Tuesday, September 10, 2019

The Butterfly Hours Memoir Project: RECIPES

For 2019 I'm running a year-long series on my blog in which I share my responses to the writing assignment prompts found in THE BUTTERLY HOURS by Patty Dann.

I welcome you to join me, if you like! I've divided the prompts by month, and the plan is to respond to 3 (or so) a week. For some of these I may write poems, for others prose. The important thing is to mine my memory. Who knows where this exploration will lead?

For links to the prompts I've written on so far this year, please click on The Butterfly Hours tab above.

This month's prompts are pipe, playground, prayers, recipes, ribbon, rice, road, saltwater, sandwich, school, sewing.

Grandma Dykes would rather
cook than be photographed. :)
The recipes I most cherish from my childhood all come from Grandma Dykes:

hoe cakes – no one knows what this is, so we changed it to “corn bread” in mine and Charles' forthcoming DICTIONARY FOR A BETTER WORLD (basically fine white corn meal -- and yes, brand matters! -- mixed with hot water a bit of salt then fried in in iron skillet)

butternut cake – Grandma would wrap this cake in aluminum foil, freeze it, and send it to our family through the mail.

sour cream cake – I featured this recipe in LEAVING GEE'S BEND!

chocolate pie – I can remember Grandma stirring the chocolate on the stove, and how the smell would fill her small pine kitchen...

Coca-cola cake – this is comfort food for me! I love how you cook and pour the icing over the top of the cake.

Some recipes I cherish from my mother-in-law Bobbie Latham:

cornbread– gold, I tell you, gold! (recipe below)

chicken and dressing – I'd never had dressing I liked until I had my first holiday with the Lathams back in 1990. The key is the cornbread, which is why I'm sharing it.

cranberry salad – I still make this, even though none of my guys eat it. :)

When we do scrapbook weekends, my mom always brings her famous ambrosia – heavy on the grapefruit, as she is and always will be a Florida citrus grove girl. I love it! (Mama, if you're reading this: Happy birthday!!!)

Another great thing to do with grapefruit: cut in half, sprinkle with brown sugar, put in the oven and broil until the sugar gets melty.

For other fruit and veggie recipes, please see the back matter in my book FRESH DELICIOUS. :)

and now....

Bobbie’s Buttermilk Cornbread

1 c. Aunt Jemima buttermilk corn meal mix
1 c. buttermilk
¼ c. canola oil
1 egg

Heat oven to 415 degrees. Mix together above ingredients. Place 3 Tbsp. butter in large iron skillet. When it begins to brown, pour in cornbread mixture. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove cornbread from skillet - put on plate. Melt 1 Tbsp. butter in skillet. When it begins to brown, flip cornbread and put it back in skillet for 5 minutes.



  1. Yum!! I am a fan of dressing of all kinds, and that cornbread sounds like a great starting point.
    You made me want to make a chocolate pie! I don't think I've ever had cola cake, but I am up for it.

  2. I remember my mother's chocolate pie, too. Guess it's time to make one! And I also add cornbread to my Thanksgiving dressing, so good! Love reading about your memories, Irene!

  3. I make cornbread dressing from my Mama's recipe which thankfully my sister created as she watched Mom make her traditional dressing (always without a recipe). I make a cranberry jello salad in the green Tupperware mold every year. Fresh cranberries & oranges & walnuts in raspberry jello. Oh, you're making me long for Thanksgiving, Irene.


Your thoughts?