Peas, Greens, and Cornbread

black-eyed-peas1Clearly, a lot of people closely associate good luck with monetary gain. That’s where the greens come in (in case I need to spell it out, green is the color of U.S. currency).

Any green will do, but the most common choices are collard, turnip, or mustard greens. Golden cornbread is often added to the Southern New Year’s meal, and a well-known phrase is, “Peas for pennies, greens for dollars, and cornbread for gold.” Pork is a staple of just about every Southern meal, so it’s usually cooked with the black-eyed peas. The pork seems to be there for flavor as opposed to symbolism……

Andrea Lynn is an Alabama-raised, soul food-obsessed food writer, recipe developer and personal chef. Follow her on Twitter @ALynn27.

Help For Cloister Neighbors Who Need It


“Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, the last of life, for which the first was made. Our times are in his hand who saith, ‘A whole I planned, youth shows but half; Trust God: See all, nor be afraid!”

RobertBrowning2We may be able to help a Cloister neighbor to grow old gracefully, in reasonable comfort, and not be afraid.

Invitation from Judy Davis

Mobile Meals Program

In 1974 a group of individuals felt there was a need to establish a program that included several churches in the Green Hills area.  The Ecumenical Outreach Program was founded and expanded to include additional churches.  One of the programs they sponsored was the Mobile Meals Program.

Today there are 5 routes and 8 churches participating in this program.  Our food service provider prepares a hot, well balances meal of a meat, 2 vegetables, fruit or salad, milk and bread for only $2.75 per meal.  The meals contain no salt and no sugar.

Our service area includes Edgehill, Melrose, east to Franklin Rd., west to West End Ave and south to Old Hickory Blvd.

This program has worked for 39 years as a true venture of faith.  Each group assumes the responsibility for delivery of the meals on their respective route.  They provide their own staff.  This is a volunteer service offered by the participating churches and other volunteers, and is not connected with the Metro Meals on Wheels government program.  We receive no government funding.

This service is not limited to church members or senior adults.  There is no age requirement.  When individuals return home from the hospital or are no longer able to prepare meals, they can request this service.  All individuals in the area served by this program are eligible to receive meals, however, they are screened to determine their degree of need.  This service allows older adults to remain in their home for a longer period and have someone checking on them each day.  The Mobile Meals drivers are frequently the only human contact these people have each day.

We already deliver lunch to one lady who lives in the Cloisters.

If you know someone who needs this service, please contact Laura Dreher at 791-9918.

A copy of the above has been sent to the Editor of The Cloister News which is delivered to your doorstep each month. Do you have a roofmate or close neighbor who is advanced in age, lives alone, or otherwise has limited mobility? You may want let them know about this fine “Meals on Wheels” program….

Green Hills meals service wants to find more clients


DJ Plate LunchRecent Newspaper Article….

Mobile Meals, another non- profit meals service, has been operating in Green Hills and surrounding neighborhoods for almost four decades. The service supported by several churches has recently begun a push to attract more clients.

“Our numbers are diminishing, we’d like to serve more,” said Judy David. Mobile Meals has no eligibility restrictions. Its. Clients include older residents, those with permanent disabilities and those recuperating from a short-term illness or injury:

“Anyone can call and request their friend or loved one be helped,” Davis said. “We just want to serve the need.” Meals are delivered Monday through Friday: The cost is $2.75 per meal. Each meal includes a meat, two vegetables, fruit or cookie, bread and milk.

The service area roughly extends from West End Avenue to Franklin Road, from the Edgehill neighborhood to Forest Hills. Some of the large complexes served are the Retired Teachers Apartments in Green Hills, Lea Rose in Hillsboro Village and Wedgewood Tower on 12th Avenue South.

Churches assisting include Calvary Methodist, Woodmont Christian, First Baptist, First Presbyterian, Harpeth Presbyterian, Hillsboro Presbyterian, Forest Hills Baptist and Christ Presbyterian. For information, call Judy Davis 615-297- 3049 or e-mail

We Will Be Forced to Eat Dirt


Eating DirtObama is proposing to change the way the Consumer Price Index (CPI)  is calculated. The CPI is used to determine future increases in Social Security, other benefits, and even wages. If the cost-of-living goes up, Social Security and wages are increased with increases in the CPI to catch up with the cost-of-living.

The Hameau de la Reine The Queen’s Hamlet was a rustic retreat in the park of the Château de Versailles built for Marie Antoinette in 1783 near the Petit Trianon in the Yvelines, France. It served as a private meeting place for the Queen and her closest friends, a place of leisure. It contained a meadowland with lakes and streams, a classical Temple of Love on an island with fragrant shrubs and flowers, an octagonal belvedere, with a neighbouring grotto and cascade. There are also various buildings in a rustic or vernacular style, inspired by Norman or Flemish designed, situated around an irregular pond fed by a stream that turned the mill wheel. The building scheme included a farmhouse, (the farm was to produce milk and eggs for the queen), a dairy, a dovecote, a boudoir, a barn that was burned down during the French Revolution.

“Let them eat cake” is the traditional translation of the French phrase “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche”, supposedly spoken by Marie Antoinette  upon learning that the peasants had no bread. Since cake was enriched with butter and eggs, as opposed to ordinary bread, the quote indicated the princess’s ignorance of the starving condition of her people. In the end, Marie Antoinette  was beheaded during the French Revolution.

Obama’s proposed Chained CPI change assumes that as the price of steak goes up the Social Security recipient and wage earners will switch and substitute lower cost chicken (so, don’t adjust the CPI because the cost of a meal has not changed, cheaper chicken was substituted for steak). The problem is that if this substitution continues, chicken for steak, horse meat for chicken, macaroni for horse meat, in the end we will all be eating dirt while Social Security and wages haven’t increased at all.

A Chained CPI has no effect on those with enough wealth, or high enough earnings, that levels of Social Security and wages make no difference in whether they eat steak or not. But for most of us, their theory is “Let them eat dirt.”

The Crowd Filled the Room at The Cloister Neighborhood Covered Dish Supper

covered dish supperTuesday, March 12 the crowd filled the room at the Cloister Neighborhood Covered Dish Supper. They had to set up an additional table in a corner of the large meeting room. I didn’t do a count but attendance may have reached 80-100 people.

We sat at a table #2 with Diane, Virginia, Erika, and Ricky. Table 2, for a change, was the second table called up to the food line. Most of the dishes were excellent, fortunately we can take what we want and leave the rest, and a desert table of unmatched selection and quality. The Covered Dish Committee made a good change when they moved the main meat choices toward the end of the food line rather that right in front. Some meat choices were left for those unlucky who are called up last.

When Bonney and I started coming to these affairs several years ago we became discouraged because there never seemed to be enough food for people at tables called up last. It was mostly our luck to sit at a table among the last to be called to the food line. We have since decided that whatever dishes we would bring would be enough to feed six to eight people. And since there was two of us we would bring two containers of food. That probably doesn’t make much of a difference in the total amount of food available but it makes us feel better.

neighborWe had 5 newcomers whose names I failed to write down and absolutely cannot remember. These newcomers once again prove that The Cloister at Saint Henry is one of the greatest secrets in Nashville. Anyone who has visited a Cloister resident, or had any other reason to visit the Cloister, eventually  decides that this is the place to move, and live among a congenial group of neighbors.

The Story of the “Black Eye Pea” Tradition


civil-war-soldiersCivil wars can be murderous affairs to its citizens and its effects are sometimes never forgotten. Today countries like Syria are being destroyed to rubble.

There is a tradition in the South of eating Black Eyed peas on New Years Day. There are many stories about the origin of this tradition. Here is one from a Southerner perspective.

“The Real Story is much more interesting and has gone untold in fear that feelings would be hurt. It’s a story of war, the most brutal and bloody war this nation has ever seen, military might and power pushed upon civilians, women, children and elderly. Never seen as a war crime, this was the policy of the greatest nation on earth trying to maintain that status at all costs. An unhealed wound remains in the hearts of some people of the southern states even today.

The story of THE BLACK EYED PEA being considered good luck relates directly back to Sherman ‘s Bloody March to the Sea in late 1864. It was called The Savannah Campaign and was lead by Major General William Tecumseh Sherman. The Civil War campaign began on 11/15/64 when Sherman ‘s troops marched from the captured city of Atlanta , Georgia , and ended at the port of Savannah on 12/22/1864.

When the smoke cleared, the southerners who had survived the onslaught came out of hiding. They found that the blue belly aggressors that had looted and stolen everything of value and everything that could be eaten, including all livestock. Death and destruction were everywhere. While in hiding, few had enough to eat, and starvation was now upon the survivors.

There was no international aid, no Red Cross meal trucks, no disaster relief, no FEMA. The Northern army had taken everything they could carry, eaten everything they could eat and destroyed what they couldn’t. But they couldn’t take it all. The devastated people of the south found for some unknown reason that Sherman ‘s bloodthirsty troops had left silos full of black eyed peas.

At the time in the north, the lowly black eyed pea was only used to feed stock. The northern troops saw it as the thing of least value. Taking grain for their horses and livestock and other crops to feed themselves, they just couldn’t take everything. So they left the black eyed peas in great quantities assuming it would be of no use to the survivors, since all the livestock it could feed had either been taken or eaten.

Southerners awoke to face a new year in this devastation and were facing massive starvation if not for the good luck of having the black eyed peas to eat. From New Years Day 1866 forward, the tradition grew to eat black eyed peas on New Year’s Day for good luck.”

black-eyed-peas1Some traditions and memories are never forgotten and are passed down from generation to generation forever…..