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Lucy Mercer

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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?

Your most treasured kitchen possession:
My rolling pin collection.

The ideal number of guests for a dinner party is: