Like the French, I’m told, I think about lunch just after breakfast and dinner just after lunch. I read cookbooks like novels and even got a chance to write one, The HandyMom’s Guide to Grilling (Cool Springs Press). In my various incarnations, I’ve been a food writer, restaurant critic, broadcaster, drone-like manager and, now, a nonprofit CEO. Actually, that sounds a little grand. I run a nonprofit that provides basic household necessities to other nonprofits and their clients. I get to write grants, schmooze funders and work in a warehouse full of cool stuff that I get to give away. It’s a good life. What’s for lunch?
The cast of characters:
King Daddy is man of the house, although he doesn’t get to come near the grill. He’s willing to try anything and has graciously not said a dang word about the three great culinary mistakes I’ve made in my cooking career. We just won’t go into the fish Jello. Mark and I are sharers of food and when we eat out we shamelessly stick a fork in each other’s plate to see who ordered the best thing. He usually wins.
Noah is our son, a graduate of the University of Tennessee and a guy who’s quickly becoming an adventurous cook. He makes his own hollandaise and he’s also just Southern enough that he understands the true value of cream of mushroom soup. He love sushi – the really daunting kind like a roll with giant fish eggs on it. Noah is currently studying at the Middlebury Institute for International Studies in Monterey, California, and is fluent in Russian. I’m hoping that he secures a job with some Russian vodka manufacturer so Mum can get free hootch.
Bunny is Noah’s grandmother. If you notice that she looks younger than me, she is. It’s a long story, but we don’t have a family tree. We have a kudzu vine. Bunny is a Southern cook in the most traditional sense. She is queen of the casserole, a devotee of that classic combination of blue box mac and cheese with hotdogs, and author of the best dang dip you will ever eat – ham dip with Fritos Scoops. She also shamelessly dotes on her grandchildren, nieces and nephews and thinks nothing of dropping more than $300 at the Costco just to keep them in provisions.