Getting Here from There
During a long run as the Senior Art Director of Lark Books, I lucked into the unofficial position of in-house food authority. When Lark started publishing food books I was in heaven! I helped develop Lark’s food titles, including the Homemade Living Series, Cake Ladies, and A Year of Pies. I lavished my love on food photography by directing the photo shoots and styling the shots—with some recipe development thrown into the mix. I also contributed regular posts to Lark’s blog, LarkCraft.com. Now I do all that freelance, and with this blog. And I’m branching out into cookbook writing with my first book, Chips.
My father’s family were true Southern Appalachian cooks. They raised hogs and chickens and big gardens. Summer was an endless parade of canning and freezing, with a little surreptitious wine-making on the side. My mom’s family were town people who cooked fancier food and made fantastic congealed salads. Grandmother Hansel ran a boarding house during the depression plus the lunchroom for Kendall Mill executives. It was Miss Maude’s bible-thick cookbooks, with their fantastical color plates of fancy foods and spectacular table settings, that turned me onto vintage cookbooks and old school recipes.
My husband Skip and I live in the Foodtopia of Asheville, in uber-indie-hipster West Asheville (you can call it the Brooklyn of Asheville). There are over 20 tailgate and farmer’s markets in this town and its surroundings and the bounty is fantastic. We’re definitely spoiled. I love community and regional cookbooks, antique cookbooks, and what I affectionately call Church Lady Cookbooks. If it’s spiral-bound, I’m going to pick it up.