Libraries are important. They always have been. They always will be. No matter what innovations beset us, be they printing presses, typewriters, computers, or holograms (maybe?), the idea behind libraries is ideas. And ideas will always save us.
Trends are a fickle thing. The latest craze can be a brand new invention the world has never seen or an old classic being reinvented for a new generation. So it is with that Southern staple—pimento cheese.
“One of the things you learn about baking a cake together is that pans are not EXACTLY the same size even if they’re supposed to be nine inches! I made two layers and Amy made two layers and they’re not precisely the same circumference, but that’s what makes it homemade, right?
“I was food chair for the 2000 update to the Thyme to Entertain cookbook and it was a long and laborious process, but we were very proud of the result. I had file boxes everywhere in my dining room! We had a cookbook committee and we tested each recipe three times with three different cooks to make sure it was a sound recipe.
“When I joined the Charity League I made up cookbook baskets for family and friends as gifts. I would put a cookbook, a recipe, and all the recipe ingredients into a basket as a gift. We typically have to sell 10 cookbooks as a new member assignment, so this was a great way for me to sell cookbooks and give great gifts! A lot of the time moms and grandmothers buy them so it becomes this multi-generational gift, which makes the cookbook really special than one you buy off the shelf. Plus these recipes have been handed down from women almost 60 years ago. That is so amazing!"
“The League cookbook was a wedding present, and I’ve been using it for almost 38 years now and it’s ragged. It’s my Bible. It’s my go-to book, and the first recipe I made out of the book was Caroline Bennett’s Chicken. These books are such classics and it’s fun to see how our menus have changed over the years.
Women in the south have long been a force behind successful initiatives to lift up those in need, support community causes of merit, and create cultures of social change for the neighborhoods where they abide. In the 30s in Paducah, a group of just such women formed the Charity League—an organization of like-minded women devoted to acquiring funds to undergird the local Friendly Home, which took in orphans and children in need.