When it comes to creating things, Anne Lawton’s hands could work magic. Whether working behind a kitchen counter or a craft table, Lawton could turn a few scraps of cloth into a pretty quilt or a handful of ingredients into a mouth-watering dish.
“She was an excellent cook, no matter what she made,” says her daughter, Anne Lawton of Morehead City. “She made a rice pilaf that you just made a pig out of yourself eating.” It wasn’t unusual to go back four or five times for “seconds” of her mom’s sumptuous shrimp, rice and bacon dish. Then there were the crab cakes and fruitcake, too.
“She had this big metal tin that she mixed the fruitcake in,” her daughter recalls. “I can just see her elbow-deep in the batter, stirring it with her hands.” Those fruitcakes tasted unlike any you could buy.
One of five children to grow up on a farm outside Summerville, S.C., Anne Smith married Elmore Lawton, an Army man, in 1939. The couple moved from station to station in Louisiana, California, Virginia, Austria, Japan and Pennsylvania, and raised five children before retiring to Carteret County in 1968.
Find out more about Anne Lawton and her fellow Nutrition Leaders in Mariner’s Menu: 30 Years of Fresh Seafood Ideas. It is available from North Carolina Sea Grant by calling 919/515-9101 or 252/222-6307, from your local bookstore, or from UNC Press.
Contributed by Joyce Taylor