The Secret Lexicon of Southernness and One Old Bride’s Guide to Cooking Southern                 

GSS_BookFrontCover_v1.inddGimme Some Sugar, Darlin’ is both a family cookbook covering four extended families who, at one time or another were located in every Southern state, and a manifesto of Southern philosophy. NOTE: We believe that to be American is a privilege, to be Southern is divine.

The Secret Lexicon contains glossaries of definitions on being Southern, as well as essays on essential Southern topics.

The Old Bride’s Guide contains 787 favorite recipes ranging from Tex-Mex and Cajun, to Delta, Appalachian, and Low Country. There are also tips on how to modify recipes, how to stock your kitchen, and how to eat economically, along with housekeeping and culinary advice targeted to our precious, home-ec deprived 19-year-olds.

The Secret Lexicon includes Triplette’s glossaries on Southern expressions, locations, and personality types, along with essays exploring life in the South — such as Southerners and football, where to find Southern food, Southerners and politics, Southern idols, and Southerners and death.



Laurie Triplette

Laurance Daltroff Triplette (Mary Laurance to her late parents, Laurie to her friends) is a writer, art curator and accredited senior appraiser of fine arts when not experimenting in the kitchen. A native of Memphis, TN, she lived in North Carolina for 38 years before relocating in 2007 to Oxford, MS, with her husband, Jeff, children, Gabrielle and Joshua, dog, Alex, and fish, Alexis, and a box of more than 1,000 recipes from her mother and grandmother. Between 2007 and 2008, Laurie wrote her first cookbook for family and friends, and in 2010 she edited a tailgating cookbook for the wives of the National Football League Referees Association (NFLRA).

Author of the award-winning community family cookbook GIMME SOME SUGAR, DARLIN’, and editor of ZEBRA TALES (Tailgating Recipes from the Ladies of the NFLRA), Triplette writes On Cooking Southern, a weekly column for www.hottytoddy.com, the online community magazine serving Ole Miss and Oxford, MS. Triplette is a member of the Association of Food Journalists (AFJ), the Southern Foodways Alliance (SFA), the Southern Food and Beverage Museum (SOFAB), and the Mississippi Writers’ Guild.

The families featured in Gimme Some Sugar, Darlin’


Laurie’s maternal ancestors have resided in Tennessee since Federal times, when the first Thurmonds, Reynolds, Whites, Deans, and Conyers crossed the mountains westward from Virginia and the Carolinas.

Thurmonds, Deans, and Conyers were among the first Methodists in what is now the Memphis Conference (between the Tennessee and Mississippi Rivers). To the day he died, Rev. E.C. Thurmond shuddered over his “Gone-to-Texas” Thurmond great-great uncles who founded the Free Will Baptist church in what became the Lone Star State. One great-great-great grandfather, Samuel Conyers, called Andrew Jackson neighbor, and followed Mr. Andy into the War of 1812. Another great-great-great grandfather, Erasmus Darwin Thurmond, a prosperous man in his time, is famous in West Tennessee for having survived three attempted Civil War-era lynchings by Yankee scalawags, only to be shot in the raiders’ search for gold.

Laurie’s paternal ancestors include the Stewarts, who were ensconced in Arkansas by 1851, and the Daltroffs, French Jewish immigrants who came to New Orleans between 1845 and 1851. They settled in the Big Easy and in Lake Providence, then drifted upriver into Mississippi, Arkansas and Memphis before and after the Civil War. The Daltroffs, many of whom were Masons, were involved in regional commerce and cotton for over 125 years. Great-great Uncle Louie was among the Memphis heroes who struggled to save the city during the terrible Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1878.

Joeph P Sherrill & Rachel Emma Link SherrillJeff Triplette’s maternal ancestors include the Kirby, Shuford and Link families, who have occupied the NC foothills since the 1700s.

True to their mountain heritage, these kinfolk flourished in rocky ground. Great-great Grandmother Sarah Elizabeth Gilliam Link is famous in the family for protecting her family while husband Lawson worked in the Confederate munitions factory in Asheville. On one occasion, Sarah Elizabeth, a tall, strapping woman, single-handedly ran off a group of scavengers with a pitchfork when they tried to steal the family’s last milk cow. Another time, she evaded scalawags on a wild ride between Hickory and her Gunpowder Creek home. A 25-pound bag of salt bit the dust protecting her from the pursuers’ gunfire.

The Sherrills, forever merged with the Links through Jeff’s great-grandmother Rachel Emma, were among the earliest Methodist settlers in the region. They were and still are a tight-knit clan. When Jeff’s mother Louise was a child, the clan would gather annually at Sherrill’s Ford for a campground reunion — a two-day trip from Grace Chapel in the 1920s. To this day, the Sherrills hold family get-togethers; the food is awe-inspiring.

The current Sherrill family farm on Grace Chapel Road was purchased around 1924, after Southern Power Co. (Duke) bought and flooded the old Joseph Sherrill farm and thousands of other acres to form nearby Lake Hickory during its hydro-electrification program. Triplett(e)s began crossing the Atlantic almost as soon as New World travel became popular. They came to Virginia to stay in the late 1600s, then moved to Wilkes County, NC, in the mid-1700s. Over time, some Tripletts added an “e” to the end of the name, a look backward to their Norman Tripe(o)lette ancestors.

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