NICKI PENDLETON WOOD: Cooking in Nashville since 1985

Dirty Page: Nashville’s One-Pan Fudge Cake

photo: Andrea Behrends

photo: Andrea Behrends

As author and editor of around 50 cookbooks, Nicki Pendleton Wood has been creating and cooking from dirty pages for decades. But her dirtiest, by far, is from her mother’s copy of Nashville Seasons, a cookbook created by the Junior League. Her copy was published in 1976. It was the 9th printing.

While the recipe sits under the “Candy and Cookies” chapter, Nicki (who grew up in East Nashville) says, “You and I would call it fudge pie—a crust-less fudge pie.” Her mother made it a handful of times but, she adds, “When I got a hold of it, I made it all the time. I still do.” Crusted with bits of flour and melted butter, the recipe says it all: “This is an easy and delicious fudge.”

Though her family would likely call this a favorite, they’re rarely the ones who get to enjoy eating it. “A lot of times, it’s like, oh, I’ve got to bring something, I’ll bring dessert. So you make this and it’s done in an hour, maybe not even.”

Nicki continues to churn out books, including her latest scheduled for release this summer and called Southern Cooking for Company: More Than 200 Southern Hospitality Secrets and Show-Off Recipes. “I’m just really glad people are continuing to write cookbooks,” she says. “It’s important to take a snapshot of what people are cooking every generation or so, because it really does change.”


Cindy Wall