Cooking With Myra: Trinity's Night of Food and Wine

By Myra Starkey
April 3, 2012 at midnight
Updated April 2, 2012 at 11:03 p.m.

Merle's Peach Cobbler

Merle's Peach Cobbler

Taylor and I have three children - Miles, Hannah and Spencer. Each of them is grown up, at least by my standards.

But it seems like only yesterday they were small and shuffling around our house, depending on us for their meals and their lives, and I relish those memories.

They hung on our every word and took most things we said to heart, never questioning our authority.

Our kids grew up in a relatively strict household. Our two oldest children would say they grew up under an iron fist, but that by the time Spencer was born, we had relaxed many of the rules they had to live by.

Of course, this is not true.

We had merely figured out what worked and what did not work in child rearing and Spencer benefited by our previous successes and mistakes. New parents do not start out knowing how to raise children.

They learn mostly from the techniques of their parents and then mix in some of what they read by current authors along with advice from friends and magically, they become experts. Well, perhaps none of us are experts, but at least we hope to be competent.

We had many rules in our home. Brush your teeth before you go to bed. Eat everything on your plate. Close the door behind you when you enter a room. If parents are talking, do not interrupt them, but touch their arm and wait until you are addressed. No television on week nights. Look both ways before you cross the street. Speak quietly when you are inside the house. No skating inside the house. No baseball or basketball inside the house. Take a bath before bed. Say your prayers before you go to sleep. No fighting with your brothers or sister. Do your chores without being asked. Never ever say the "S" word (shut-up).

The last rule came about out of necessity. One would not think that a child would automatically use this word on a regular basis, but somehow it creeps into their vocabulary and becomes a favorite word to shout when they are tired or have just had it with those around them.

Our kids did really well following the rules. There were always consequences if they chose to disobey and so they learned rather quickly how to live with civility in our home.

I believe if you love children and gently correct them when they are young and do not give in, then they tend to turn out all right and become respectful adults. I can only say this now because back when our kids were teens and pushing the boundaries I was somewhat doubtful.

I remember a situation when Miles was in the third grade at Trinity Episcopal School. We live across the street from the school so our children were walked across the street (after looking both ways) by my husband.

Mornings were very hectic getting everyone dressed and their backpacks filled with homework. I would rise early, wake the kids and prepare breakfast. Everyone wore a uniform so it made getting dressed less complicated. Then we had breakfast before school.

Since we lived so close, we could spend a little more time together since no driving was involved. One would think that our proximity to the school would allow us to be early or even on time, but generally they arrived just as the bell was sounding.

I believe it had been a hectic morning with some sort of altercation among the older two kids and perhaps the stress had weighed heavily on their small hearts as they began their day. I received a call from the principal before lunch asking me to come to the school for a meeting.

I don't believe I had ever been summoned and asked why and was told that Miles had said the "S" word. No other explanation was needed. I was a little shocked that the school had the same rules as our home and surely saying "shut up" was bad behavior, but should not warrant a parent meeting.

Taylor and I did not curse and therefore the other "S" word had probably not been heard by our kids at home. I considered the possibility that he had been learning new words on the playground.

I entered the office with some fear and took my place in the chair as Miles was brought in rubbing his eyes, which were full of tears. Apparently, he had overheard some kids yelling the "S" word and told them about our rule.

This led to a detailed explanation by a classmate with a big brother who explained that "Shut up" was not the "S" word, but that "Sh**" was the "S" word that was forbidden.

Miles was then beckoned by the teacher when he was repeating his newfound "S" word. He was horrified both because of the apparent trouble he was in, and that I had been summoned to the school, which seemed to be a very bad thing. I put on my best parent face and cautioned him that both "S" words were forbidden and he would be punished both at school and home if this happened again.

I hugged him and let him know that I was not mad, and he was taken back to his class. I had to smile at the confusion, and yet, I was grateful that Miles could learn a valuable lesson at a young age and realize that there are words that are acceptable and those that are not.

All of our children attended Trinity through the eighth grade, and then they went on to St. Joseph High School. I am sure there were unkind or foul words uttered by them because I know they were not perfect little angels, but at least I was never again summoned to the principal's office. I remain grateful for the Christian education they received at both schools.

April 13 is Trinity's Night of Food and Wine. The event will benefit the scholarship program at the school. Ten local restaurants and caterers will present some of their finest recipes and will be judged for best taste.

Guests can enjoy live music from Clay Crockett and the Shotgun Riders while feasting on local cuisine and sampling wines from around the world. I had the pleasure of judging last year's event and the "Best Taste" award went to Merle's Barbeque Restaurant for their pulled pork sandwiches. I have eaten more than I can count on two hands since last year, and hopefully, Merle's will return this year to defend their title.

Although I could not "beg, borrow or steal" their recipe for the pulled pork, Merle did share her Easy Peach Cobbler recipe with me and gave me permission to share it with you.

Myra Starkey lives in Victoria. Write her in care of the Advocate, P.O. Box 1518, Victoria, TX 77901, or email



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