Inside Miss Jennies Kitchen
In the remote community of Falls of Rough, Kentucky surrounded by tenant houses and the typical rural attitudes, Miss Jennie lived in her own isolated, aristocratic world. A relative of Kentucky’s famous Breckinridges and Browns, Jennie devoted much of her eighty-five years to preserving her distinguished heritage. Born into a family who owned the entire village and thousands of acres beyond, she was the third generation to live out her life in the grand ancestral mansion. Here servants performed the menial tasks, and the family typically “dressed for dinner” and entertained with elegance.
When young Jennie inherited management of the household, she assumed responsibility for the family’s long-standing social reputation. And because her strong sense of filial obligation ensured that she, too, would become the gracious hostess, her dining room and, thus, her kitchen held special significance. So when the unmarried Jennie died in 1965 without a direct heir, she left behind a large, unclaimed recipe collection.
Carolyn Ridenour gleans from that large collection and takes us into that bygone time when food preparation required perseverance and talent and “setting a fine table” was a social necessity. Inside Miss Jennie’s Kitchen offers a glimpse into the 130-year life span of the Greens’ kitchen and, at the same time, a taste of Kentucky’s culinary past.