(Unless otherwise noted, the Kathryn Tucker Windham blog is written by her children, Ben Windham and Dilcy Windham Hilley.)
Though Mother was the author of several cookbooks, she never taught any of us to cook. She had her hands full as a widowed working mother raising three children, so there just wasn’t time.
Like many of our mothers during that era of convenience cooking, my mother liked to use condensed mushroom soup to fancy up a recipe. Lowly chicken thighs---which, in my grandmother’s house, were politely called “second joints” ----were miraculously converted into fine cuisine with the simple addition of a can of mushroom soup.
When I graduated from college, I needed to know how to cook something, anything, that was guest-worthy. Visiting Mother in Selma one weekend, I told her I needed a simple recipe that was failproof. She reached for her reporter’s notebook and wrote detailed instructions for Butterbean Casserole.
My favorite part of the recipe, besides the fact that it’s in her handwriting, is the encouraging little note at the end.
Maybe I’ll make some tonight….
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–Wayne Flynt, Professor Emeritus in the Department of History at Auburn University.
Ben Windham & Dilcy Windham Hilley
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