16 March 2020

a simple cotton dress of blue, for I, have loved the skies.
circumscribed in pine and yew—and lilies of the field-BCT

Betty Anne Cushwa Tapp, 89 of Roxboro, died Wednesday, February 26, 2020, at her home. 

Born, April 12, 1930, in Roxboro, to parents George Joseph Cushwa and Bessie Pettigrew Cushwa. She attended Woman’s College in Greensboro, pursuing her love of art and singing. She continued her love of painting, and poetry sharing her work with family and friends throughout her life.

She said her greatest accomplishments were her three children, instilling in them her sense of kindness, and her acceptance of every individual regardless of their diverse beliefs or station in life.

She is preceded in death by her one and only love, husband Norman Lewis Tapp; and three of her siblings, Helen C. Gentry, Annette C. Snipes, and George Cushwa Jr. Surviving are her children, Paul Norman Tapp and his wife Joanne Reed of Fairfield, Iowa, Kevin Cushwa Tapp of Winston-Salem and Patricia Gaye Tapp of Roxboro; sister, Hanky C. McFadyen of Roxboro; two grandchildren, Elizabeth Tapp and her husband Adam Ewing, and Jeremy Tapp.

A private memorial service will be held in the home.
In remembrance of her life, Betty would encourage you to donate to the charity or cause you most believe in.

21 December 2019

in memory

oddly the holiday that brings pine and holly
brings a stillness no rustling of green can shutter.
as with Loss, December races to catch us-coming in red and green.
children never wonder at the slight trace of sadness in a beautiful mother's smiling face-
a granmother's happy forbearance of mistletoe. 
women who have lost father, sister, little siblings, parents, husbands-
the faces that shown brightly in their midst-
how they must have shown just a bit brighter in holiday's waning candle.
memory that glows to crackling when a December day closes-
 memory that comes cautiously close-peering through the tinsel and lights.
caressing Us down that old wooded path to Love.
it is right to remember.
it is good to find these loving spirits stirring you.
remembering a day when nothing else mattered but Love. 

in loving memory and celebration of my father-February 4,1930-December 19, 2004, my parents wedding anniversary of December 23, 1951, & my grandparents anniversary of December 24, 1918.

this post was originally published under the title  Spirits on December 19th 2010

03 December 2019

Holly Jolly

Pierre Balmain embroidered cocktail dress, 1955. 
 Black velvet by J Leonard, Embroidered by Lesage with Scarlet Velvet Berries, 
Embroidered Green Leaves spangled with tiny gunmetal sequins

22 November 2019

flawless host ALEX HITZ

Alex Hitz's book The Art of the Host—is really a memoir. His success as host and chef certainly derive from his family tree. As he presents his beautiful traditional table settings and recipes he tells his readers backstories and mostly it's family and friend related. That's really where recipes, linens, sterling, and china should come from. From the heart—from family.

Alex Hitz with his team, which includes dear friends and his "food family"
Center front, Mary Boyle Hataway, who he dedicates the book to—along with his Aunt Laura.

Recipes are sprinkled with names like My Mother's French Silk Pie (below), and the book, along with delicious photographs of table and food, adds another ingredient—photographs of the people who inspired them. For "The-Absolutely-Perfect-Every-Time-Thanksgiving" chapter Hitz fills his reader's plate with recipes like Aunt Betty's Orange Cranberry Sauce, Dorothy's Cornbread Dressing, Connie's-and-Audrey's-and-Alex's Apple Confit, as well as the Pie. Aunt Betty, pictured as an Atlanta deb, Dorothy, the Hitz family cook, and Connie Wald (Alex's dear friend) pictured with Audrey Hepburn (Connie's dearest friend).

Hitz with his parents—and his mother's French Silk Pie

 Connie Wald and Audrey Hepburn, 
Hitz captions this photo of friends saying "Connie always said she stole this recipe from Audrey—I added the onions, but the foundation is theirs." 
Onions? What would Audrey say?
Since Hitz is referred to as "the very best host in the world," I will have to try this one.

It's all very Southern—Hitz is an Atlanta native and his recipes remind me of my own menu for Thanksgiving: Gramma Bess's Chicken Salad Casserole, Nancy Pass's Frozen Cranberry Tarts, and Mrs. Clyde Bowen's Japanese Pie. Alex's mother loved all things French, I've no idea if Mrs. Clyde Bowen loved and traveled to Japan but she made a mean pie, easy too. My other dishes have no name names that hardly deserve a mention. It will be a small gathering, my mother, brother, and I gathered around mother's bed with all the trappings of a formal table but on trays.

Hitz gives readers his absolute loves, his ALWAYS, and his NEVER.
Included here are some of my absolute FAVORITES:
ABSOLUTELY LOVE (from page 17)
"on BUTTER: This is self-explanatory and, certainly, no secret to fine cooks. Don't ever be afraid of it. (Never) And always use SALTED BUTTER. (I don't) It's the secret to delicious food in France, where I learned it, and I do not care what the sneering purists say." (I don't care either and thank you Alex for freeing me from this myth! From here on out— always SALTED BUTTER.)
ALWAYS (page 18):
"Use salted butter and table salt for my recipes—they are written for it. I've already said this but I want to make sure you didn't miss it."
NEVER (page 19) His best?
(never) "Have a cocktail hour that is any longer than forty-five minutes."

These Hitz lists are worth the price of The Art Of The Host, but the recipes are too.


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