your “haven’t done” list. Yes, it’s easier said than done. But take deep cleansing breaths and focus. You’ll only be there in that specific moment once.

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Halloween is here and I would love to see the costumes your children/grandchildren/neighbors/nieces & nephews and godchildren are wearing. Will you send me some pictures? So much fun. I have such fond memories of my kids trick-or-treating in our neighborhood, even into their high school years! Somehow it became a tradition to eat chili dogs on Halloween night (might have to blame Sonic for this one) but I’m offering a delicious, savory chili with mini-cornbreads for you to pick up for a quick meal before your kids head out or for you to enjoy when you settle in to answer the door.

SAVETHEDATE:

Invitations going out this week

November 3, 4-7pm Sip & Sample

Pies, sides, nibbles, wine

Private residence

 

November 4, 11-2pm Tasting Event

Pies, sides, nibbles

Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church

A Taiwanese girl makes Southern Fried Chicken...Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

My parents met in Taiwan when my father, Tom, was a young zealous missionary who could not speak the local language but knew he had a message to share. “Frank” was his interpreter until my father acquired mastery of the Taiwanese dialect and during their acquaintance, Frank introduced him to his family including his sister, Sadako.  Tom was immediately smitten and she quite taken with the handsome Westerner.  Their courtship is another story entirely.  But as the story regards the food that I grew up eating, Tom brought Sadako to the United States after they were married in order to finish his seminary studies.  They lived in Kentucky for a number of years, giving birth and raising 3 children while my father earned his Masters of Divinity. During that time, my mother learned to cook a number of Southern dishes which were entirely foreign to her but she wanted so to please her new American husband.
To this day, I have not tasted anyone’s homemade Fried Chicken that can rival her’s.  It’s a simple recipe involving a brown paper sack and it is fried perfection. (Dean Fearing and I once had a very polite disagreement about who made the better chicken and we learned that we use the same method: his grandmother also taught him to use a paper sack and she was from Kentucky!)   These days I most often make Fried Chicken for a picnic to be served cold with champagne on a lazy afternoon.

I think that I am adventurous in the kitchen but my mother was a true model of courage. Can you imagine leaving everything you know and love and coming to a foreign country with strange dishes and customs? And then embracing the difference and trying to adapt to a way of life without fulling understanding even the language? This week’s Menu is a tribute to my brave Taiwanese mother.

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I love this picture. I don’t remember my mother being silly on many occasions so this image is priceless. I think her expression embodies a cheeky attitude that says “I know what I’m doing.” Love you, Mom!

p.s. I’m the big mouth – shocker!