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White Lace and Philodendron

The upright piano that I played as a kid is sitting in the middle of the living room, and in a corner next to the window is a large philodendron with purple and green heart-shaped leaves that spill lavishly across the floor. This is no ordinary potted houseplant – it feels like another person in the room.

Great grandmother, Julia Griffith Moore and I are sitting on the upholstered piano bench and she is wearing a truly fabulous flowing white lace dress that drapes dramatically around her feet. The entire floor is covered with white lace and philodendron.

Other family members are involved in their activities, and great grandmom quizzes me on her best recipes and tells me which ones she wants me to master. I reassure her that I have read her cookbook thoroughly and have been a serious student. To impress upon her that I can carry on her work, I recite, in great detail, the complex formula in which an ovulating woman is given a chant and uses her ring finger to place her own scent on her neck pulse point to attract the lover of her choice. We spend the evening reviewing recipes.