Mona came for a visit this weekend and brought two gallons of Lopez Mexican Restaurant salsa from Texas with her. Emma calls her Mumu, but Pank calls her Mom. Can I just say that I totally lucked out on the mother-in-law situation! I am sure that TSA was puzzled by the big thermos full of spicy liquid, but we are very thankful for the haul. Mona has been hearing about Pank and my summer adventures in the garden and wanted very much to be included. So, we rented a tiller, grabbed a few rakes and shovels and went to work. Throughout the steamy hot Labor Day weekend, there were intervals of tiling, raking and digging. Even Emma got in on the action and dug with her little paws until her heart was content.
Sprinkled throughout the weekend were gastronomic celebrations.
Nancy VanReece is not only my friend, she is also one of my mentors. She painted the pie that is my cover photo for this blog entry. Her Mamma, Mareita Jo Peters Reece, left this world during the summer with all the grace and beauty that she shared during her life. She tells this great story about her Mamma and pie. Nancy and her wife, Joan, came over Friday morning. It only seemed fitting that we celebrate Mareita with pie and champagne. Click here to read the pie story. James Beard- nominated pastry chef Phoebe Lawless shares her pie crust recipe in the August/September issue of Garden and Gun Magazine. It was certainly a winner for my buttermilk pie.
Saturday morning, my Mamma and Daddy came to visit. We all shared a brunch of spinach frittata with steak and biscuits on the back porch. My favorite part was listening to our parents catching up with one another while Pank and I prepared the meal and set the table. And then there were the stories! I learned quite a bit about Pank’s family history that day. It seems that his paternal great grandmother, Mamo, would have been a Corbin In The Dell fan. She took great interest and care in health and nutrition. I think Mamo would have been very proud of her great grandson’s “yarden!” While we strolled through the back portion of our new garden spaces, Daddy and Pank made plans for this fall’s chicken coop building. I can’t wait to cook a meal with Mamma for our fellers one fall afternoon! Later that day, while at Nashville Farmers Market, I got to introduce Mamma and Daddy to the man who raised our brunch steak. If you have not had KLD Farm ribeye, please stop by the market on Saturday and tell Kenneth I said hello.
My birthday was earlier this month, so we celebrated that Saturday night at one of my favorites, Lockland Table. Hal Holden-Bache is a James Beard nominee and a chef that cares about the future of our food and community. It definitely shows through his culinary talent. The menu is full of locally sourced, delicious choices. My favorite part of the meal was the pork and shrimp dumplings!
After all the hard work was done, Mona and I put up corn the next day. Some folks may not consider corn shucking a relaxing way to spend a rainy Sunday, but we had the best time! As Mumu got all packed and ready to head back to Houston, we promised to have her back when the kale, turnips and beets start coming in this fall. After all, she has to share in the fruits of her labor. Meanwhile, she stuffed the corn she and I put up in the thermos once full of Texas salsa. Poor TSA must really be confused yet again! Mona says that when she returned to Houston, our nephew Bennett came running down the stairs asking, “Mumu, did you bring Nashville corn?”
I share the story of my weekend, because it is a great example of how important food is to our life. It not only sustains us, it is one of the best ways we celebrate, reminisce, build relationships and even heal. Why in the world would we compromise such an important part of our past, present and future?!? Usually, the Corbin In The Dell blog ends with a recipe. I would love to read your favorite recipe that brings folks together….