Fried chicken, greens, cornbread, sweet tea, peaches and peanuts ... all are terms synonymously used with Southern living. So when the Georgia Humanities Council published for the Smithsonian Institute a collection of Georgia memories of food and family, it was no surprise to see local residents mentioned on many pages.
"Heaven knows we've got cooks galore here," said Mary Anne Coussons, the acting director of the McDuffie County Museum. "Dr. McCleary (Ann McCleary, of the Center for Public History) told me 'I thought I was going to have to make Thomson a book all it's own.'"
The book will be given away at all events associated with the Key Ingredients: America by Food Smithsonian exhibit currently traveling across Georgia through 2010. The exhibit is scheduled to appear at the McDuffie County Museum in Thomson Jan. 10 through Feb. 22, 2009.
Local residents are featured 14 times throughout the 21-page book, which will become a permanent resource at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C.
"If anybody from Thomson goes into the Smithsonian Institute in 10 years and there's the book with McDuffie County all in it, won't we be proud to see that?" Mrs. Coussons said.
Entitled Food, Family and Community: A Collection of Georgia Memories, the cover of the book features a collage of photos that includes a 1939 Thanksgiving Dinner sent by Louisa Hickman of Thomson.
Other local photos in the book include cakes and macaroni and cheese at Miss Jane's Restaurant in Warrenton, barbecue cooks at Neal's Bar-B-Que in Thomson, Nether Ivery and his buffet, biscuits and cornbread at Ivery's Restaurant in Thomson and a school reunion buffet in Dearing sent in by Mary Wells.
Two recipes in the book with local flavor are of Ella Mae Hamilton's dressing and Roberta Roper's divinity.
As the long-time cook for the Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs, Ms. Hamilton is also quoted (about sweet potato pie) in the book, along with Mr. Ivery (on several different pages about fatback, biscuits, cornbread and vegetables), Neal's Bar-B-Que (how to roast a hog), Kathryn Wood of Miss Jane's (sweet tea for breakfast and macaroni and cheese) and Tommy Samuels of Chinaberry Foods (cheesestraws).
Others who did not make it in the book, but will be featured on a website for the book are: Mrs. Coussons, Vickie Howard, Bob and Dot Knox, David Moore, Gladys Rodgers, JoAnn Smith, Ken and Kathy Usry, Bernice Hall Walden, Epp Wilson and Betsy Yarbrough.