My "back porch" is my kitchen, my favorite room in the house. Come on in, the coffee is fresh, and I just made a pitcher of sweet tea. The cookies will be out in a minute. I have over 40 years of recipes to share with you, along with my opinion on everything. Oh my, you are right, it is cocktail time. What can I get you? Of course I can make you a Mint Julep! Stop by anytime, something is always cooking, and the back door is never locked.

Bon Appetit, Y'all

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Lord's Auction 2013

Yesterday Beverly's church, Old Union Christian, held its annual auction.  This auction in the Fall and a yard sale in the Spring are the only fundraisers this beautiful little country church does, and it's been doing the auction the same way for fifty years.

Church members donate handmade, home-grown, home-canned items and a fabulous auctioneer comes and auctions everything off to the community members sitting in chairs carried up from the church basement.  Kids and dogs run around, old friends catch up, and they take personal checks from folks who spend more than the cash they brought with them (thank goodness!).  There are candies, cakes, and pies that have been made by the same people, with the same recipes, for decades.  Two butterscotch pies went for $100 each!  But there were still bargains to be had, and I came away with candy handmade by my Sunday School teacher from high school and her mother, a jar of crabapple jelly made by a church icon, and the very last of someone's tomato crop, which I intend to use to make BLTs three meals a day until I run out.  You can't get a decent tomato at Kroger and every time I try to grow them the ninja squirrels eat them.  But I digress.

Last year's church auction was Beverly's last public appearance.  She didn't feel well, but refused to admit it, and brought goodness knows what all to be auctioned off.  This was the first year I've attended since I was a young girl, but I'm planning on going back every year.  The last of Beverly's home-canned sauces, jams, jellies, relishes, pickles, etc went up for auction.  My step-mom, Edie, had put together four boxes of items.  Some the crowd insisted they be sold item by item, some were sold in lots.  Beverly would have enjoyed it.

She especially would have enjoyed that as Edie and I sat talking, only stopping momentarily to bid on a few items, my dad (and Beverly's big brother) sat in the shade behind us and bought so much stuff he had to pull the truck into the parking lot to get it all back home.  I think he was just bidding randomly - there's no other way to explain some of the items that were dropped at Edie's feet by a laughing "auction assistant".  Auction assistants do such things as model hand-knit hats (on an eighty-year-old bald head), tell the stories that go along with items up for bid (This is so-and-so's jam cake recipe, but she had to bake it in thus-and-so's oven because hers is out right now), and open sealed containers to give potential bidders a sniff of the contents.  That's what got me.  He waved that candy under my nose and I knew there was peanut butter fudge in there and that it had to go home with me.

In general, it's the kind of relaxed, old-fashioned good time you can't find easily these days.  I promise next year I'll remember to put a reminder post here on Beverly's blog as well as on mine, The Jammie Girl to remind everyone in the Central Kentucky area to come to the auction, or to follow my posts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for the highlights if you live too far away.  It's always the first Saturday in October, it always starts at 10:45am, and they always take a short lunch break so you can carry your early purchases to your car and grab a hot dog and a coke at the food truck.  Put it on your calendar now!  Dad and Edie's dog, Harper, was so popular that one lady bought her a hot dog and another bought her a bottled water.  The people who bought the first $100 butterscotch pie drew the line when she wanted to stick her snout in it, though.  Next year look for the bids to go high on Edie's Pound Cake - it's fabulous.  And I'd like to say I'd hope there was a Betty Rose pecan pie on the auction trailer (all items are auctioned off a flatbed trailer set in the shade) but I know I couldn't even afford the opening bid on that one!

Anyway, if you want a new Fall tradition that showcases people who really know what giving the best of your Harvest to your Church is about show up at The Lord's Auction next year.  Email me at if you have any questions.  Angie

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Annie and Mazzy Have a New Home!

Beverly's beloved Yorkies, Annie and Mazzy, have a new home.  They will be living in Danville on five acres with a fenced yard an a Yorkie sister to keep them company.  Their new parents are school bus drivers, so they'll have the next couple of weeks to get full-time snuggles.  This is the picture that made the couple fall in love with the girls :)  I know Beverly would be thrilled that they are going to a loving home together, and that they will be pampered nearly as much there as they were with her.  Merry Christmas, and hug your loved ones tight - furry and non-furry!  Angie

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Celebration of Beverly's Life

I wish all of you could have been there for Beverly's memorial service Saturday.  In a way, you all were.  Beverly's pastor, Scott, must have spent the entire week between her death and her funeral reading her blog.  He said that in many ways she'd written her own eulogy with the scriptures she selected each week for her "Saints and Scripture Sundays" posts.  He read comments from readers he'd found on her blog as well as emails readers from around the country had sent to him.
Edie's good friend Scotty made this beautiful arrangement for the altar.  I wish my photography skills were better so that you could see that the arrangement includes not only lilies and roses, but kale, one of Beverly's favorite vegetables to cook with :) And yes, her urn is a covered casserole dish - what could be more appropriate for a food blogger?
These were the pictures we had on display of Bev from childhood through adulthood.  The one in the center is her senior portrait and the black and white ones are from when she was crowned Prom Queen.
 Here's the altar with everything in place, including her picture from the blog, her leather vest from the Harley-Davidson 'Bike Week" in Daytona, and a sign that hung on her front door reading "How can I miss you if you won't go away?"  The church was decorated beautifully for Christmas, and the pews were full of people who loved her.
 Scott had the brilliant idea of creating his own version of "prayer cards" for Beverly.  The backs didn't have prayers on them, though - they had recipes.  There were four different recipes, and once people realized that not everyone had the same recipe there was a bit of a scuffle as women made sure they had one of each.  The recipes included were for Hot Mess Brownies, Hoppin' John Savannah Style, Hot Brown Panini, and Turnip and Potato Soup. David Biddle was mentioned specifically in the Turnip and Potato Soup recipe, and he played and sang two lovely hymns for us with his autoharp, speaking briefly about Beverly in between.  It was heartfelt and beautiful.
After the service it was standing room only downstairs where the ladies of the church had put together a spread of food unlike anything you'll ever experience outside a funeral at a small Southern church.  At the far end of the table you'll see Scoot, the pastor, and his wife.  If you're looking for a church filled with loving people and led by a practical, charming, and devout pastor (and you live somewhere within driving distance of the Fayette/Bourbon County line in Kentucky) check out Old Union Christian Church at 11 a.m. on any Sunday.  I guarantee your soul will be nourished.  It's at 6856 Russell Cave Rd, and you can call (859) 293-6192 if you need directions ;)  Mention you came because of Beverly's blog and you're sure to get some good "Beverly stories" - there are plenty to go around.  I'll be sharing more over on my own blog, The Jammie Girl.  Angie

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Saying Goodbye to Beverly

I am so sad to tell you that Beverly passed away Thursday the 6th.  She died peacefully in her sleep.  I was blessed to be able to spend the last few days of her life with her, and for most of that time she was coherent and was her usual funny, irreverent self.  She enjoyed hearing the blog comments and emails I read to her.

I gathered a few mementos I found in the house while looking for things that were important to Beverly near the end, including her baton from when she was a majorette (she was also Prom Queen) and a motorcycle vest from the Daytona Beach Harley-Davidson Bikers' club to which she belonged.  A patch on the front reads "I'm perfect just the way I am."

When we met with Beverly's pastor, Scott, in preparation for his composition of her eulogy we laughed and cried and told "Beverly stories" for two hours.  My favorite story, though, was Scott's.  He said that when he told his daughter of Beverly's passing a deeply spiritual women (but, obviously, one who had never met Beverly) was standing nearby and said, "Now she's singing with the angels."  Scott's quick response was, "No, she's probably having a cigarette and telling God what she's cooking for supper."  That is Beverly in a nutshell.

Thank you all so much for your comments, your emails, your thoughts and prayers.  We have all lost someone special, whether we knew her through her blog or "in real life" as we bloggers say.  Every time you cook one of Beverly's recipes think of her and smile.  She'd like that.  Special thanks go to Joyce at October Farm, who I know grieves for Beverly with her whole heart.

For those of you who live near Lexington, Kentucky and would like to attend her memorial service here are the details:

Saturday, December 15th
Old Union Christian Church
6856 Russell Cave Rd.
Lexington, KY 40511
Visitation 2:30 to 4:00 p.m.
Memorial service at 4:00 p.m.
Supper to follow in the church basement

If you need directions or have something special about Beverly you'd like Scott to include in her eulogy he can be reached at  And if you do come it's likely you'll get to meet David Biddle, who grew nearly all the vegetables Beverly cooked with.  Rumor has it David may even sing.  You'll probably also meet Betty Rose and Louise Charles.  And you will certainly eat a delicious meal, because the ladies of Old Union will be pulling out all the stops and making their best dishes for Beverly, as is only right and proper.  The food for her funeral was one of the few details Beverly was willing to discuss - a food blogger to the end!

A memorial fund has been established in Beverly's honor through Traditional Bank in Paris.  In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the fund with checks being made payable to Larry Swetnam with "Beverly's Memorial Fund" on the subject line or on a note enclosed with the donation.  Their address is 3333 Lexington Rd., Paris, KY 40362. Please mark the envelope "ATTN: Cecilia".  And thank you, Cecilia, for helping us set this up for Beverly when we were too overwhelmed to think clearly.  ~Angie

Monday, December 3, 2012

Beverly is at home with Hospice.

Beverly has been home for a few days under Hospice care.  She decided against a feeding tube, and for a hospital bed.  Either my Dad or his wife, Edie, have been with her constantly since she came home.  As soon as I'm done with a test of my own I couldn't reschedule tomorrow morning I'm heading to Lexington, and I'll pass along all your wonderful comments if Edie hasn't already read them to her.

I'll also pass along all the hugs.  She's taking pain medicine around the clock to stay comfortable and is sleeping much of the time, but when she's awake she's her usual self :)

Thank you all again for all your thoughts and prayers.  Hug someone you love today and tell them how much they mean to you in case you don't have the opportunity tomorrow.  Angie

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Latest From The Back Porch

Beverly is still in the hospital, so she asked me to fill you all in.  There's no more chemo planned for the immediate future, and no PEG tube, either.  Her hospitalist, oncologist, and palliative care doctor are working together to improve her nutritional status and make her more comfortable so that she can come home to these two adorable pups:

Thanksgiving day, after visiting Beverly, we took Annie and Mazzie down to their Mama's house for a short visit and a photo shoot.  They weren't particularly cooperative, but at least you can see how adorable they are!  Hopefully this is the view Beverly will soon be seeing as she heads home:

She is exhausted, and has asked to limit her hospital visitors to family only for right now, and her immunosupressed status keeps her from receiving flowers, but she has loved the cards so many of you have sent, and the blog comments I have passed along.  Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.  Angie

Sunday, November 4, 2012

An Update From the Back Porch

So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
~Isaiah 41:10

This is Angie, Beverly’s niece, posted on her behalf.  I know many of her faithful followers have been wondering why they haven’t seen any new recipes for a while.

Beverly is quite ill.  She has non-small-cell lung cancer, which is treatable, but not curable.  She is exhausted, and the road ahead is hard.  Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

She has touched the lives of many, and if you’d like to leave her a comment wishing her well we’ll make sure she gets all your messages.  Hopefully she’ll be strong enough soon to be posting on her own, but until then, think of her when you prepare one of her recipes, and say a little prayer.