Unless otherwise noted, the Kathryn Tucker Windham blog is written by her daughter, Dilcy Windham Hilley.
When the Windham children were growing up, we often ate the school cafeteria lunches. You remember those. The misshapen mystery meat, the green beans the consistency of mashed potatoes, the mashed potatoes the consistency of pudding, the pudding the consistency of mystery meat. You remember those. I still remember the orange meal ticket that included a carton of milk.
But the meals were cheap and filling, and that was important to my single mother raising three children.
Sometimes, if it was close to payday and money was tight, Mother would pack sack lunches for us. Now, generally they were something along the lines of a boloney or olive loaf sandwich, an orange, and a cookie or two. But one day, things in the sack lunch were not so ordinary.
To her dying day, my mother swore this did not happen, but it was my sack lunch, and I know it did. That day, I found a seat among the most popular girls, the cheerleaders, the class beauties, the golden children. I opened my sack lunch, and, to my horror, there it was…a “sandwich” made of two slices of fruitcake glued together with pimento cheese. Oh, yes it was, and my universe imploded.
Decades later, as Thanksgiving approached and the Claxton fruitcakes appeared, I felt a nostalgic urge to spread some holiday pimento cheese on a slice. It’s surprisingly good. Try it. If you don’t like it, you can put it in some kid’s sack lunch.
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"Some people are important to intellectuals, journalists, or politicians, but Kathryn Tucker Windham is probably the only person I know in Alabama who is important to everybody."
–Wayne Flynt, Professor Emeritus in the Department of History at Auburn University.
Dilcy Windham Hilley
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