Maggie Sanders McFadden is the kind of person who thinks through her decisions -- and once her decision is made, she sticks to it.
Years ago, when she finally decided to retire, McFadden became an authority on how one should spend those years. She retired long after most of her friends and watched our daily habits. She warned us that we might want to change our ways once she showed us how retirement should be.
McFadden was a Broad River Belle and worked at Broad River School for her entire teaching career. She was a bridge builder for the teachers of St. Helena and Robert Smalls.
This was during the time when teachers lived in housing called "The Teacherage." There would be get-togethers on the weekends. It was McFadden's job to plan transportation for the teachers, most of whom were single.
McFadden, I and the other teachers of that era "grew up" together. We married around the same time. We became mothers around the same time. McFadden's daughter Anita was an only child, and my four children accepted her as a sibling. We were all close. One year Santa Claus brought the same ballerina dolls to my girls and to Anita without any coordinating of that list.
One year, when I had three children, I didn't think I'd be able to make it to the Beaufort County Fair. My husband was playing basketball with the Robert Smalls fellows, and I just didn't know how I'd be able to handle the children on my own. Our daughter Tonya, who was just 4 at the time, said, "Come on, Mommy. We can make it."
I decided to go it alone. Right when we got to the fair, there was McFadden, along with Anita and Trudelle Stroman. We hadn't even planned to meet, but it was just the help I needed.
Naps are important to McFadden. Boy, does she value that time. She prepares for them like no other I know. The blinds and draperie must be closed tight, and she puts on a night cap. There must be silence. When we travel together, I know the rules, and I follow them.
Breakfast is also very important to my friend. No matter what time of day, she must have breakfast first.
McFadden has changed little over the years. In just a few days she will become an octogenarian, but she will still do things the same way she always has.
She will be a good friend.
She will be a good mother.
She will be a good grandmother to Bria and Bryce.
She will continue to row the boat, thus having no time at all to rock it.
And she will always make breakfast her first meal of the day.
Today I share with you recipes from Anita McFadden Parker and Bria Parker in honor of the great Maggie Sanders McFadden.
half a grapefruit
Section grapefruit so it will be easy to eat. Place in flameproof baking dish, cut side up. Sprinkle generously with sugar and dot with butter. Broil about 5 minutes or until the fruit is thoroughly heated. Serve while hot.
Liver and Onions
1/2 pound beef or calf liver, sliced
1 onion, chopped fine
Place oil in frying pan and allow it to heat so as to cook liver, turning on both sides. Remoom pan and in same oil, saute onions. Remove onions and, using flour and water, make gravy. When gravy is done, return liver and onions to pan. Let liver and onions slowly mix in gravy. Cook until tender. Serve with grits.
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 cups self-rising flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix ingredients together with wooden spoon; drop on a greased cookie sheet and bake until lightly browned on top.
Columnist Ervena Faulkner is a Port Royal resident and a retired educator who has always had an interest in food and nutrition.