Caroline Boone Alford was born in Newnan, Georgia, a small town known for its good food and southern hospitality. She was the only girl with five brothers. From the time she was eight years old, it was her job was to make dessert for Sunday lunch, along with cheese straws, meringues, and pound cake. By the time she was twelve she became responsible for Saturday night supper and babysitting her three younger brothers, who sent her to bake them cookies rather than have her help with mowing the lawn or washing the car.
In 1970 Caroline met and married Roy Alford, and they soon moved to Germany with the Army Dental Corps. Before they left, Caroline made sure to collect recipes from various cooks in Newnan as well as her family so she’d have a little bit of home with her. Unfortunately, all she got were lists of ingredients, so there were many disasters along the way to figuring out the right measurements and methods. (Like when the top fell off the salt into her first spaghetti sauce.) After three years in Germany, Caroline and Roy moved to Kansas City, Missouri, then Birmingham, Alabama, finally settling in Rome, Georgia, where they’ve lived for over 30 years.
Caroline loves to entertain and have company to her home (she learned that from her mother, grandmother and aunts), hosting a two-night cocktail party for 300 guests during Christmas and 8 to 25 guests most weekends during the summer. After repeatedly giving out recipes for dishes she’s served at parties, garden club meetings, and her supper club (of which she’s been a member since 1985), Caroline finally wrote her own 420 page, 450-recipe cookbook. When she came to Portland to visit her niece a few weeks ago, they came to Mother’s for lunch and she gifted us a copy of her cookbook. Chock full of great recipes, we couldn’t help but make her a Mother of the Month and share her delicious southern dishes. Like any cook, Caroline’s dream is to have someone come behind her and clean up as fast as she can make a mess…well, this month we’re doing her cooking, too!
Local Apple & Toasted Walnut Salad
organic field greens tossed with toasted walnuts, sliced red onions, blue cheese, julienne local apples, raisins & poppy seed dressing
Southern Fried Buttermilk-Battered Chicken
with bourbon mashed sweet potatoes & bacon-braised greens
Pecan-Crusted Catfish with Honey Glaze
served with a fresh corn pudding & bacon-braised greens
Chocolate Bavarian Cream with Caramelized Almonds
a creamy chocolate dessert layered with candied almonds
with Jeremiah Weed Sweet Tea Vodka, Peachtree liqueur, peach puree & fresh brewed iced tea