Goin' Down to Mama's began with a simple idea: I wanted to go to Mama University. After 22 career-driven years, I finally had an opportunity to take some time, take a breath, and do some things I had been putting off way too long—one of which was learning how to cook down-home Southern food like my mother. And really, I just wanted to spend more time with her. Some friends suggested that I blog about my cooking lessons, but the more we got into it, the more I realized there was more to it than that. What I really wanted to do was tap into—and share—the spirit of going home, of being surrounded by people who love each other, stand by each other, never give up on each other. That's how it has always been with our extended family—and you can probably see it most in our circle of women.
Mother's two sisters, Aunt Joyce and Aunt Vivian, have gone on now, but when the rest of us gather around the kitchen table, they're as present to us as they ever were. We remember them. We laugh about outrageous things they said and did. We prepare their signature dishes—or try to, anyway.
Every time I introduce friends to our little Southern sisterhood, it makes them feel good. So maybe that's what I can do here—make you feel good and remind you of all the special women in your own circle.
[Special thanks to my kind, patient, and incredibly talented friend, James Schend, for designing Goin' Down to Mama's, creating a wonderful tagline, and walking me through the world of blogging—by phone—from his home in San Francisco. Also, many thanks to Jimmy Wyatt, my cousin, for generously sharing his family photos and for all the work he has done on our family genealogy.]
Goin' Down to Mama's is produced by Valerie Fraser Luesse, LLC.