It all started with Edna Lewis's cookbook The Gift of Southern Cooking, which she wrote with Scott Peacock. Well, no, it really all started with my grandmother and my mother, two very proud southern women. I don't remember being indoctrinated, per se, with a love of southern cooking. It was just there. Spoonbread with ham. Corn fritters with maple syrup. Mint Juleps. Lady Baltimore cake. My mother was born in Baltimore, and more than that was, a Ford, and that was a proud heritage, albeit a somewhat infamous one (until you start reading about my ancestor, John T. Ford, owner of Ford's Theater where President Lincoln was shot). When I read Edna Lewis's cookbook I experience a wave of nostalgia that is so strong. Even though I grew up in Ohio I relate to this southern way of looking at food. And by that I mean the values of loving simple, earthy, natural food. It's not that my mother was a fantastic cook, but it was that she valued the cooking and serving of real food every evening at dinner. I'm not sure where I'm going with this, except to share the recipe for the cookies pictured below, and to point you to an article that Edna Lewis wrote about what "Southern" is. It's long, but worth it and you can read it here. And here is the cookie recipe...serve them up with iced tea or lemonade, and sit back and enjoy the rest of summer!