In the 25 years since White Oaks was bequeathed to Furman University in 1992, the Williamsburg-style house has been home to five university presidents and their families. The recipes in a new cookbook celebrating those 25 years and authored by Furman first gentleman Charles Davis go back much further than that.
In the Kitchen at White Oaks is a part-recipe, part-history book that honors the 25th anniversary of the $21.4 million bequest to the university from Homozel Mickel Daniel, wife of Charles Daniel. The gift included their home, White Oaks.
The book includes recipes from the families of presidents John Plyler (1939-1964), Gordon Blackwell (1965-1976), John E. Johns (1976-1994), David Shi (1994-2010), Carl Kohrt (2013-14) and, of course, Elizabeth Davis.
Charles Davis will be at the Barnes & Noble at Furman bookstore Saturday, Oct. 21, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to sign books as part of the university’s Homecoming festivities. Four other Furman alumni authors will be signing books as well.
The idea for publishing the cookbook was first conceived three years ago. As Davis settled into his role as Furman’s first gentleman, he began preparing lunch and hosting the spouses and partners of university trustees at White Oaks during their meetings on campus three times a year.
“After the second luncheon, some attendees began asking for copies of my recipes, and then someone suggested that I compile a cookbook,” said Davis, who collected and edited the recipes, researched White Oaks’ history and weaved them together in the book. “At first, I didn’t give the idea much thought. But when the requests continued, I thought maybe it warranted additional consideration.”
An in-house publication, In the Kitchen at White Oaks will be available online soon in addition to the Furman bookstore. It will also be available in the M. Judson bookstore in downtown Greenville. Proceeds from the sale of the book will go toward upkeep of the furnishings at White Oaks.
For more information, contact Furman’s News and Media Relations office at 864-294-3107.