A Surprise in The Mail Today

When my Aunt and Uncle moved into my grandparent’s farm house they also got all the furnishing in the house. There was not much that other people might want, like the metal cots that my father and his brother slept in as children. They were such horrible beds the grandchildren christened them “the dread bedz”. Thankfully as the oldest grandchild I usually scored a different bed, one with a bottle of Old Grandad turned into a lamp next to it. Like I said, not a lot of things anyone would want.

Today my Aunt sent me a package that contained two little cookbooks that had been my grandmother’s, which were part of the contents my Aunt inherited. The cookbooks are little spiral bound books that were handmade. One was a Pawleys Island cookbook put together by All Saints Waccamaw Church. All Saints used to be an Episcopal Church for hundreds of years. When I was a child sometimes we would visit it when we were at Pawleys. Sadly All Saints left the Episcopal church in 2004 to become an Anglican Church of the crazy fringe far, far right. Thankfully the cookbook is from the good old days of the church.

The other cook book is one I am most excited to have. It is from the Tip Top Inn on Pawleys Island. Tip Top was an Inn three doors down from my Aunt Haidee’s house. If you stayed there you got three meals a day included in you room and board. My father would sometimes finagle a table for us to eat one meal there during our vacation as we stayed at our house and not at Tip Top. As non lodgers the only table we might get was the staff table in a tiny side room away from all the fancy guests.

The food was made by the superior African American women who ran the kitchen. These ladies could really cook. I know that the owner Mrs. Dingle put together the cookbook, but I am certain the recipes are just suggestions of what the real cooks made.

It was a good thing we didn’t stay at Tip Top because if you ate all your meals there for two weeks you would easily gain fifteen pounds. Here is a sample of one day’s menu.

My Aunt wrote me that now I am the keeper of these books, but it will be up to me to pass them on to one of my family members who spent the summer at Pawleys with me every summer. I am happy to do that, but first I want to make the deviled crab, which was my favorite Tip Top dish. Thanks Aunt Janie for these precious gifts.

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