Blogger: A. Spring Council

Hometown: Chapel Hill, NC

Occupation: Restauranteur, Mama Dip’s Kitchen

My Inspiration to Cook: My mother, she is my mentor, and coach. My siblings and I were always welcomed in the kitchen to watch Mama as she prepared our family meals. We learned how to create recipes from a blend of taste and aroma. She “dump cooked” – cooking without using measuring utensils – offering us tastings of each dish as she added the different ingredients and seasonings. We were enlightened by the process of “dump cooking”; tasting, smelling, and seeing the changes to a dish throughout the process from raw ingredients, to finished product. Our nourishment came from the fruits of her labor; what she taught us in the kitchen and the comforting and delicious meals she place at our dining table.

My First Meal of the Day: A light breakfast of sweet toast-crispy; french bread spread with butter and homemade preserves, savory toast-topped with scrambled eggs and crumbled bacon, or an open faced cheese toast, accompanied by fresh fruit and water to hydrate.

Favorite Beverage: Champagne. I love that champagne pairs well with a variety of dishes and the bubbles tickle my nose — but I do love to sip bourbon, so sometimes I will add bourbon and a sugar cube in the bottom of my champagne glass to create a champagne cocktail.

If I could have a dinner party with anyone: It would be my Dad. We would eat the same meal he prepared for our family each Thursday — country ham, baked apples, cheese grits, and butter biscuits; with my entire family seated at the table.

My Inspiration to Entertain: It started when I was six years old, the first time I sat down and read the book, “Go Dog Go”, by Dr. Seuss. At the end of the book there is a dog party. I would marvel at the cheerful party with horns blowing, dogs dancing, food displaying, and confetti flying! I wanted to be in the top of that tree so much that I would read the book four or five times at each reading, just to experience that feeling of excitement. I really wanted to be in that tree and to party with those dogs!! I get the same feeling of enthusiasm when I am preparing for a party to entertain my family and friends.

Favorite Pastime: One of my favorite pastime’s is cruising thrift shops and estate sales looking for my next great find to include in my collection of vintage and modern tablewares, that I use when Celebrating the Southern Table.