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Notes
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.
You Have to Start Somewhere!

You have to start somewhere . . . I started cooking & baking with my mother and grandmother when I was young. It was truly a family affair. I'm now carrying on the tradition with my VeryVera family - with all of my talented & enthusiastic campers! The VeryVera 2015 Summer Cooking Camp for Kids is booking quickly and I know you do not want to miss it! Register today on www.VeryVera.com

Pre-Beginners (June 8-12th): ONLY 2 SPOTS LEFT
Beginner (June15-19th): ONLY 6 SPOTS LEFT
Intermediate (June 22-26th): ONLY 10 SPOTS LEFT
Advanced Beginner (July 6-10th): ONLY 7 SPOTS LEFT
Beginner (July 13-17th): ONLY 7 SPOTS LEFT
Advanced (July 20-24th): ONLY 10 SPOTS LEFT

Thanks & I look forward to seeing y'all this Summer!

Happy Easter!

One of my favorite family photographs is this one from Easter 1958 with all of us in birth order - Bitsy, Trip, me, Harry, and Lou. Many of you recognize those names from the pound cakes that bore their names which were so popular in our VeryVera Cake line. I always loved the fact that I was sandwiched in the middle - I got center stage in every photo and of course I needed it in this picture since by dress stood out three feet!

As we all celebrate the Easter Holiday today, I hope you will think about the old fashioned values that are part of your family history. Sometimes it’s so hard to recreate what you now can’t imagine that your Mom and Grandmother were able to get accomplished. The age span of my siblings and I when this photo was taken was 15 years, so you can well imagine that my mother had her hands full. Thank goodness Bitsy was a very mature 16-year-old girl and Lou was a good baby. I will plead the fifth on where I stackedup in the behavior category, but I’m sure my brothers and sisters would love to weigh in on that one!

Happy Easter Everyone!

Vera

Times Have Changed

It's amazing how something very insignificant from your childhood can be found years later and make an incredible impact. I recently came across this wallet-size album in a box of old pictures while conducting research for my cookbook. My grandmother Vera always kept this photo album in her purse, and I always loved to look through it.

On this day I am reminded of my grandmother's stylish purses, her manicured hands, her pride in her grandchildren, and the manner in which she approached each day. I now keep my pictures on my phone. I don't think finding my iPhone will make a difference 50 years from now. Oh how times have changed . . . 

Granddog Finley

Grand Dog

This is Finley, one of my grand dogs. Not growing up with a dog has allowed me the opportunity now to understand how someone can truly fall in love with their pet. Getting a picture like this on a Sunday afternoon from my daughter in law Catherine brightened my day. How could you resist being in love with this baby doll??

Jane & Her New Wheels!

What did Jane get for her 3 1/2 year birthday? HOT WHEELS!! We are all so excited about Jane's custom chair complete with her name on the back and of course in her favorite color, bright pink! The big tray on the front will allow Lucy, her "big" little sister, to share toys and have tea parties! The milestones with Jane are so different than her sister's; however, they are equally rewarding.

Jane has influenced each of us with her resilience and determination. I'm looking forward to burning rubber with Jane!!

An Evening to Remember

Last week I had the pleasure of preparing dinner for one of my very favorite people, Dr. Bleakley Chandler, in honor of his eighty-eighth birthday. Bleakley, who has been a good friend and client for many years, and his precious wife of sixty-one years, Jane, were kind and gracious hosts. 

The birthday boy and king of the household, Bleakley, is as energetic and spry as the first time I met him. From brisk walks in his neighborhood to quickly responding to emails, he is, no doubt, more on the ball than you or I. 

So, is age just a number? In Bleakley's case, yes; absolutely. 

It was a wonderful and unforgettable evening, and I so look forward to Bleakley's eighty-ninth!

 

We Are Family!
Vera & Siblings, Family Reunion

I'm sure many of you have had opportunities over the summer to reunite with family members. I just returned from seeing all of my brothers and sisters and a few of the nieces/nephews and their children. What a wonderful time we had catching up, reminiscing, and telling on each other. I've lost count of the number of times I heard, "I never knew that!" 

The years may have changed our appearance, but our personalities remain the same. I am so very grateful for our hosts Bitsy, Jeff, Harry, and Vern. In case you have forgotten the namesakes of those delicious VeryVera pound cakes, here they are, listed by birth order: Bitsy (Amaretto Pound), Trip (Lemon Crisp), Vera (Chocolate), Harry (Old Fashioned), and Lou (Cream Cheese).

Each sibling will get an opportunity to write a blurb about his or her cake in my upcoming cookbook . . . as long as the stories do not involve tales about little Vera!

 

Vera Stewart

2014 June Cooking Camps Report Card

How did the June Sessions of Cooking Camp go? Beyond what I could have imagined--they were absolutely splendid! I have received so many kind notes and emails, including this one from Angel, the mother of Kayla who was one of our VeryVera Summer Cooking Camp Campers of the Week! This email just warmed my heart. 



"We are very proud of Kayla and her accomplishments . . . Kayla wants to be a chef and own her own restaurant so this really inspires her . . .Thanks so much for continuing to organize this camp. She really enjoys it. We will definitely see you next year in the Advanced Class."

I just cannot express how much joy I receive working with and teaching these kids about cooking, and how proud I am of all of my campers. Congrats to you, boys and girls, for a job well done! Each and every one of you received an A+ in my book.

 

~ Vera Stewart

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