We don’t play favorites here at Quarterly, but we have a serious soft spot for Joel Johnson’s theme. Each of Joel’s mailings is inspired by his grandmother, Bessie Vivian Hildebrand——from the smell of her cooking to the life lessons she imparted. How cool is that?
#BVH01 put subscribers squarely in Bessie’s kitchen, circa childhood. Joel sent the fixings for his grandma’s cornbread: Jiffy mix, an old-school butter bell, and a classic cast-iron Lodge pan. He also sent one of the more moving letters we’ve had the privilege of publishing.
If you like storytelling so vivid you can literally smell the cornbread, sign up for Joel’s next mailing now. In the meantime, here’s an excerpt from his letter and a few shots of #BVH01.
“For the last couple months, I’ve been stuck on cornbread. Cornbread, for Vivian, wasn’t an occasional side dish, but a staple; there was always cornbread somewhere on the table, even if it was just a two-day-old leftover bit. They didn’t have wheat flour when she was a kid, she explained to me many times. ‘I didn’t even have a cracker until I was a teenager.’”