City Ink: Politics isn’t cookin’, so let’s turn to cookbooks

There’s something to be said for recuperation. No housework, bending, stooping, lifting or worrying about local politics, which is good because Augusta politics (the part commissioners don’t do in hallways and backrooms) took a brief vacation for Fourth of July fun, food, festivities and fireworks.

See, that lead paragraph proves that a little old operation didn’t diminish my ability to “pouf up some fluff” as we used to say in the newsroom when we were trying to make a silk purse story out of a sow’s ear subject. Sort of like how some of the old cooks whose books I’ve been reading made some fine dishes out of what they had at hand. But even they couldn’t make chicken salad without a chicken, and neither can I.

So, if you don’t like reading book reviews – although mine are great – go on to something else now, and we’ll pick back up with politics next week after Augusta commissioners hold a special called meeting to do what they couldn’t do a week ago because too many members were absent. And that is to raise your streetlight fees and approve a $40,000 study that started out as a $10,000 study on making a whitewater course at the Savannah Lock and Dam before they went crazy and started adding things like a water taxi that an earlier study concluded would lose money.

From Dandelion Wine to Fuddled Peaches: While the rewards of recuperation are many, the best thing about it is going back to bed anytime you want to and reading until your book falls out of your hands and you’ve rolled over on your glasses and broken them and find yourself “in a place, a juxtaposition of inconclusiveness,” about what to do next, as Mayor Hardie Davis said about his pre-election promise to support the results of the James Brown Arena straw poll.

So I ponder, “Should I wake up and keep reading or just lie here and go back to sleep?” If I sleep too much, I’ll be up all night. With that answer, I have un-juxtaposed the inconclusiveness. It’s clear. I should read. So I continue with “Treasured Georgia Recipes,” a 1973 cookbook by Kathryn Tucker Windham who wrote eight cookbooks and three “spirited” ghost books. She also was state editor of an Alabama newspaper, The Selma Times Journal. You’d think that would be enough to keep her busy, but she wrote other books about Southern history.

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Each section begins with a short story of folklore and local history, such as “Savannah’s Waving Girl,” before the beverages section, which contains a recipe for dandelion wine calling for a gallon of dandelion flowers from which “every trace of stem from each flower” must be carefully removed.

“Dandelion wine sounds romantic in songs and poetry, and some folks say it tasted as delightful as it sounds,” Windham writes. “It is trouble to make,” she adds, an understatement if I ever heard one. But if you’d like the recipe, e-mail me at The Augusta Chronicle, and I’ll send it…

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