Ronda Rich's blog

Scattered recipes

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My husband was out of town, working on location, when he called one night and discovered that I was still working though the hour had grown late.

“What on earth are you doing?” he asked.

“You won’t believe it,” I replied. “Because I don’t believe it. I am going through all the recipes I have torn out of magazines over the years I have lived in this house and am filing them in books.”

Do you do this? Do you flip through magazines or newspapers and find a recipe, tear it out, then stuff it in a drawer somewhere? And, worse than that, never give it a try? Read More»

My Grant Tinker

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It happened a few months back. My father-in-law celebrated, to our great joy, his 88th birthday.

There was no pomp or circumstance involved. He abhors that. Because he is among the most beautifully well-mannered people I have ever encountered, he politely took all the calls though he really wished we would just treat it as another day and leave him alone to watch the news channel. Read More»

What I love about my South

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It happened the other day. It’s funny how things so simple can remind us of things so meaningful, of those sweets that are tucked inside our hearts and unknowingly treasured.

I went to the co-op. For you non-farmer types, that’s the Farmers Exchange where farm supplies are purchased at the most reasonable prices.

“Where’s Tink?” asked the lovely woman at the register, smiling cheerfully. “He’s the one who normally comes in.”

We exchanged talk on Tink’s whereabouts then I placed the order for several bags of horse feed. Read More»

World’s view of being cool

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My parents, according to the world’s definition of “cool,” were not. Neither drank nor did either ever possess a credit card. Groceries and clothing were paid for in cash, utilities paid by check, and the only monthly payments they ever allowed themselves were a mortgage for a house, a short-term loan for another farm, and a couple of cars bought, over time, and paid for quickly. Read More»

Southern Living and changes

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A few years ago, the magazine I have long loved – Southern Living – changed. Like most Southerners, I have an aversion to change, which is why our traditions have such strangle-hold. We never let go.

Warily, I eyed it for the first couple of months. The layout changed, bringing a fresher, more modern feel while new features were added that included fashion and profiles yet retaining recipes, home decor, and gardening advice. Read More»

History is better than fiction

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Several weeks ago, I wrote about moonshine runner turned stock car champion, Lloyd Seay, who was murdered in a dispute over sugar purchased to make illegal whiskey. Read More»

The loss of parents’ wisdom

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There are few who cannot say truthfully that they miss their parents after death has laid claim to those loved ones. The parents who taught us, scolded us and, at times, annoyed us are never forgotten, never put away on a shelf to be remembered no more.

There are many things I miss. Unconditional love, for one. The knowledge that no matter how badly I misbehaved, I would always be loved. Reprimanded, yes. Taken to the back yard and instructed to “pick a switch” for a dose of “hickory tea,” for sure. But always loved. Read More»

Cornbread and some pinto beans

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One afternoon, I had a hankering, a primal-like craving, for a supper of pinto beans and cornbread with a tall glass of cold, rich buttermilk thrown in for good measure and extra filling.

This is an heirloom of food handed down from my Appalachian folks who, when hard times threatened to starve them, put a pot of beans on the stove then later said a blessing over that which would fill their stomachs with fiber and protein. Read More»

The ones who lift you up

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Over the years, I’ve crossed paths with many who were extremely successful as well as some who were such miserable failures that, as Mama liked to say, “ain’t worth the breath they draw.”

Many are the times that I have pondered the difference between those who succeed and those who just seem to roll over and give up. Here would be a logical place to say that talent, intellect, ambition, energy and common sense paves the way to achievement while laziness, poor decisions and addictions throw obstacles in the way. Read More»

Parable of the apple tree

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That apple tree. Oh my goodness. Something told me it wouldn’t turn out well.

It happened last spring. Or rather, it started then. Like many Southern women, I celebrate spring with a bounty of colorful flowers. I’m just like Mama in that. I plant begonias, petunias, diamond frost, lantanas, marigolds, and azaleas in the window boxes, garden paths, and fill the porches with planted pots and hanging baskets. It’s cheerful and homey. I love it. Read More»