Freddie Brackett & Cherie Martin
Heart of the Home offers recipes, tips and quick and easy ways to help you entertain guests or feed your family and make it fun. Each year our family reunion proves to be lots of fun and laughter and more good cooking than you can shake a stick at. One of our “newcomers” to the family asked after the last reunion "how often do you do this?" We answered once a year. He was sad. He didn’t want to wait that long to have cousin Marcelle's pound cake or cousin Voncille’s chicken and dressing.
You know the saying……you can never trust a skinny cook. Well you can sure trust our family of great cooks.
If you watch Heart of the Home often you will quickly learn great aunt Tempie made a lasting impression on me. She used BUTTER in everything and so do I. She’d tickle you to death……… she’d taste it and then throw the butter to it. Then she’d smile and say that’s about right!!!! I hope you’ll agree the recipes we will share with you are "just about right". Good and easy and something everyone will love.
Remember a recipe is a great way to start a new friendship. Recipes and smiles are meant to share.
In Memory of Louise Gilreath Free
Gilreath Family Reunion - Dawson County Georgia - Oct. 13, 2007
photos above in slideshow
Good cooking….you had better believe it……..this group of women could make your mouth water with the best of the best. Fried chicken, Marcelle's pound cake and the absolute best thing you ever put in your mouth Aunt Lela's sweet potatoes. To die for. So good it will make you want to go back for seconds and maybe thirds.
The family began with Green and Martha Gilreath and their seven boys. Only one of the BOYS is still with us and he was not able to come to the reunion. Many family members drove long distances and it was so good to get together.
Good food, good times and a great way to share recipes. If you haven't had a family reunion I suggest you do. Many of our family members are getting up in years and I know it means a great deal to them for us to be together.
Aunt Lela and her large family are shown including Marcelle, her children and Lloyd and his children and grandchildren.
We are very fortunate to have Aunt Lou and Marcelle still with us. Aunt Lou suffered a stroke recently and Marcelle was involved in a terrible auto accident. Thank God for them both and for them still being here with us.
Aunt Edrice and Aunt Lela are our oldest family members. What wonderful women. We are so fortunate to have them.
Heart of the Home began the moment I stepped into Aunt Lela Gilreath's kitchen when I was a child. The scents of my childhood will be with me forever and when the opportunity to produce Heart of the Home came along and my first guest was cousin Voncille Moser. Vosille learned from one of the best. Aunt Lela and Voncille's mom were sisters. Now there's a saying about an apple and a tree and in no family is it more obvious than mine. Talk about some GREAT cooks. We have them. Granny Gilreath was a very simple cook. The basics with few ingredients due to economic hard times. Aunt Tempie was the BEST at adding butter and making it JUST right. The women I grew up around had great talents in the kitchen with few resources. Canning was a big thing. Killing a hog was a survival thing.
Teaching the children to use a hoe and string beans was SURVIVOR long before there was a television program about it. These wonderful women grew up in hard times and always showed up and showed "out" at any gathering. I am honored to salute them in the newest cookbook. It is called "I Just Started Living". The loss of my mother and the loss of my late husband left me in a great depression. The precious women I would like to honor go far beyond my family. When you get down just remember to look up and there will be a beautiful rainbow waiting for you to hold on and enjoy the ride. Thank you to all the wonderful people who stood by me as I emerged from the sad days and walked into the "light" of a totally new life. Thank you to all the aunts, cousins, friends, old and new who made me understand. Don't plan your life, live your life.
I JUST STARTED LIVING is a wonderful song shared each week to hundreds by the Joymasters. Twenty years ago this song surfaced by the Cathedrals. Funny maybe I wasn't ready to start living then. Goodness gracious I am living today with a whole new attitude, a whole new faith and a belief that GOD and only GOD can bring you through the storm. Thank you Lord for not only bringing me through the storm but for renewing my faith in myself. When God opens a door that you saw as a wall sometimes there is an extra bonus on the other side of the door. I have been so blessed with a new life, a new relationship and a new found faith in true friends. Family, friends and memories. The new Heart of the Home cookbook will feature photos of my wonderful family, the friends I love so much and a whole new me. I JUST STARTED LIVING is about love, happiness and knowing that the blessings come from God above. The recipes are a combination of folks who shared family favorites with me, my own creations and my own family at their best. Remember life is about living, come and begin to live with me as we journey through the amazing life God has for us.
THANK YOU VIDEO FROM CHERIE