To my readers, my little spices:
I learned how to be a courting woman from my mother. Growing up, I would hear her on the phone with her girlfriends. She would say things like, “Don’t expect a man to rush home, if “home” isn’t a pleasant place for him to be.” or “You gotta be more to your husband than just his housekeeper and cook. When he’s home, talk to him, laugh with him, play a game of cards with him, join him on the sofa from time to time, and share a cocktail with him.” And when I came of age, she would say to me, “Always set standards for yourself. The times might change, but human nature stays the same. A man will always expect a woman to have higher standards than he has for himself.”
I saw Mama as a domestic geisha, a stay-at-home wife, well-versed in the arts; in literature, music, theater, art, and, in keeping house for the man who was keeping her — my dad. My mother wasn’t a subservient stay-at-home wife; she had her own income, coming from the rental properties that she’d owned before she and Daddy married; she had her own opinions (she was well-read) and she wasn’t afraid to voice them. She used her womanly intelligence to craft a comfortable home for my father. She once said, “I let him go out and make the living, and I stay here and make it enjoyable for him to come home.”
Some time ago, a friend said to me, “You can’t be all things to all men, the way a big department store offers a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Instead of rivaling with each other, every woman ought to think of herself as a little boutique. She ought to concentrate on the thing that she does best, and specialize in that.”
I’m happy to share with you much of my own heart in this eclectic little boutique of my ideas and thoughts on womanhood and cooking. To those of you who know me through my dessert cookbooks, Sweets: Soul Food Desserts and Memories (Ten Speed Press, 2003, 2006) and Sweety Pies: An Uncommon Collection of Womanish Observations, with Pie (The Taunton Press, 2007) you know that collecting and sharing recipes that please men, and womanish housekeeping that beckons a man to come straight home from work, are themes I specialize in. It’s just who I am, what I enjoy. I inherited it from Mama.
Many of you, from all walks of life and womanish ideologies, have written to me, asking if I have ideas and thoughts on ways to magnetize — through meals and sensual housekeeping — a man.
I will offer this for now: my mother once said, “Young women today don’t understand the power that’s available to them, right there in their kitchens. They think the only way to hold onto a man is to buy something skimpy from the lingerie shop. I admit, everything that’s required to feed a man can’t be found inside your pantry, but I’m here to tell you, you can save a lot of money if you look there first. ‘Cause what you buy at the lingerie shop, petticoats and brassieres, a man sees all the time. But a nice, little chocolate meringue pie made from scratch? Well, that’s something a man’s not gonna see everywhere.” While I was growing up she would tell me, “There are certain recipes that every woman should have in her files; recipes, that no other woman can beat her cooking.”
While I know (and appreciate) that women are no longer tied to their stoves or vacuum cleaners, I believe many women (even modern women with jobs and careers) are passionately concerned with finding and keeping love. I believe “the home” is still one of the best places for a woman to express herself; her brand, her own little boutique of womanish. So, my goal here, is to share recipes and observations about keeping house…in a womanly kind of way. Just chew the meat and spit out the bones; I’m sure you’ll agree with some of my observations, and disagree with others.
And please, bare with me as I attempt to get this site the way I want it…to look and feel. I’m new to blogging and therefore, learning as I go. If you have suggestions, let me know. I’m a “boutique” in progress, so your comments and observations will be greatly appreciated.
Thank you for stopping by. I hope you’ll come back again.
Truth told, my cookbooks offer more than just delicious, old-fashioned dessert recipes. Most of the recipe headers offer womanly observations on the technique of a love affair, as well. The books are available for purchase at: