With spring’s arrival, Mississippi gardeners’ thoughts overflow with visions of fruits and vegetables. Strawberries, onions and tomatoes were garden favorites of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Eudora Welty, who enjoyed tending her Belhaven garden and often had fresh strawberries for breakfast or a sliced tomato sandwich for lunch.

     Below are two recipes: one from Welty herself, shared with the Junior League of Jackson for their 1978 “Southern Sideboards” cookbook, and the other by Jane Gerber, inspired by Miss Welty.

     The Eudora Welty property is the beneficiary of The Garden Club of Jackson’s 2022 Spring Garden Tour.







*Use purchased crust or make from scratch


  • Lump of butter, size of an egg
  • 1 rounded teaspoon lard
  • 1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
  • Salt
  • 1 fairly heaping cup sifted flour
  • Cold sweet milk
  • 1 egg yolk (optional)



  • 3 large sweet Spanish onions
  • 1 large tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup whipping cream


     CRUST: Work together the softened butter, lard, baking powder, salt and flour. Add enough cold sweet milk to make a good firm dough. Well-beaten yolk of an egg may be added if desired. Line an 8-inch pie plate with rolled pastry. 

     FILLING: Shave onions fine; fry in butter to a nice brown, really brown and much reduced. Add flour. Stir well; salt and pepper to taste. Beat the eggs till pretty light; mix with cupful cream; fold them into the fried onions gently till perfectly mixed. Pour into the crust and bake about 30 minutes or till brown and puffy at about 400 degrees F. Serve at once. Serves 4.





*Use purchased crust or make from scratch

     A galette is a rustic pie made with a free-form pastry. A tender yeast dough works best for this vegetable galette. 


  • 2½ pounds sweet onions, coarsely chopped
  • 6 fresh thyme sprigs, or 2 pinches 
  • dried thyme
  • ¼ cup good olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary, 
  • or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 3 ounces goat cheese
  • 1 pound cherry or grape tomatoes, 
  • sliced crosswise
  • 1 large egg, beaten


     In a large, heavy, nonreactive saucepan, cook onions and thyme over moderate heat, stirring once or twice, until onions start to turn golden, about 15 minutes.

     Add 3 tablespoons olive oil, cover and cook over low heat, scraping the pan every 10 minutes, until onions are browned, about 1 hour. Season with salt, pepper and about 2 teaspoons of rosemary. Let cool. Reserve remaining ingredients.


  • cup lukewarm water (105-115 degrees)
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • ½ teaspoon sugar           
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened


     Stir together water, yeast and sugar. Let stand until bubbly.

     In another bowl, toss flour with salt and make a well in the center. Add egg, softened butter, and the yeast mixture to the well in the center. Using a wooden spoon, stir the flour into the liquid ingredients to form a soft dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead briefly until smooth.  

     Transfer dough to a lightly buttered bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled, about 45 minutes. Plunge your fist into middle of dough to deflate it, and let it rest briefly before rolling out.

     On a lightly floured baking sheet without sides, roll out dough into a 14-inch round. Spread filling mixture over dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Dot goat cheese over the filling and overlap the sliced tomatoes in a ring. Season tomatoes with salt and pepper, and drizzle with remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Wrap edges of dough over the filling, pleating dough with your fingers. (Center of galette will remain uncovered.) Brush dough with beaten egg to achieve glossy shine on baked galette.  

     Bake in 400-degree preheated oven until crust is golden, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh rosemary; serve hot or warm. Makes a 12-inch galette.  





*Use purchased cake, bake from a box, or from scratch

  • 1 cup sifted cake flour
  • 1½ cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 1½ cups egg whites (10-12)
  • 1½ teaspoons cream of tartar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract


Heat oven to 350 degrees (325 degrees convection bake). Sift flour and confectioners’ sugar together; set aside. Combine room temperature egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt in mixing bowl. Beat until foamy; begin adding granulated sugar gradually. Continue beating until meringue forms stiff glossy peaks. Fold in vanilla and almond extracts. Sift the flour mixture, one quarter at a time, over meringue, folding in each portion before adding the next.

Push batter into ungreased tube pan. Cut through batter gently with knife or spatula to prevent air pockets. Bake 35 minutes or until cake begins to pull away from pan. Invert pan and let stand until cold. Run a dull knife around edge of pan, then gently shake until cake releases. Cut with serrated knife. Serve with strawberries and whipped cream.

     STRAWBERRIES: Wash ripe strawberries quickly to avoid absorbing water; remove caps and slice. Sprinkle with sugar and allow to macerate for about an hour.

     WHIPPED CREAM: Pour 1 pint heavy cream into a small, deep mixing bowl.  Add 1 heaping tablespoon confectioners’ sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and stir. (May add more sugar to taste before whipping.) Then beat on high speed until beater starts to leave tracks in the cream. Don’t overmix.


Jane Gerber is a longtime member of The Garden Club of Jackson and Cereus Weeder at the Eudora Welty garden. She is widely known for her gourmet cooking, floral designs, and photography, and raises flowers and vegetables at her Jackson home. 


Pro-Life Mississippi