Thursday, February 28, 2008


Tuesday, February 26, 2008


18 cloves 6 pieces cinnamon bark 9 C. boiling water 2/3 C. lemon juice
1 1/2 C. orange juice 3 pt. ginger ale Tea bags, to taste Sugar, to taste (lots)

Pour boiling water over tea and spices. Cover and let steep for 5 minutes. Strain. Add juices and ginger ale. Sweeten to taste.

My mother always served this tea for her class meetings and circle meetings when they were held at her house. She always instructed my father and me that we were not to sneak any of it because it was too expensive to make and it was only for special occasions. Well, of course I had sneaking down to a fine art. Before she came home from work or after she went to bed I could have an extra cuppa if I were careful to wash the warming pan and cup. It was only after I started making it that I discovered that it always left a wonderful smell in the air after it was heated. She probably knew.

Incidentally, it's always better made the day before! It needs to set up a bit.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Mrs. Obama-Michelle to her friends- has finally found something in her adult years to be proud of as an American. You know, I don't remember a day of my life that I haven't been proud to be American. I have a suggestion for her. Get on a plane and fly to China. Stay in a hotel-a good one. And know that every thing you do is being watched: brushing your teeth, taking a bath, reading your Bible and praying, sleeping. Go out of the hotel and take one of those horried little red taxis and know that the conversation you're having with your friend is being over heard. Then, oh happy day, go to the airport, board a plane and then lift off from the Beijing airport and many hours later enter the blue skies of and the complete freedom of America. Even better, go down the interstate here in my city and watch Old Glory as she flies over Robinson Brothers. Or watch the face of an elderly veteran as he hears the National Anthem.
Something is wrong with this lady. She wants to be your First Lady. Not mine. No one who is not proud every day of her life to American will be my First Lady. She has no right to stand with those who came before her: the Mrs. Washngton, Madison, Eleanor Roosevelt, Ford, Barbara and Laura Bush, Kennedy, and so on.I cannot see her representing my country in any official functions. I have a suggestion. She should find a country she can be proud of and go there post haste.
And that's all I have to say about that.....

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Fellow Alabamian Harper Lee was born in Monroeville in 1926. It's a little town that I'm familiar with, having visited relatives living there when I was a child. Her claim to fame was one book-the only one she wrote- and boy, what a book! To Kill A Mockingbird. She completed it in 1960 and it won the Pulitzer Prize in 1961. It was named Novel of the Century in 1999 by the Library Journal. It's considered to be somewhat autobiographical with the main character tomboy Scout being herself and Scout's best friend Dill being Harper's real life best friend Truman Capote. She actually served as his assistant in Kansas when he wrote his best seller In Cold Blood. In 2007 President Bush awarded Harper Lee the Presidential Medal of Freedom. More than 30 million copies of her book have been published. As a matter of fact, it has never been out of print. Other than her book she has never published more than a few magazine articles. Today she is a recluse. She gives no interviews. Harper Lee lives in New York but frequently visits her sister in Monroeville. Hers is a charming little book. I don't know how many times I've read it. But each time is like going home again.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Good morning, everyone:

February is Heart Month. It's especially important for women to take note of this because heart disease is the No.1 killer of women. Not breast cancer, as some think. Symptoms are a little bit different in women than men and sometimes we are so busy taking care of our families we ignore the symptoms in ourselves. There's a great website just for us with some wonderful information: Take a minute and check it out. And if you've never seen a cardiologist now would be a good time to make sure everything is okay.
LAGNIAPPE: Creole term for "an extra or unexpected gift", "a special bonus".

Teach us, Almighty Father to...feel the importance of every day, and every hour as it passes, and earnestly strive to make a better use of what Thy goodness may yet bestow on us, than we have done of the time past.

Jane Austen

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Gumbo is a staple here, especially this time of year: Lent. Even though I'm a Baptist some Catholic and Episcopalian traditions really stick-especially to my ribs (and butt!). is a great site to discover what it's all about. Then hop over to for a great chicken & sausage gumbo recipe. As most people know, he's our resident Cajun (complete with accent!) chef. You can also order his products online.
Another good site is He' s a Yankee but he's got our cooking down pat. Click on "gumbo"and off you go. My favorite is always seafood gumbo.
Now a word about grits. It's something we eat for breakfast-never use instant. Use the real ones. Serve with lots of butter and a little salt. A real treat is cheese grits. Down here we eat shrimp & grits. Don't curl up your lip: it's great-all in the seasoning!
BUT: the true meaning of grits:
Girls Raised In The South
"Grits and Gumbo" may be an unusual name for a blog but it's my way of paying homage to my roots and to my parents and grandparents. I was born and raised in Alabama, land of magnolias and fall gridiron meetings, Southern accents and front porch rocking chairs, barbeques and mint juleps (which are TERRIBLE : sorry, Kentucky!).
I still have trouble breathing when I hear "Dixie". It has nothing to do with slavery. Lincoln was the second greatest president after Reagan It has to do with a slow way of living, big flowered hats,white- columned houses, green pastures, well-bred racing horses and Spanish moss.
I tear up when I hear the "Star Spangled Banner" because I'm an American. But it's the Southern part that make me me, along with all my brothers and sisters in this part of America: American by birth: Southern by the grace of God. Praise Jesus.