(ROCKWALL, TX — September 25, 2018) “Cooking with Ease”, originally penned by Nancy Tate, is an article I have heard about many times over the past few years. Nancy is my husband’s late mother. She passed before I met and married her oldest son, Evan. Stories from friends, family, and even strangers tell of a talented, strong, successful woman that I would have loved to know. She taught folk art painting, was a talented seamstress, owned a cafe here in town, was voted “Rockwall County Volunteer Woman of the Year” and of course, had a weekly recipe column in the local paper.
Food writing is not a common job. When I met Evan, he had no idea I had been writing a recipe column for years. The connection was made a few weeks later and I think it made both our hearts a little happier.
Not too long ago, the much talked of “Cooking with Ease” articles were brought to my home. I spent hours looking them over – reading each recipe carefully and imagining what the meals would look, taste and smell like. In the articles, Nancy referenced some of her own recipes, some of friends and family, and more frequently, she referenced recipes from cookbooks she loved to read. It’s one of the other things we would have had in common – reading cookbooks for pure pleasure.
She stated it perfectly in one of her columns from January of 1996: “I would like to share some cookbooks over the next few weeks that I enjoy not only for the wonderful recipes within, but for the delight of simply reading them.”
This, my friends, is the first of many “Cooking with Ease” recipe columns by Melissa Tate. I can’t think of a better way to honor the woman I have heard so many great things about – the woman that loved and nourished a household full of boys and was still able to make her mark on the world around her. This column will share some of my dearest recipes and some of Nancy’s. As I looked through some of her favorites, I came across a recipe that my own mother had prepared in our home. And so, it seemed fitting to start with Easy Peach Cobbler. Nancy’s recipe called for fresh peaches soaked in sugar and lemon juice, but I use canned peaches for the ease, of course!
By Melissa Tate of Rockwall. Melissa is a freelance food writer and owner of Photo-Wagon mobile photo booth. She also helps her husband run their family farm, Tate Farms, and event center, Summerfield at Tate Farms. They are currently managing the Smirl Chapel Relocation & Preservation Project. Find Melissa on Facebook or Instagram at @melissatatetx to follow the adventures. Headshot by Kelly Alexander Photography.
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