A Stroll Down Thanksgiving Memory Lane

Wingfield Thanksgiving Dinner, 1956. Dad is carving the turkey. Mom is smiling, but exhausted (and by the way, cooked the turkey.) Please notice the 1950s version of the sippy cup and my cowgirl costume. Clearly something distracted me from looking at the camera but that would be classic Vera, right?

Hope your day is filled with friends, family, and fabulous food. Happy Thanksgiving! 

Fairy Garden

The talented team at Cold Creek Nurseries in Aiken, SC created a magical Fairy Garden in the side yard for my grandchildren and ME to enjoy. Watching Michaela, Connie, and Meredith transform the area into this whimsical garden was absolutely spellbinding!

I am grateful to VeryVera intern Emily Yates for chronicling the fairy garden's progression through her stunning photographs! Emily's beautiful photos enabled us to promote the Fairy Garden episode and allowed our friends at Cold Creek to showcase their wide-rane of talents! I'm also thrilled Emily was able to capture some shots of sweet Lucy as she frolicked among the flowers, plants, and tiny villages! 

As grandchildren Lucy, McCLendon, and Jane continue to love and enjoy “their” Fairy Garden, I feel most certain we will create new paths, friends, and play activities, making it an ever evolving and magical experience!
Vote Children's Hospital of Georgia!

Health Center Credit Union joined an exciting movement called “Share the Love” and they need our vote! If they win, the Children’s Hospital of GA will be awarded a $10,000 donation from the Love My Credit Union Rewards program. Plus – you could win $100 – just for voting!

What are you voting on? A video. Share the Love is a campaign that invites credit unions to create videos about how they give back to their communities. These videos are being shared nationwide to promote the credit union mission while inspiring random acts of kindness.

• Register for your voting code here http://www.lovemycreditunion.org/sharethelove/register.php?vid=2864c2b3-f167-3386-7b1e-56054b0960dc
• Visit the voting page here http://www.lovemycreditunion.org/sharethelove?vid=7bc031ae-94f0-b077-20af-560c0debe88b
• View the HCCU video.
• Vote so Children's Hospital of Georgia can win $10,000!

Be sure to come back to vote daily! I set a reminder on my phone so I vote first thing each morning. Voting is open through December 24, 2015. If you don't have the time to vote each day would you please register for a code, send it to me and I will vote each day for you. This could be easy money to win for our Children's Hospital!

An Epic Experience

On my recent trip to Columbus, I had the pleasure of experiencing the Chef Table opportunity at Epic Restaurant with Chef Jamie Keating. My sister Lou was my honored guest in celebration of her birthday and it was truly a memorable experience.


Jamie was assisted by several of his staff, including Chef Kevin Moore. Each dish was artfully crafted and presented. My favorite was “The Smoking Gun”, which presented with a dome that, once removed, sent the enclosed smokey cloud abound and then a simply remarkable dish of maple-cured pork fatback, quail egg, arugula, and apple jelly.

Cleansing the palate also cleansed the soul as we were like children at Disney World as the liquid nitrogen sent a cold cloud across the table as Jessie Stemple prepared the lemon and passion fruit sorbet with Chef Jamie assisting and my brother-in-law Tripp Childs completely spellbound. 

The entrée course was incredible and showcased Chef Mikey Simko's talent with the venison with turnip greens and carrot puree and foie gras with onion bread pudding. I was as much in love with the accompanying sauces as I was the meat. It was truly exquisite.

Yes, I took up cigars……the 7th course was Michael Hughes' creative display of charcuterie that featured Iberico ham and Beecher's white cheddar cheese.

A rubber mat became the canvas for Austin Thomason, Kevin and, Jessie to paint with chocolate, caramel, fresh fruit, ice cream, and a carved pumpkin filled with crème brulee.

An enchanting evening left us all with an experience that truly seemed as though we were within the folds of a storybook. It is magical how the chapters of one of the oldest cookbooks were the inspiration, not only of the restaurant, but for the format of the menus, cocktail menu, and now the experience itself.

Intern, Emily Yates, put it profoundly when she said as we gathered ourselves to leave, “I feel like Cinderella at 11:55 p.m.”


Check out Epic's website here

Image credits: Emily Yates 

Life Is Good!

I had the pleasure of joining my son John, his wife Mallory, and their daughters Jane and Lucy on their family vacation last week. I was able to experience and savor special moments that everyday life does not always allow. I loved watching the girls! Lucy is so creative, inventing characters and stories while playing on the beach. Jane was such an angel, adjusting well to the differences each day brought. And sweet, attentive Lucy always made sure "Sissy" was included. Honestly, the biggest joy for me was to experience the daily interaction of this family & how proud I am of these parents. Life is good!

Thinking of You

Today my mother Betty Stewart Wingfield would have been 98 years old. Her Wesleyan College Senior Portrait is one of my favorites. She used to always tell us we were so pretty and she just didn't know how she had such beautiful children. I thought she looked like a Beauty Queen.

I have written about my Mama numerous times over the years, and I constantly tell of her strength and determination—two of the greatest gifts bestowed upon me. How this young widow provided for five children, I'll just never truly know.

Sometimes when I look in the mirror and see features that are hers—specifically my blue eyes and grey hair—I am so grateful for the many lessons from Mama Betty! The family has grown and there's a little bit of Wingfield in all of us: five children, twelve grandchildren, and ten great-grandchildren. Mama would be proud.

Happy Birthday Mama!

Family Blessings

Saturday our grandson Charles “McClendon” Stewart was christened at St. Mary’s on the Hill Catholic Church in Augusta. His parents are my son Daniel and his wife Catherine. The gown McClendon wore was 107 years old—worn for the first time by his great grandfather Laurence Joseph “Pat” Ward, Catherine’s paternal grandfather. Weighing 9.8 oz. at birth, McClendon was fortunate to be in the dress at 2 months old. (He currently weighs almost 15 pounds). Isn’t he beautiful!
Each grandchild (seven in all) is truly a blessing, and it’s always a celebration for us to gather for moments like these. Watching each child grow and change is almost overwhelming. From christenings to graduations, and all of life's precious moments in between; to have this opportunity to watch our family grow is a gift from God.
Family Secrets

Today Lucy turned two. Her Mom & Dad thought this vintage-inspired kitchen set would be the perfect gift. I think she agrees.

Meanwhile, I'm tasting and perfecting cake recipes for the cookbook in my test kitchen. I'm keeping those recipes under wraps until the cookbook is completed; well, I may have to share a few of the secrets with Lucy! #Lucy #birthdaygirl #family #GrannyV #VeryVera #cakerecipes #secretrecipes #familytraditions

The Memorial Day Dessert: Watermelon Cake

Watermelon Cake

1 watermelon about 7­9 inches in diameter
1 container (8 oz) fat free frozen whipped topping, thawed
4 ounce nonfat light lemon yogurt
Fresh fruit to decorate cake (kiwi, strawberries, blueberries, almonds, e.g.)

Remove the cap from each end of the watermelon (about 1/2 - 2 inches.) Stand the watermelon upright on one of the flat sides. Using a long slender knife, cut along the inside of the watermelon just before the rind. Slowly work your way around the circumference ensuring the blade reaches the bottom on each cut. Flip the watermelon over and repeat. Next, cut the rind vertically to release the watermelon cylinder. Transfer watermelon cylinder to a serving plate and set aside. Pat dry with paper towels so that the whipped topping will adhere. Fold together whipped topping and yogurt. Place watermelon on flat serving plate. Frost top and sides with whipped topping mixture. Decorate as desired with fresh fruit. Refrigerate until ready to serve. The cake can be stored several hours or overnight. Cut in wedges, serve, & enjoy!

Harnessing Creativity & Imagination with Cooking

"Cooking with kids is not just about ingredients, recipes, and cooking. It's about harnessing imagination, empowerment, and creativity."
- Guy Fieri

I love this quote by Guy Fieri and could not have said it better myself. These are my same thoughts about the VeryVera Summer Cooking Camp for Kids. Yes, campers learn to bake, cook, plate, set a table-etiquette and life skills-but they learn so, so much more.

Space is limited, so register your child / grandchild today for VeryVera Cooking Camp. Ages 6-14: week-long Summer sessions. *Please sign up using the DEPOSIT product and pay the BALANCE DUE the week before camp. (Or pay for both at once, if you'd like!)

June Cooking Camps
Pre-Beginners (ages 6 & 7) June 8-12 SOLD OUT
Beginners (ages 8-10) June 15-19 SOLD OUT
Intermediate June 22-26 8 SPOTS LEFT

July Cooking Camps
Advanced Beginners (ages 11-14) July 6-10 5 SPOTS LEFT
Beginners (ages 8-10) July 13-17 SOLD OUT
Advanced July 20-24 9 SPOTS LEFT

For details, to register, or to purchase a gift card, visit www.veryvera.com.

  • Page 1 of 5
  • Page 1 of 5