Mary Morony, Author of Apron Strings, Done Growed Up and If It Ain't One Thing


Ethel's Not Happy Pie Misses Make Sallee's GradeEthel

“Soft and round, Ethel was the color of coffee with cream, with big freckles dotting her broad nose. Her wide set eyes were light brown, and her lips were thin. Short, just over five feet tall; she weighed well over two hundred pounds.” —Apron Strings by Mary Morony

Although Ethel is the Mackey’s maid, she is far more than that.  She is the loving disciplinarian of her employer’s children and she takes pride in teaching them manners in the way she thinks her employer would want them taught. Her employer, Ginny, trusts her with them in her absence as she would trust a family member. She does not judge her on the color of her skin but by the love Ethel shows the children.

Sallee’s Just Blueberry Desserts

Sallee’s Just Blueberry Desserts Ethel had just finished putting away the groceries when Sallee skipped into the kitchen. “Hey, Ethel can you make some blueberry ice cream? We stopped at this roadside market. They had lots of fresh picked berries, so we got a bunch. I figured you could make a pie and some pancakes […]

Rhubarb Pie Makes Sense

Rhubarb Pie Makes Sense Rhubarb Pie Makes Sense The recipe follows the story. Sallee sat at the kitchen table sipping lemonade and eating saltines when Ginny came into the kitchen. “Ethel, I wonder if you would mind…” She fidgeted with a hangnail. “You see I have this friend…” She stopped then started up again, “I wasn’t […]

Angel Biscuits

Recipe for Helen’s Real Angel Biscuits follows the story. “Good mornin’ Lil’ Miss. What you got in store fo’ today?” Ethel asked Helen as the child slipped into her chair at the kitchen table. “Not so hot.”.Sallee and Gordy always get to spend the night out. Nobody ever asks me.” The child sighed as she put her chin […]

Grapefruit Custard Pie Recipe

Grapefruit Custard Pie Recipe follows a story. Ginny Mackey stood in the kitchen chatting with Ethel when her eyes fell on the box of grapefruits her brother James had sent from Florida and the other box of grapefruit her older brother Gordon had also sent. She groaned, “I wish they had a little more imagination. […]

Lost Appetite Found

Hot cheese hor ‘d oeuvres recipe follows story Lost Appetite Found  Tickled with her idea, Ethel bustled over to the icebox.  Pulling open the door, she began  to gather the fixings for Cheesy Bits. Sick for the last two days. Helen lay upstairs in bed wan and listless. No amount of suggestions on Ethel’s part […]

Turkey Leftovers

  “I was counting on turkey leftovers for dinner,” Gordy flopped on the sofa next to Stuart, “But oh, no, she has the blasted grinder out,” he groaned, “You know what that means?” Stuart squinted at her brother shaking her head, ” You mean Ethel? What grinder? And no I don’t know, what.” He sighed, […]

Planning Thanksgiving Dinner

Recipe for Pumpkin Cake follows this story. The two women sat across the kitchen table from one another; Ginny held an awaiting pencil over her pad to take down Ethel’s dictation. Planning Thanksgiving dinner was a challenge. It was less than a week away and both women were determined to make it perfect. Ethel rattled off the givens: […]

Squirrel—Shoot, Skin, Cook, Eat

Joe woke early to a magnificent November Saturday. Silver frost glowed in the moonlight in patches on the lawn while beads of condensation wreathed the glass of his bedroom window. Hands behind his head, he laid in the warm bed remembering years before when his father rousted him out into the cold to hunt whatever […]

Apricot Nectar Cake Recipe

Apricot Nectar Cake Recipe Sallee Style The recipe is embedded in the story Sallee skipped into the kitchen waving a piece of paper. “Ethel, I had the best cake the other day at Dad’s house. His girlfriend The Rose made it. I liked it so much I asked her for the recipe. Look she gave […]

Cheese Soufflé Recipe

 Ethel Learns to Cook French Despite Herself – Cheese Soufflé Recipe follows the story Finally over the shame that had permeated every aspect of her being for as long as she could remember, Ginny decided to have a luncheon to celebrate. Grateful for her new life and friends she thought having them over would be the perfect […]

Chocolate Pudding Recipe

While Helen struggles to whistle, Ethel whistles-up some chocolate pudding. Ethel’s Southern Favorite chocolate pudding recipe follows the story. “Whatta you up to little miss?” Ethel asked when Helen slumped down at the kitchen table fiddling with her hand in her mouth. “You a little old to be sucking on yo’ hands ain’t you?” First, she tried […]

Sugar Coated Pecan Recipe

Sugar coated pecans recipe follows story Ethel groaned when Ginny came into the kitchen with a yellow sheet from her TODAY! pad. Oh no, another new recipe! Ethel thought. “Ethel, do you think you could help me make some Christmas presents this year? I found this recipe for Sugar Coated Pecans. I thought they would make perfect […]

Pimento Cheese Recipe

Ethel’s Pimento Cheese Recipe is simple. She loves pimento cheese and like most all things Ethel cooks she likes it her way, which tends to be simple, and uncomplicated. She can’t understand to save her life why a body would buy the stuff out there they call pimento cheese since real good pimento cheese is easy […]

Corn Sticks Ethel Style

Recipe for Corn Sticks Ethel Style follows story With a bucket and sponge, Ethel was sitting in a chair bent over the storage drawer underneath the oven when Gordy came home from school. She had put all the pans usually stored in the drawer out on the counter. “What are doing?” Gordy asked. “Cleaning this […]

Cookbook Writing

 Ethel Helps Sallee Write Cookbook 9 year old Sallee Mackey attempts to write a cookbook with a little help from Ethel   Sallee marched into the kitchen armed with a pencil and a pad of paper. Pulling out a chair she plopped herself down and announced to a bemused Ethel, “I’m writing a cookbook.” Then […]

Ethel’s Southern Corn Pudding Recipe

  Ethel’s Southern Corn Pudding Recipe follows story. Helen skipped into the kitchen. “Ethel we are going to the corn farm. Daddy is taking us to the corn farm to pick corn. Doesn’t that sound like fun?” The little girl circumnavigated not only Ethel,  but the kitchen as well as she sang Old Mac Donald Had […]

Stewed Tomatoes with Garlic

Stewed Tomatoes with Garlic – A Bakeoff! Not one of Ethel’s favorites because she’s not a big fan of garlic – but Ginny plans to change that.  Recipe to follow story: Ginny handed Ethel a recipe for stewed tomatoes that she had ripped from a magazine knowing full well that Ethel did not like garlic […]

Southern Cooking Apple Pie Recipe

Ethel’s Not Happy Pie Misses Making Sallee’s Grade Southern Cooking Apple Pie Recipe follows story. One Friday afternoon just home from school, Sallee skipped into the kitchen as Ethel was preparing dinner. “Hey Ethel! “ She gave Ethel a pat on her ample backside as she slid into a kitchen chair and smiled up at […]

Southern Cooking Waffle Recipe

Helen Helps Ethel Make ‘Awfuls’ Southern Cooking Waffle Recipe to follow story. “Ethel, can we have awfuls for breakfast?” Helen asked congratulating herself for getting to the kitchen before anyone else. “We haven’t had them in a the longest time.” The little girl eagerly stared up Ethel, “Pleeease?” She gave a short hop of anticipation. […]

Garlic Problems

Ethel loved collards greens though she had garlic problems. She would eat them every day if she could. Give her a ham hock and passel of collard greens and the woman could create heaven on earth. Although she was an excellent cook, she had the potential to be a superior one. Unfortunately, for Ethel, her […]

Ethel Stumbles Upon Dulce de Leche

The day that Ethel stumbles Upon Dulce de Leche quiet had settled on the house in minutes after the hubbub of three children and a less than patient mother left.  The only sounds disturbing the peace were bugs flying into the window screen and bees buzzing in the flower bed underneath the window. Ethel’s bustlings […]

Bet’cha Ethel Bakes Lemon Meringue Pie

Bet’cha Ethel Bakes Lemon Meringue Pie   Gordy and Helen were watching a scary movie on television when Sallee strolled in flopping down next them on the sofa. “Hey, betcha don’t know how to make an astronaut’s baby stop crying?” Helen too engrossed in what she was watching so that she could hide her eyes […]

Ethel’s July 4th Picnic Fixin’s

Ethel’s July 4th Picnic Fixin’s T’ my way of thinkin’, you jest can’t have a picnic wit’out tater salad, slaw an’ fried chicken. Miz Ginny likes t’ have aspic an’ deviled eggs. I like ’em jest fine, but baked beans an’ macaroni an’ cheese—now yer talkin’ some good fried chicken.! I think I done gave you […]

Planning Joe’s Birthday Party

Planning Joe’s Birthday Party Ginny bustled into the kitchen with keys and purse in hand, “Ethel you know Mister Joe’s birthday is this Sunday? He is so busy with that blasted shopping center.” With a breathless shudder she continued, “I’ve decided to surprise him with a brunch party on Sunday! You don’t mind working doing […]

Homemade Sausage wit’ Fried Apples

Folks think makin’ yo’ own sausage is hard t’ do. It ain’t not’in t’ it, if ya got ya a fresh hog kilt. If ya doan you can buy fresh ground pork an’ gonne from der. Make sure it’s been ground dat day. It gotta be fresh.  In de Mackey household can’t have sausage wit’out fried apples so I’m […]

Mango Avocado Salad

Miz Ginny’s right partial to avocado. She’ll eat ’em any which way. I can’t say I like ’em like she do, but dis here salad is mighty good on a hot summer’s day. Da is unless she finds one of dem papayas. I hate to ruin a good salad wit’ one of dem thangs, no […]

Ethel’s Bloody Mary Aspic

Miz Ginny axed me t’ fix dis here salad fo’ a party she was givin’. Den after thinkin’ a spell about it,  said maybe I better not since it’s got Bloody Mary’s in it. I tol’ her ain’t no need to worry ain’t got no vodka in it. It jest got all de other fixin’s. Ethel’s […]

Chil’ren Love Ethel’s Ambrosia

Chil’ren Love Ethel’s Ambrosia When Miz Ginny goes out, de chil’ren beg me t’ make dis here salad. Dey love all o’ dis  sweet fruits all mixed up with whipped cream. It so easy I don’t mind at’ll. Once I served it to Miz Ginny an’ she didn’t think it was half bad, though she say […]

Ethel Make Some Oatmeal Griddle Cakes, Please

Ethel Make Some Oatmeal Griddle Cakes, Please “Ethel, Ethel would you make oatmeal griddlecakes today, please? Gordy wasn’t much into jumping, but he gave a little hop, nonetheless. “Honey, it all depends if I got any leftover oatmeal. Let me git in the door good, take off m’ hat an’ coat lemme see. What gits […]

Ethel Makes Cabbage Taste Good

Potatoes, Apples, Onions & Cabbage De Mackey chil’ren doan much like cabbage. Miz Ginny is right partial to it.  I made up dis here recipe t’ stave off a fight ’bout eatin’ yo’ vegetab’es. When Sallee said “Ethel can even make cabbage taste good. She’s a genius I was right proud of myself . I think […]

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