Because Life with Kids is Sticky...Very Sticky

Lucy Mercer

Lucy Mercer
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
December 31
I cook, I write, I carpool. You may also find my words at A Cook and Her Books. Email acookandherbooks@gmail.com. Thanks for visiting!


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MARCH 31, 2012 11:36PM

My favorite song

What better way to spend a Saturday night than to share favorite songs with my Open Salon friends? It has taken a completely frivolous open call like this to get me to actually post. Here, on the eve of April Fool's Day, it's about time I posted in… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 18, 2011 9:58PM

Celebrating my independents

Box of books by Lucy Mercer.

I’ve loved bookstores since I was a little girl, so it's no wonder I would grow up to work in both independent and chain bookstores. The small town in upstate South Carolina where I grew up had a Carnegie library, but notRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 21, 2011 9:43AM

Honoring a fallen hero


Photo by Lucy Mercer

This story isn't about food or books, but just a glimpse into the town and times I live in. I brought my camera along yesterday as our county honored a fallen hero.

My small town was covered up in… Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 8, 2011 10:44PM

Denouement for a bookseller

Borders press pass lanyard and earpiece. Lucy Mercer

This weekend, I’ll pull my last shift as a bookseller, and if God is with me, my last retail shift ever. My Borders store hasn’t flatlined yet, but it’s just a matter of days, and I’ve decided to hang up my… Read full post »

thank you
Dear Francis,
I'm sure by now you've vacated your corner cubicle at Salon, but I just wanted to send a note to let you know how much the Salon Kitchen Challenge has meant to me over the past 15 months.
I came to Salon looking… Read full post »



Open Salon is a valuable forum for writers, but you reach a point where you need to find audiences beyond the hallowed OS doors. This is where StumbleUpon may be useful. See the little icons above each of your posts on your blog page? The squiggly SU… Read full post »

MARCH 14, 2011 8:12AM

The constant is pie

Apple Cheddar Pie by Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books

Today, March 14, is Pi Day, a day to celebrate the mathematical constant, the one snippet of higher math that geeks and non-geeks can talk about together. Pi is 3.14, and today is 3/14, March… Read full post »

JANUARY 16, 2011 11:03PM

Snow Day Part Duh

Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books


When I last wrote, I was in the first day of what became known as either Snowpocalypse or Snowmageddon, catchy words the Atlanta weather gurus came up with to describe the week. The snow fell for just a day, but the subsequent low… Read full post »

JANUARY 10, 2011 8:58AM

The weatherman was right

The weatherman was right: the predicted snowy apocalypse arrived overnight and I woke up in a winter wonderland. Our little corner of the woods is pristine when covered in snow.

I've lived in the South all my life and have never seen as much snow as in…

Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 26, 2010 3:05PM

Not my mama's black eyed peas and greens

Visit my mom’s house on New Year’s Day and you will be treated to simple, humble fare – a black-as-midnight cast iron skillet sizzling with buttermilk cornbread, a pot of black-eyed peas and a bowl of greens, usually collards. The peas and greens are usually cooked with porkRead full post »

DECEMBER 24, 2010 6:32AM

Love and joy come to you

christmas cookies by lucy mercer

For my Open Salon friends, a plate of cookies, and a partial re-post of a story that includes my favorite Christmas carol.

 I truly love Christmas and Christmas songs, both sacred and secular. Some of my dearest childhood memories are of turning out the lamps in the… Read full post »

christmas cards


Way back when, in 2000, life was giddy and good and I decided to write my first Christmas newsletter. Except, I didn't want it to be like every other Christmas newsletter out there. You know the ones I mean. The travelogues:  "In March, we had an audience with… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 18, 2010 9:28PM

The Teacher's Gift

I ran into a friend this week, another mommy getting ready for Christmas, and I asked her how her week was going. "Oh, it's going great. I guess I'm all ready for Christmas!" she replied.

Knowing that Friday was the last day of school before the holidays, I asked/…

Read full post »

DECEMBER 14, 2010 8:00AM

My favorite Christmas carol: Betelehemu



Christmas music is the mood-setter as we gear up for the holidays. I look forward each year to the familiar and funny, as well as the sacred and serious songs of the season. Before I tell you about my favorite song, I will tell you what I… Read full post »

I’ve come to believe that home food is best, but it’s not often an opinion that you will hear expressed by a world-class chef, in this case David Tanis, chef of Chez Panisse.

Tanis is living a foodie dream – working six months of the year
Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 5, 2010 8:11PM

A suitable use for candied cherries


“Oh Buddy, I think it’s fruitcake weather,” goes the opening line to one of the best short stories ever written (and certainly a sentimental Southern favorite), “A Christmas Memory” by Truman Capote. Capote based the story on his own memor… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 17, 2010 8:03AM

Bake It Forward & SKC Holiday Cookies

cookies tin

Last week, I wrote about  Bake It Forward, a program of the Imperial Sugar Company (makers of Dixie Crystals sugar) to encourage home bakers to share treats with friends. I sent a tin of ginger cookies and oatmeal raisin cookies to Lisa Kuebler and she's now sending pound/… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 14, 2010 8:52PM

Around the Thanksgiving table

D.B. Mercer, ca. 1943-44   


I’ve never set a place at the Thanksgiving table for my father-in-law. He died a few years before I met my husband., so I know him only through pictures like these here, and the stories he told his children, tale… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 10, 2010 11:29AM

Random (and sweet) acts of kindness

Christmas and cookies are synonymous in my house. I bake throughout the year, but when the frost is on the pumpkin, the unsalted butter and eggs go on the counter for a day (and ok, maybe a week) of cookie baking. Each holiday season, I make my mom's buttery, crisp… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 7, 2010 10:48PM

Have bento, will travel


Turkey bento

 Once the calendar flips over to November, we seem to be in a Thanksgiving tizzy. I love the holidays, but in recent years have taken a relaxed approach. It helps when the feast is located at a house other than mine. We’re… Read full post »

OCTOBER 31, 2010 8:41PM

The frost on the pumpkin



The frost on the pumpkin is a phrase that weathermen and old timers toss about this time of year, but I've never been too sure what it means or the origin of the phrase until recently. If I'd been raised in the Midwest, I may have known it… Read full post »

Mark Bittman is a food writer with a fresh approach. I happen to love his easygoing attitude towards recipes in the New York Times Minimalist column. Bittman's minimalist approach can refer to using few techniques and few ingredients, but it mostly (to me, anyway), means he assumes his/… Read full post »
OCTOBER 31, 2010 9:18AM

Scarecrows in the garden

Join me on a walk through the Atlanta Botanical Garden,
featuring scarecrows, glass from the Cohn-Stone Studios, and more than a few flowers.

  All images copyright 2010, Lu
Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 28, 2010 11:11AM

"Phantom of the Fox" Can Stay in Theatre Home for Now


joe @ fox


Atlanta's "Phantom of the Fox Theatre," Joe Patten, will be able to stay in his Fabulous Fox Theatre apartment until a new lease is negotiated, according to a Fulton County Court.

On Wednesday, Judge Jerry Baxter granted an injunction preventing Patten's eviction from his home o… Read full post »

Last week, I whined about an overabundance of vegetables in my refrigerator, hoping for a Salon Kitchen Challenge on the subject of arugula, or turnips or cauliflower. That was not to be, we were given the subject of Halloween candy, which turned out pretty/… Read full post »