After they had moved North and started their own families, two of Amy Ruth’s daughters, Inez and Esther, would send their children South to spend the summer months with their grandparents in Alabama. They knew that Alabama would be a safer and more enriching place for the kids to spend their idle summertime, less full of opportunities for them to go astray.
During those summer months, all of the kids were assigned chores. The main tasks included mowing the rather large lawn and picking vegetables from the garden. Most of the boys preferred yard work. But one of Inez’s sons, Carl S. Redding, disliked working in the hot sun; he preferred to seek refuge in the house, working by his grandmother’s side as she prepared meals for the family. He would help her by shucking corn, peeling field peas, or rolling out biscuit dough with a broomstick.
“Grandad” Elijah Bass would often chastise Carl for staying in the kitchen, and chase him out of the house. But Carl always found his way back to grandmother’s side. It was there that his knowledge of and deep love for the southern culinary experience began and was nourished. In Amy Ruth’s kitchen, Carl learned how to can and freeze fruits and vegetables, to make jellies, jams, and preserves, and to prepare wholesome, delicious meals with great skill, care and love.
Amy Ruth has gone on to be with the Lord, but her legacy lives on. On Mother’s Day 1999, Carl S. Redding opened a restaurant in Harlem, New York, where guests were served the same superior, authentic cuisine he had learned to prepare at his grandmother’s side. Naturally, Carl named the restaurant Amy Ruth’s.
The same love that inspired Amy Ruth to prepare delicious food to delight her family and friends is still alive and well at Amy Ruth’s Restaurant today. Every guest that comes to Amy Ruth’s Restaurant is treated to excellent home-style Southern cuisine, prepared and served with genuine love and care.
As we enter our second decade, we continue in the tradition of Amy Ruth Moore Bass and the legions of other great Southern cooks – mothers and grandmothers, aunts and uncles, sisters and brothers – who have given the world this cuisine we have come to know as Soul Food…Southern Comfort Cuisine. Thank you for joining us at Amy Ruth’s Restaurant. Bon appetit!