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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Trust in the Waffles

This post originally appeared 3/14/2008.

We all know that Mississippians like to eat -- we don't rank #1 in obesity for nothing -- but we also like to write and talk about eating. Eudora Welty wrote "The Flavor of Jackson" as the foreward for The Jackson Cookbook, published in 1971, which contains these tasty quotations:
"I often think to make a friend's fine recipe is to celebrate her once more, and in that cheeriest, most aromatic places to celebrate, the home kitchen."

"Jackson believed in and knew how to achieve the home flavor. And if ever there were a solid symbol of that spirit, one that radiates its pride and joy, it is the hand-cranked ice cream freezer. I see it established in a shady spot on a back porch, in the stage of having been turned till it won't go around another time; its cylinder is full of its frozen custard that's bright with peaches, or figs, or strawberries..."

"John Woodburn was a New York editor who'd come through Jackson on a scouting trip for young unknown writers and spent a night at our house. He carried my first collection of stories back with him and worked very hard trying to persuade his publisher to take them. Several years later, when he succeeded, he sent me a telegram to say, 'I knew as soon as I tasted your mother's waffles it would turn out all right.'"
The cookbook includes a recipe for something called Squash Eudora, which sounds more like a children's game than something to eat. Instead of telling you how to make it, let us concentrate on what I am currently thinking of: that homemade ice cream with peaches, figs (figs!), or strawberries melting over some of Chestina Welty's waffles.

This makes the package of peanut butter crackers I'm about to eat look really, really sad.

The Jackson Cookbook. The Symphony League of Jackson, 1971.

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