Harry Lowe (seen above in his dapper Auburn days) is a consummate Southern storyteller. The story of Molly Hollifiled Jones is one of my favorites.
DISCLAIMER: There really was a Molly Hollifiled Jones in Auburn. She was a minor poet, taught Latin, and gave money to Auburn. Whether she is the same woman in this story...well it is a story. A true story. A real story. I am just not sure which part is true and which part is real, but here goes.
The Molly Hollifield Jones Story
Molly Hollifield Jones' parents ran a boarding house in Opelika, Alabama which housed a lot of Auburn students. Molly Hollifield Jones helped her parents run the boarding house. Like many single Southern women, she took care of her parents at the expense of her own social life. By the time her parents were gone, Molly Hollifield Jones was, as we say in the South, a woman of a certain age. Most women would have stayed on as a spinster, but Molly Hollifield Jones had a boarder that caught her eye and they were married. With no one left to look after, Molly Hollifield Jones and her new husband went on the Grand Tour. When they returned, all the ladies of Opelika wanted to hear about the trip. A luncheon was held and Molly Hollifield Jones talked about England and Germany, Italy and Spain and finally she asked about France.
"Tell us about the food in France. We hear is wonderful," said a guest.
Molly Hollifield Jones looked a bit disgusted.
"Well," she said, "I don't know what all the fuss is about. We were in France nearly two weeks and in all that time no one ever served us a congealed salad."
Harry Lowe and I love that story and thus began our quest for the perfect Molly Hollifield Jones Dinner. A Molly Hollifield Jones Dinner consists of drinks to dessert with every single dish being congealed. It is perfect summer faire. To this end, we have collected old recipe booklets filled with jellied foods. We even like to experiment; a favorite dish being my Deviled Oeufs en Potlikker Gelée.
The second I saw the Queen, I knew there would be an edition to our jellied collection...