Cook Spotlight

Lucy Mercer

By • July 6, 2012 • 18 Comments

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You’re given an idea of Lucy Mercer’s priorities by the first and only line of her profile: “I cook. I write. I carpool. Everything else is just gravy.” That, plus the simple, clean recipes she’s graced our database with, make it clear that she’s a dedicated cook. (We're fans of her environmentally-conscious driving, too.)

Usually apronless, you can find her in her kitchen cooking simply, doing away with extraneous flavors in order to let one take over the stage. She trusts her main ingredient, whether it be the radishes in her Roasted Spring Root Vegetables with Horseradish-thyme Butter, or the tomatoes in her Heirloom Tomato Salad with Fresh Mozzarella, Watermelon and Mint. Come to think of it, her tendency to never smother her ingredients, instead choosing to let them shine on their own, is exactly what we’re going for with our overflowing CSA boxes. We’ll be thinking of her next time we set the table with our market bounty.

She has a history rich in food, and started cooking at an admirably young age. (Proof of this? Her first recipe was a carefully-chosen dish from The Winnie the Pooh Cookbook.)

My Southern grandmother claimed to dislike cooking, but she knew how to put out a family-pleasing spread. Summertime meals on the oval cherry wood table, set with Limoges and starched linens, included ham, potato salad, sliced tomatoes, fried corn, biscuits the size of silver dollars. If my uncles had been fishing, sometimes a tomato-rich fish stew would be served in tiny bone china soup bowls.

She detests spagetti squash (“It’s not pasta and will never be pasta, so what’s the point?”), but always goes for pulled pork.

I just learned how to make authentic pulled pork. Oh my word good. I can’t wait to write about it. Well, I can’t wait to have it written, it’s still percolating in my brain.

On how politeness endures through a salty kitchen disaster:

My husband would claim my biggest kitchen disaster was the time I made his favorite, Boston Cream Pie, for a family gathering and I put salt instead of sugar in the custard filling. Folks were polite, because we live in the South, but I definitely did not live up to my reputation as a baker.

Check out our profile Q&A with Lucy Mercer below, or visit her blog here.

What do you cook when home alone?
Grits

Your most treasured kitchen possession:
My rolling pin collection.

The ideal number of guests for a dinner party is:
8

Tags: cook spotlight, lucy mercer

Comments (18)

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over 1 year ago Vivian Henoch

Wonderful! Congrats, Lucy! I've been your fan since your first generous comment a couple years back on my blog at Open Salon. Love seeing your smiling avatar under the hat on the pages of FOOD52 -- and better yet, reading those fabulous recipes. Keep 'em coming.
My only question -- how is it possible that you have a 3/4 pie "rating" here - as a cook in the spotlight?

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over 1 year ago Lucy Mercer

Hi Vivian! It sure is great to see you hiding behind your camera here, too! I'm completely happy with my 3/4 pie, pie doesn't last very long at my house, so a 3/4 full pie plate is comforting in its familiarity. Looking forward to more of your awesome recipes, pictures and stories!

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over 1 year ago Beautiful, Memorable Food

Hi Lucy, congrats on the well-deserved Spotlight!

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over 1 year ago Lucy Mercer

Thanks, Linda!

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over 1 year ago Waverly

Lucy, it so nice to meet you. I carpool too and can relate to the concept that anything me-related is gravy. You have a lovely blog.

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over 1 year ago Lucy Mercer

Thanks, Waverly! I love your blog, too!

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almost 2 years ago lapadia

Congrats on the spotlight, Lucy! I love your grandmother's take on spaghetti squash (although I love it) and I'm wondering if you still have the Winnie the Pooh Cookbook? :)

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almost 2 years ago Lucy Mercer

Thanks, Lapadia! Yes, I still have my paperback copy of the Winnie the Pooh Cookbook; it's a treasure.

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almost 2 years ago LucyS

I thought the biscuits the size of silver dollars thing was just my grandmother (from Mississippi) being eccentric! She also applied it to pancakes and cupcakes. Lovely write up, Lucy!

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almost 2 years ago Lucy Mercer

So nice to meet another Lucy! We are the light of world, right? I'm so happy to know about another silver dollar biscuit grandmother. I'm intrigued by the idea of silver dollar cupcakes!

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almost 2 years ago LucyS

We really are! Lucys are few and far between, too. The cupcakes were mostly just tiny, really rich devil's food that she froze (with everything else she made). They were amazing. My sister preferred to eat them frozen because they were so tiny they thawed really fast.

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almost 2 years ago Panfusine

WOnderful to read about you Lucy . congrats on the spotlight.

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almost 2 years ago Lucy Mercer

Thank you! Delightful reading about your cuisine!

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almost 2 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

So nice to see you in the spotlight, Lucy! I think I share your cookbook obsession. :)

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almost 2 years ago Lucy Mercer

And I share your scone obsession! Thanks for the kind words!

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almost 2 years ago Lucy Mercer

Hi everyone! Thanks to Kenzi for the lovely write-up! hardlikearmour & boulangere, it's so nice to meet you!

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almost 2 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

I agree! Great to get to know you better. I tested and enjoyed your Roasted Spring Root Vegetables.

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almost 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

What a lovely write-up!