Thursday, November 19, 2009
James Melton at home in Weston, Connecticut
My father loved to cook—not so much for relaxation, as to impress guests with his culinary skill in an era when few men entered the kitchen. (Although the photo shows him at the outdoor stone grill, he was at home in the kitchen as well.) He also liked to take over when Southern cooking was demanded, making spoonbread or his special fried chicken breaded with Kellogg's Cornflakes. (Kellogg's was one of his early radio sponsors.)
I remember Thanksgiving dinners with two kinds of stuffing in the turkey—traditional (Northern) bread stuffing in the front end of the bird, and Southern cornbread stuffing in the rear end. There was always a bit of a battle over which guests would prefer which stuffing—with most diplomatically opting for a little of each.
My father was always glad to send a recipe for inclusion in celebrity cookbooks. And flattery got him a lot of "secret" recipes from prominent chefs. I don't recall many of them being added to his repertoire. Perhaps his sous chef (my mother) rebelled.