Monday, May 23, 2011

Geneva, A Memoir by Her Daughter

I was privileged to receive a copy of fellow blogger, Ellen Thompson Shook's first book in the mail a few weeks ago.  Ellen blogs at Scribbler Unfocused and in her 1st book she explores her family history and focuses on her mother, Geneva.  Like many Southern families, Shook's family story is so closely interwoven with food I don't know that you could separate the two.  We in the South, love through food, and along with the family history and lovely vintage family photographs there is quite a collection of recipes that Geneva used.  Some of the recipes are the same ones that I grew up with (as did many children of the South) but revisiting them is always a delight!  

Shook says of her Mother, "Geneva was never the easiest person to get along with.  Certainly, she did not suffer fools gladly.  Many, many times we locked horns, but usually she never stayed mad for very long. The happiest times when I was growing up were spent in the kitchen watching her cook."

One of my favorite parts of Shook's work is the  the description of her  Mother's kitchen.  "The kitchen walls were painted blue and yellow to match the floor -- blue on the bottom and yellow on the top -- with high gloss enamel paint (scrubbable).  We kept the ancient gas stove which you and to light with a match.  That relic even went with us when we moved years later.  We also had a little fridge that came out of Noah's Ark til 1957 when we got a new Hotpoint with a separate freezer on top. In an alcove over next to the pantry, which was behind our kitchen table, resided the old arcola coal burning furnace which kept those radiators sizzling hot and us toasty warm.  our kitchen was the cosiest place imaginable on God's green earth......"  Now, that just makes me want to go back to my grandma's kitchen! 

Find out more about Ellen at: Scribbler Unfocused


  1. Thank you so much for featuring my book on your blog. I will post this link on my blog, the book's website and also on Facebook. I really appreciate your taking the time to read the book and talk about it here. Big things are starting to happen with it, and it is thanks in large part to kind people like you who helped. It is huge for an unknown writer to get some positive exposure this way.


  2. I just realized that I could have linked this comment to the WordPress website. I am just all thumbs with some of the technical details!

  3. I am so glad to see my friend Ellen's book being reviewed here. And you are my SC neighbor - what a small world.

  4. Oh wow, this sounds like an awesome read. Give me food & the South and I am there!
    Hope you're having a great evening-

  5. Sounds like a cool book..I'd love to check out those recipes!

  6. With summertime knocking at the front door, just imagine all the southern goodness in the book!!
    Thank you for sharing.


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