Mushroom inspired recipes from the collection.

Mushroom Business-The Pantry Shelf

Mushroom Business from The Pantry shelf : 1907-1982.

Sausage-Stuffed Mushrooms-Love Yourself Cookbook

Sausage-Stuffed Mushrooms from Love yourself cookbook : easy recipes for one or two.

Mushroom Rollups - Pass the Plate

Mushroom Roll-Ups from Pass the plate : the collection from Christ Church.

Crepes with Mushroom Sauce-North Carolina Bed&Breakfast Cookbook

Crepes with Mushroom Sauce from North Carolina bed & breakfast cookbook.

Joanie's mushroom sandwiches - What's Left is Right

Joanie’s Mushroom Sandwiches from What’s left is right : what to do with leftovers when you’re desperate.

mushroom soup - Columbus County Cookbook II

Mushroom Soup from Columbus County cookbook II.

Mushroom Casserole - A Taste of the Old and the New

Mushroom Casserole from A Taste of the old and the new.

Cheese Wrapped Mushroom Crowns-The Pantry Shelf

Cheese Wrapped Mushroom Crowns from The Pantry shelf : 1907-1982.

BBQ: One man’s ‘authentic’ another man’s ‘blarney’?

“It’s unfortunate to begin “Cooked” [by Michael Pollan] with a section about fire, since the world of barbecue is such a world of showboating. In this realm, ‘O.K., but that’s not barbecue,’ is a serious insult, and Ed Mitchell, who ‘just might be the first pit master to have handlers,’ refers to his own biography as ‘the Ed Mitchell story.’ Mr. Mitchell drops the word ‘authentic’ so often that Mr. Pollan begins to fear ‘that I’d opened the spigot on a hydrant of barbecue blarney.’ Nevertheless, he ventures to Wilson, N.C., to learn how to cook a whole hog over a fire.”

— From “Finally, Maybe, We Are What We Cook” by Janet Maslin in the New York Times (April 15) 


Maya Angelou: ‘And that’s how I write books!’

Noah Charney: I’ve read of some eccentric writing habits of yours, involving hotel rooms without pictures on the walls, sherry, and headgear. How did you first come upon that cocktail for writing success, and has the routine evolved over your career?

Maya Angelou: And headgear! Ha! It was head ties, not headgear! Well, I was married a few times, and one of my husbands was jealous of me writing. When I write, I tend to twist my hair. Something for my small mind to do, I guess. When my husband would come into the room, he’d accuse me, and say, “You’ve been writing!” As if it was a bad thing. He could tell because of my hair, so I learned to hide my hair with a turban of some sort.

I do still keep a hotel room in my hometown [Winston-Salem] and pay for it by the month. I go around 6:30 in the morning. I have a bedroom, with a bed, a table, and a bath. I have Roget’s Thesaurus, a dictionary, and the Bible.

Which edition of the Bible?

Uh—that’s a good question, it’s slipped my mind. Name a famous edition.

The King James?

That’s the one!

Anything else in the hotel room?

Usually a deck of cards and some crossword puzzles. Something to occupy my little mind. I think my grandmother taught me that. She didn’t mean to, but she used to talk about her “little mind.” So when I was young, from the time I was about 3 until 13, I decided that there was a Big Mind and a Little Mind. And the Big Mind would allow you to consider deep thoughts, but the Little Mind would occupy you, so you could not be distracted. It would work crossword puzzles or play Solitaire, while the Big Mind would delve deep into the subjects I wanted to write about.

So I keep the room. I have all the paintings and any decoration taken out of the room. I ask the management and house-keeping not to enter the room, just in case I’ve thrown a piece of paper on the floor, I don’t want it discarded. About every two months I get a note slipped under the door: “Dear Ms. Angelou, please let us change the linen. We think it may be moldy!” But I’ve never slept there, I’m usually out of there by 2. And then I go home and I read what I’ve written that morning, and I try to edit then. Clean it up. And that’s how I write books!

— From “Maya Angelou: How I Write” by at Daily Beast (April 10, 2013)

Angelou, Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University since 1981, is most recently the author of the memoir  “Mom & Me & Mom.”