By Shelly Robertson Birdsong
As we are celebrating all year long, our 10th Anniversary in publication, we intend to recognize and honor as many of the individuals who have made contributions to your community magazine as we can. And as it is our annual Eat Drink and Be Merry issue – there are a select few such people who come to mind to single out! Of course, Miss Daisy makes the top of the list.
When I was a little girl, I distinctly recall dining at Miss Daisy’s Tearoom in Franklin often, but not so often, that it wasn’t always a special occasion to do so. And a memory. Everything about it was lovely and that included Miss Daisy. Fast forward to adulthood and what is now a salient moment in the history of this endeavor of publishing – to ask and to have Miss Daisy graciously agree, to write for the magazine.
I can think of no one, other than my own grandmother, who has influenced my knowledge of and love for wonderful southern cuisine. Her cookbooks are front and center in my kitchen and her recipes are my go-to’s whenever the perfect meal or food item is called for! She is iconic when it comes to hospitality and hostessing here in Williamson County and loved for her enthusiasm and candor in sharing the best way, the easiest way and the right way, to prepare not just the food but the stage on which it appears and setting the scene by which it is served.
And her caramel cake? Well… it is beyond divine and despite my admonishments to my husband: “Do not bring one of those home if you visit Daisy’s…” I am always so very glad when he does!
The lady herself exudes southern grace and guts. Two of my most admired traits in any woman who in ways they may not even know, have mentored me in my career. She has lived a colorful, interesting and bittersweet life – all reflected in her home, where countless memories and moments of a life well lived, surround you amidst the beautiful antiques and items – all with a story.
It is not lip service to say, this cover featuring Miss Daisy, makes me most proud. And most humbled. It is not often that we get to meet those who inspire and guide us in life, let alone call them a friend and to be able to thank them for contributing to your dream. Thank you, Daisy.
So, what does Miss Daisy think about her own contributions to the culinary scene of our community? Here are a few thoughts, in her own words, from everyone’s favorite – Miss Daisy King:
I have been told from numerous entities in the Middle Tennessee Community that my cooking has had a formative influence in the culinary arena over four decades.
I have written fourteen cookbooks, run several different dining concepts, trained many cooks and served food to thousands of people in the region.
Though I’ve come a long way since the early days of Miss Daisy’s Tearoom in Franklin, its legacy follows me everyday. I am constantly humbled by the customers who share fond memories and kind words about Miss Daisy’s food, be it in person or on-line. Today, I feel my culinary life has come full circle from its beginning with Miss Daisy’s in Franklin to Miss Daisy’s Kitchen with a wealth of those loved recipes prepared to go.
My life’s work as a cook/chef, restaurateur, and author is present in everything I do.
My contributions over the years to Your Williamson has channeled the hard earned experience of figuring out exactly what customers want for their more traditional menus. Preparing food as long as I have has meant being intimately familiar with the expectations of each season. I have used the seasonal likes to prepare dishes that are both new and familiar.
My being able to write for Your Williamson has given me the platform to engage with the community with recipes and stories which have continued to build my business as a restaurateur. Every Williamson county resident who picked up the magazine, took my recipes home with them. This is one of the highest honors any author could have.
Many thanks Your Williamson for allowing me to be a part of your success.