A Tombstone Pastry Stone Ideal for Baking

A storyteller shares a tale about her aunt who found a tombstone and converted it into a pastry stone to make desserts, and shares a number of her aunt's tombstone pastry recipes.

| September/October 1987

Strange but true — an uncanny tale from Kathrynn T. Windham, storyteller. Reprinted with permission from  AMERICAN COUNTRY magazine. 

A Tombstone Pastry Stone Ideal for Baking

My Aunt Bet never thought there was anything unusual about having a tombstone in her kitchen.

Now I don't suppose Aunt Bet ever planned to have one in her kitchen, but when she was walking home to dinner one noon, she happened to notice a tombstone leaning against the wall of the depot, right outside the telegrapher's office. Before many days had passed, that tombstone was lying on her kitchen counter.

Aunt Bet was postmaster (she scorned the word postmistress, considering it insulting) in Thomasville, Alabama, and she made two round trips daily from her house on top of the ridge down to West Front Street, where the post office was. She went down the hill early in the morning to open the post office, back up the hill after dark when the mail from the southbound train had been distributed into the rows of lock boxes in the lobby, and she made a trip back and forth in the middle of the day for dinner. She always walked, said it was wasteful to drive the five blocks between home and the post office. Besides, she pointed out, you always saw more if you walked.

As I said, it was on her way up the hill to dinner one noon, just as she was crossing the railroad tracks, that she first saw the tombstone.

Aunt Bet walked over to examine the marble slab, and she was somewhat surprised that she did not recognize the name engraved on it. She, being postmaster and an officer in the Eastern Star and a member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, knew nearly everybody in our county and most of the folks in the counties that touched ours. The depot was closed for dinner, so there wasn't anybody around to answer her questions.

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