Thursday, August 1, 2013

"Wish You Were Here" by Elizabeth Hudson

Do you read editor's letters in magazines? I do, but perhaps that's because I've long been a magazine junkie, and I like knowing who's behind the magazines I read. As a former magazine editor myself, I've developed strong opinions about magazine editors if I know anything about them. There are some editors I dislike (a certain fashion magazine editor comes to mind), but there are plenty of others I love. At the top of the list is Elizabeth Hudson, editor of Our State magazine in North Carolina. When I read last week some of her essays had been compiled into a book, I immediately ordered a copy. (I confess I'm a little annoyed that she is apparently a good bit younger than I am and yet writes with the wisdom of someone decades older. She seems so darn likable, I just don't have it in me to be as jealous of her as I should be.)

And so I got her book. As with a box of fine chocolates, I'm not eating these up all at once, preferring to pick and choose which essays I read each evening, enjoying some now, saving some for later. I was more than a little delighted to find this essay on tea, "Brewing Sunshine in a Gallon Jar." She writes of going to Rose's discount store with her grandmother and buying a special jar so they could make Sun Tea. They did, and "it took all day. By dinnertime, we finally proclaimed it 'done' and poured ourselves a glass. The tea was warm and melted the ice in our glasses, and it went down sweeter and more delicious than anything I'd ever had. We drank nearly the entire jug in one sitting, going back to the spigot for more, saying how, yes, it was worth the wait, the way so many good things, done simply, are." (Isn't that lovely?)

Another essay, "History Among Us," tells of her antique collector parents (hey, mine are too!) and how she got the bug herself and started collecting community cookbooks. "I liked the recipes, of course, but more than that, I liked how you could read a town — how you could tell the story of a place — based on the recipes in the books. … I may not ever make Mrs. Marvin Staley's Quail Pie, but I love knowing that she did." That is *exactly* how I feel about the old tea room cookbooks I collect! The book is illustrated by Suzanne and Edgar Cabrera, and their watercolors are simply charming. If the book appeals to you as much as it did to me, go here to order. You don't have to be from North Carolina to enjoy this one!


  1. Oh, Angela - how delightful!

    You and she have SO much in common, too - making this essay collections book even that much more special.

    Thank you for letting us know about this! What a wonderful gift it could make!

    And, I too always read the Editor's Notes first before going any further with the magazine. I daresay I will sweep the pics first to see if there is anything there I wish to "own," though.

    Magazines have to be truly special these days, as so much of our eye candy now comes from fellow bloggers and from Pinterest. I think the value of the written word is more important for the health and future of magazines than EVER before.

  2. A good review of the book, and I can identify with younger people being more worldly than one would think.
    Of the magazine editors I know, most are pretty nice but there is always the exception when one thinks the position puts them above the rest of us.
    Michele is right with her comment about so much available on blogs now and of course emagazines are becoming quite trendy.

  3. That book does sound delightful.

  4. I do like reading the editors comments at the front of a magazine because it gives a good introduction and feel for what to expect as I turn the pages. The book you describe here sounds delightful.

  5. Hello Angela, your review is great! I want to run right out and get this book. The illustrations look beautiful. Thank you for the review and the link, Joanie

  6. Sounds like a good book. I enjoy the magazine

  7. Amen to church and community spiral bound cookbooks ! Fun to read and collect !

  8. This sounds like an enjoyable book, and I love the watercolors.


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