Because Life with Kids is Sticky...Very Sticky

Lucy Mercer

Lucy Mercer
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
December 31
I cook, I write, I carpool. You may also find my words at A Cook and Her Books. Email acookandherbooks@gmail.com. Thanks for visiting!


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Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 18, 2011 9:58PM

Celebrating my independents

Box of books by Lucy Mercer.

I’ve loved bookstores since I was a little girl, so it's no wonder I would grow up to work in both independent and chain bookstores. The small town in upstate South Carolina where I grew up had a Carnegie library, but notRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 21, 2011 9:43AM

Honoring a fallen hero


Photo by Lucy Mercer

This story isn't about food or books, but just a glimpse into the town and times I live in. I brought my camera along yesterday as our county honored a fallen hero.

My small town was covered up in… Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 8, 2011 10:44PM

Denouement for a bookseller

Borders press pass lanyard and earpiece. Lucy Mercer

This weekend, I’ll pull my last shift as a bookseller, and if God is with me, my last retail shift ever. My Borders store hasn’t flatlined yet, but it’s just a matter of days, and I’ve decided to hang up my… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 26, 2010 3:05PM

Not my mama's black eyed peas and greens

Visit my mom’s house on New Year’s Day and you will be treated to simple, humble fare – a black-as-midnight cast iron skillet sizzling with buttermilk cornbread, a pot of black-eyed peas and a bowl of greens, usually collards. The peas and greens are usually cooked with porkRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 18, 2010 9:28PM

The Teacher's Gift

I ran into a friend this week, another mommy getting ready for Christmas, and I asked her how her week was going. "Oh, it's going great. I guess I'm all ready for Christmas!" she replied.

Knowing that Friday was the last day of school before the holidays, I asked/…

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Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 5, 2010 8:11PM

A suitable use for candied cherries


“Oh Buddy, I think it’s fruitcake weather,” goes the opening line to one of the best short stories ever written (and certainly a sentimental Southern favorite), “A Christmas Memory” by Truman Capote. Capote based the story on his own memor… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 28, 2010 11:11AM

"Phantom of the Fox" Can Stay in Theatre Home for Now


joe @ fox


Atlanta's "Phantom of the Fox Theatre," Joe Patten, will be able to stay in his Fabulous Fox Theatre apartment until a new lease is negotiated, according to a Fulton County Court.

On Wednesday, Judge Jerry Baxter granted an injunction preventing Patten's eviction from his home o… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 24, 2010 7:24PM

A Special Dark Halloween

Americans eat 12 pounds of chocolate each year and as Halloween approaches, I think I'm already into my 13th pound of the stuff. I love chocolate in all its candy forms - Reese's peanut butter cups, M&M's, Hershey's miniatures - these go into the "approved for mommy" stack asRead full post »
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Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 17, 2010 3:25PM

Classic Apple Dumplings, with an Appearance by My Evil Twin

Apple dumplings just sound good. Ever since coming across a picture of apple dumplings in a 1970s Southern Living cookbook, I've wanted to bake them - warm fruit, filled with spices and nuts or candy (like the Red Hots in that first Southern Living recipe), encased in a sweet pastry,/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 12, 2010 7:45AM

I still miss Gourmet


   I just read a Grub Street story about staffers from the late, great Gourmet magazine and where they are now, including Salon's Francis Lam. I guess it's time to dust off this piece that I wrote last October and posted on my blog, A Cook and Her Books./Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 10, 2010 9:28PM

My evil twin makes Bostock

  bonuts & coffee

 The French toast with the funny name, Bostock, seems to my mind to be easily adapted to Southern ingredients. I’m a Southern girl, without a doubt, and my daddy grew up hunting squirrels in the woods of Alabama with his trusty mutt Bo by side. Other famous Sons/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 10, 2010 6:52PM

Bostock: The French toast with the funny name


pumpkin at home


 I’m a half-hearted gardener at best - each spring, I clear out the weeds from the flower bed by the driveway and hand the girls seed packets and let them go to town. This year, we planted zinnias and daisies for the bright flowers, pumpkins and watermelons for the…

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Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 5, 2010 7:34AM

Blue ribbon dreams


For the past few years, my family has made an annual trip the last weekend in September to the North Georgia State Fair in Marietta. My girls love the rides, the smoked turkey legs, roasted ears of corn, and cotton candy. Each year, we walk through the exhibit halls… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 26, 2010 2:11PM

Salmon and a sign of the times


salmon can


Pinky sweet salmon isn’t the fish of my childhood, that would be the bream that my brother Will would catch at Blanton’s pond near our home in upstate South Carolina. Dad would spread out the Sunday paper on the driveway and clean the fish, saving some… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 19, 2010 2:04PM

Beets don't fail me now


  pickled beets

Ruby red beets are the jewels of the earth, with a sweetish mineral taste reminiscent of soil and for any kid whose ever busted his lip, blood. I love beets, but I can’t help thinking of the word geophagy when I eat them. Geophagy is the consumption of… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 16, 2010 7:13AM

Save the Phantom of Atlanta's Fox Theatre


 Joe Patten is an Atlanta legend, although until recently, he was known more commonly by his nickname than his given name.  Joe Patten is the Phantom of the Fox, the man who calls Atlanta’s most famous concert venue, the Fabulous Fox Theatre, home. These days, 83-yea… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 5, 2010 11:13PM

A labor of love: Homemade egg pasta


 Homemade pasta is one of those "many hands make for light work" kitchen projects. Sure, it can be made alone, and it's a pleasant task, and with the sunlight streaming through the window and NPR on the radio, a pasta project can make for a soothing and satisfying afternoon.… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 28, 2010 4:10PM

An old-fashioned kind of girl



Friends are over for a meal on this summer afternoon, and we start with cocktails on the front porch. I guess you could say I'm an old-fashioned girl -  I like front porches and drinks served in Grandmother's cut glass tumblers.

It's a lucky thing I've… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 16, 2010 9:03PM

Redneck Ratatouille

ratatouille creamy grits

I've returned to the kitchen, my source for solace in the late summer. The light through the window is changing, it's amber coming through at a different angle, backlighting the spider web on the porch. My soul seeks comfort food, but my warm house isn't quite ready for day-long… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 15, 2010 9:07PM

Granddaddy's Cast-Iron Skillet Fried Corn

One of the distinctive characteristics of living in the New South, cookie-cutter suburban Atlanta, is that the Old South, the rural, hardscrabble life that James Agee and others wrote about is never far from view. Reminders can be as vivid as the tar paper shack I drive… Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 7, 2010 10:43AM

Food of the Gods: Briami


The conventional summertime cooking wisdom is to avoid heating the kitchen, instead creating salads and sandwiches that require little or no actual cooking, such as last week’s Salon Kitchen Challenge for light tomatoes. That approach leads to some fine eating, but every cook kno… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 1, 2010 9:29PM

True Love and Home-Grown Tomatoes

   heirloom tomato

There's an old Guy Clark song about home-grown tomatoes that is stuck in my head.

"Homegrown tomatoes, homegrown tomatoes,
What'd life be without homegrown tomatoes?
Only two things that money can't buy -
That's true love & homegrown tomatoes."

Back when the world was young,… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 25, 2010 9:36AM

How I spent my summer vacation...

And fell in love with chilled soups.
almond soup with grapes
Because my girls, ages 4 and 11, drive me crazy while we’re packing for a vacation, my husband and I have learned to pack on the sly and not reveal any plans until we are… Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
JULY 17, 2010 8:36PM

How to Choose a Georgia Watermelon

watermelons truck

 In Georgia, we know a thing or two about watermelon. Crisp, juicy, sweet watermelon - green striped exterior, magenta interior.  Things like how Cordele, in south Georgia, a drive-by on Interstate 75, is the Watermelon Capital of the World. Just ask any native of Cordele, and they… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 11, 2010 8:12PM

Baked Aleutian Cupcakes Bering Strait to the Table

"HMFPIC - You Know Where"

If you hold Macon, Georgia, near to your heart then you recognize  the acronym HMFPIC from the classified ad placed in the Macon Telegraph & News each June 1st. The ad didn't announce a clandestine meeting, but an ice/… Read full post »