Which chickens are best for roasting, frying, and stewing?

Roasters and fryers generally have more muscle, flavor and fat. The fat is favorable for roasting & frying because it adds flavor and moisture to the meat as it is cooking and will eventually melt off through the cooking process.

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The secret to making perfect omelettes is all in the digging

“Eggcellent” advice: How do you make a perfect omelet? How about fluffy scrambled eggs?  You’ve probably heard you’re supposed to add water to them, although Martha Stewart says not to.  I never add any water to mine, either.  I mean, Martha Stewart says no, so… The truth is, putting water in eggs can make them… Continue reading The secret to making perfect omelettes is all in the digging

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A graceful invasion

The Emerald Coast and dolphin ballet

Uneasiness crept in as it became obvious that the water was very, very deep. I looked around to see that we were quite far out from the shore; the anchored boats around Crab Island were no longer visible to us. The only thing that was perfectly up close was the famous Emerald green water of… Continue reading The Emerald Coast and dolphin ballet

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Is having patience just a waste of time?

  A virtue, she is called.  Patience, whom I have (resentfully) obliged for many years (albeit on provisional terms) and I have a sometimes-helpful, symbiotic association.  It is a friendship, of sorts:  the kind that is long, tumultuous, curious, tedious, and in many ways, unwilling and unlikely.  She is something I need, but do not… Continue reading Is having patience just a waste of time?

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shrimp fried rice

Plain rice is nice, but is wild better?

Confused about rice? There seems to be so many varieties.  What is long-grain?  How about wild rice?  Converted?  What is all of this? Rice is a staple food in most parts of the world, and for good reason: add some vegetables, meat, and some simple seasonings and you have a tasty, satisfying, and nutritious meal.… Continue reading Plain rice is nice, but is wild better?

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You should go into catering! No thanks.

  “You should go into catering.” While I’m flattered by this kind and appreciative statement, after parties, the only response I can muster is, “Thank you, but I don’t want to work that hard.” Parties, regardless of how much I love planning the menu, making the food, decorating the table, and just the general idea… Continue reading You should go into catering! No thanks.

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Summer tailgate picnic

Summer Tailgate Picnic in the Park Menu: Chilled Spicy Shrimp Marinated Mozzarella and Tomatoes Dressed Fruit Salad

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Who is this Valentine fellow?

We all associate Valentine’s Day with romance, but I can’t seem to get to the truth of who St. Valentine really was or why exactly it is our custom that candy, flowers, and gifts are exchanged between loved ones in honor of this person. The romantic aspect of February 14 associated with Saint Valentine’s Day… Continue reading Who is this Valentine fellow?

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For New Year's and Beyond

Getting on board with the Charcuterie

A simple search for “charcuterie” on any social media produces over a million results. There are (literally) hundreds of groups dedicated to the artistry of it and looking at the beauty and creativity involved in the assembly of some of these “meat and cheese boards,” it’s evident why it is considered an art form. .… Continue reading Getting on board with the Charcuterie

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Learn to teach etiquette to children.


Susan has been a spokesperson, appearing on television and in print advertising, hosted a talk-radio program, and written weekly newspaper columns: Everyday Occasions, Kitchen Life, Curious about Cuisine, and The Social Child for the Gaston Gazette, and Manners Matter with Truman and Mrs. F for the national publication, Kidsville News. She has provided cooking and manners day camps for elementary-high school-aged children since 2005, and was invited to teach etiquette at Hope Lutheran School and Gaston College. She has made numerous appearances on Fox News, WBTV, WTVI, “The Johnboy and Billy Show,” and PBS Charlotte with presentations on children’s etiquette and cooking with kids.

She developed a Carolina Panthers Super Bowl Party Menu for the Gaston Gazette and has hosted cooking presentations at the Southern Ideal Home, Southern Living, and Southern Christmas Shows, and she was invited to be a special guest in the Southern Spring Show’s “Celebrity Kitchen.”

She is a former or current member of many Boards for local, state, and national organizations including the Gaston County Museum of Art and History, Junior League of Gaston County, Family Service, Inc., Children’s Advocacy Center, GC Museum Auxiliary Board, GC Historic Preservation Commission, Gaston Dance Theatre, and the Gaston County Women’s Commission.  She has volunteered for the Shelter of Gaston County and was invited to speak at events and vigils for the prevention and awareness of domestic violence.

She has received several awards, scholarships, and honors for her work as a volunteer and as a professional. She attended UNC-G where she majored in journalism; additionally, she attended the Protocol School of Washington’s “Etiquette and Leadership Institute” where she specialized in etiquette instruction for children and young adults. She was named Mrs. Gastonia in 1994. Susan is the mother of 3 children and currently spends her time writing, teaching, and traveling between FL, TN, and NC.