For Mother’s Day, I cooked dinner for Mama, Daddy, my son, his wife and the twin girls. We had such a great time playing with the twins, laughing and telling stories and just loving the time together. I was just about as happy as a woman can be.

I’ve thought a lot lately about motherhood. I have been so blessed to be surrounded by a family of mothers who loved being mothers. They didn’t seek fame or fortune; they were content with being mothers. I by far have the best mother in the whole wide world. She is strong but with a gentle touch, wise, beautiful, talented and godly. She has influenced more people than anyone I know — except for maybe my grandmother, her mother.

My memories of my grandmother are of her loving and nurturing her children and her grandchildren. She was known as Miss Lou and was such a great mother to her six children that one morning, she found a basket at her front door with an infant in it. There was a note attached that read, "Please see that this gets to Miss Lou — I know she’ll take good care of her.” Grandma named her Gwendolyn and loved her like her own. Gwendolyn was ill and didn’t live to see her first birthday, but she was loved big in the short time she was on this side of heaven.

Perhaps that is why I loved being a mother. I’ve done many things in my life, but motherhood has by far been the most rewarding. I had my first child, Larry, at the ever-so-wise age of 17. From the moment they put him into my arms, my instinct to care for him was stronger than anything else in life. Larry, bless his heart, his mother had to grow up with him, but we survived, in large part because of the women/mothers who set the standard before me.

My other two children, Jeremiah and Loraine, came along a few years later and my heart grew even bigger. I always told them that they were the lucky ones; I “learned” motherhood on Larry and they reaped the benefits of his teaching! I wasn’t a perfect mother and there were some really hard, trying times, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. We loved big; my heart beats differently because of them. I never tire of hearing their voices or feeling their hugs. I ache with great intensity when they are struggling or hurting, but their laughter is the most beautiful sound on this Earth. Motherhood is the best job I’ve ever had!

I didn’t get to see Loraine become a mother before she went to heaven, but I have the privilege of watching the boys be great fathers. They both married beautiful women who are great mothers. I find joy in watching them raise my grandchildren with such love, compassion and concern for their well being. I realize this is a gift; some mothers-in-law can’t say that. So I am so thankful my sons married good mothers.

As the children got older and slept a little later, I was able to steal some time alone with my own mother when we were visiting in the early morning hours before anyone stirred. We would drink coffee and talk softly. She would listen and share her wisdom as I poured out my heart to her. She was — and still is — the best mother in the world.

Perhaps your children could use some encouragement and wisdom as they, too, become parents. Offer them an early morning coffee with some homemade muffins and a good listening ear. It will make them better parents and our world a better place. Good parenting can conquer many of the troubles of our day. Here are a few recipes that will entice them to come often!

Teri Bell is co-owner of Miss Sophie’s Marketplace at the Mighty Eighth in Pooler. Go to


Blueberry Muffins

Makes a dozen large muffins.



• 2 cups all-purpose flour

• 1 tablespoon baking powder

• ½ teaspoon table salt

• 1 large egg

• 1 cup granulated sugar

• 4 tablespoons butter, melted

• 1 ¼ cups sour cream

• 1 ½ cups fresh or frozen blueberries


Sugar Topping Ingredients:

• ½ cup granulated sugar

• ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

• 2 teaspoon grated lemon zest

• 4 tablespoons butter



1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray standard muffin with non-stick spray or line tin with large paper cups.

2. Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl. Whisk egg in second medium bowl until well-combined. Add sugar and melted butter and whisk to combine. Whisk in sour cream.

3. Add frozen berries to dry ingredients and gently toss to combine. Fold in sour cream mixture, mixing just long enough to combine. Do not over-mix. Small spots of flour may remain and batter will be thick.

4. Spoon batter into greased muffin tin. Bake until light golden brown and toothpick or skewer inserted into center of muffin comes out clean, 22 to 25 minutes.

5. While muffins are cooling, mix sugar, ground cinnamon and lemon zest in small bowl and melt butter in saucepan. After baked muffins have cooled five minutes, working one at a time, dip tops of muffins in melted butter and then cinnamon-sugar mix. Set muffins upright on wire rack; serve.


Orange-Cranberry Scones

Adapted from Bon Appetit. Makes 18 small triangular wedges.



• 3 cups all-purpose flour

• 1/3 cup sugar

• 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder

• 1 teaspoon salt

• ½ teaspoon baking soda

• 1 tablespoon grated orange peel

• ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces

• ¾ cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped

• 1 cup chilled buttermilk



1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda into large bowl. Mix in orange peel.

3. In a food processor with a blade attachment, process half of flour mixture and half of chilled butter, pulsing until mixture resembles coarse meal. Put the processed mixture in a large bowl. Repeat with remaining butter and flour mixture.

4. Mix in dried cranberries. Gradually add buttermilk, folding with a rubber spatula until moist clumps form. Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface. Knead just enough to bind dough, about 4 turns. Do not over-work the dough.

5. Divide dough into three dough balls. Flatten each dough ball into a 5-inch disc. Cut into 6 wedges each, yielding 18 total. For larger scones, divide dough ball into half and cut into 8 wedges.

6. Transfer wedges to prepared baking sheet, spacing 2 inches apart. Brush tops with buttermilk and sprinkle with raw or granulated sugar. Bake until edges of scones are light brown, about 20 minutes. Let stand on baking sheet 10 minutes. Serve scones warm or at room temperature.

Note: To freeze, after shaping the discs and cutting into six wedges, wrap each disc with plastic wrap and store in a freezer bag. To prepare, remove scones, proceed with buttermilk and sugar topping and bake. Do not thaw scones, but add a few more minutes to baking time.


Banana Pumpkin Muffins


• 1 banana

• ½ cup canned pumpkin

• ½ cup sugar

• ¼ cup milk

• ¼ cup vegetable oil

• 1 egg

• 1 ¾ cup flour

• 2 teaspoons baking powder

• 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

• ½ teaspoon salt


Topping Ingredients:

½ cup brown sugar, packed

½ cup chopped nuts or oats

½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice



1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Puree banana in blender to make ½ cup.

2. In a medium bowl, mix pureed banana, pumpkin, sugar, milk, oil and egg until well blended.

3. In separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Add flour mixture to banana mixture and stir until blended. Spoon into greased muffin tins.

4. Combine topping ingredients and top each muffin with 1 tablespoon of the sugar-spice mixture.

5. Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into muffin comes out clean.