About the Book
This book contains photos and recipes for the desserts Katy Houston made and delivered every Monday morning for over a year to Sam Lane while he was at his home in Jackson in recovery.
Sam was riding his bicycle in Athens, GA, his junior year, when he was hit by a drunk driver and sustained life threatening injuries. Katy’s son, Andrew, was his roommate at The University of Georgia at the time and Sam’s lifelong friend.
Delivering this homemade dessert, which fondly came to be called ”The Treat of the Week”, was her unspoken way of showing she cared. Through quotes and stories you will see how many people expressed their love and support for this family and how the Lane family found their own ways to give in return.
This book is a collection of recipes for desserts that were made on a weekly basis for a very special young man, Sam Lane.
About the Name
As everyone was sitting around trying to think of the name for the book, being an R.E.M. fan, Sam suggested “Sweetness Follows”, the title of a song from the Automatic for the People album. Sam said “Desserts are the sweetness that follow a meal and this story is about all of the sweetness of friends and family that followed my accident.”
Katy reached out to Bertis Downs, manager of R.E.M., grateful father and resident of Athens, to make sure it would be okay to use the title and he said the following. “I remember when the accident happened and have wondered how Sam was doing – glad to hear he’s better and improving. I read your email explaining the whole thing to my family at breakfast this morning and we were all moved by the love, compassion, dedication and overall grace embodied in the whole project.”
As our children grow up, some are fortunate enough to have a best friend along the way. They share so many experiences (some good, some not-so-good) and milestones over the years that this friend eventually seems like a part of your own family. For our son, Andrew, Sam has been that friend. That is why, when Sam suffered a life-changing accident, our family was so affected. With a long and uncertain road of recovery ahead of him, I was at a loss of what I could do. Doing nothing was not an option. I decided I would cook, and that is what I did! Every week I took Sam a different dessert. Standing on his doorstep every Monday morning was my unspoken way of saying, “I am with you in this, and I care about you.” In my mind I was saying, “If this brings you one ounce of happiness today, I will have done what I tried to do.” I would leave every week looking forward to what I would cook next. In this book you will find the recipes for these desserts, and you will also see how his strong and loyal family, loved by so many, have found their own ways of giving back to others in return.
In the South, friends, family, and food are all tied together. This story about Sam celebrates all three.
- Katy Houston
From preschool on, Andrew and I always stuck together. That took us to the University of Georgia in Athens, where we shared a house on Hancock Avenue. On a Friday afternoon in the spring of our junior year, I was riding my bike along Prince Street in Athens with a group in an organized ride to raise bicycle awareness. During the ride, I was hit by a drunk driver and sustained a traumatic brain injury. My life was put in jeopardy. Fortunately, Athens Regional Medical Center was just down the road and I could receive the initial care I needed there. I remained in a coma for five weeks, during which time I was flown by air ambulance to St. Dominic´s Hospital in Jackson, Mississippi. This was followed by a two-month stay at Mississippi Methodist Rehabilitation Center (MMRC), where I received intensive physical, occupational, and speech therapy.
While I was in MMRC, Mrs. Houston visited often. When I was able to eat again, she told me she was going to “feed me back to health.” Every Monday morning for 62 consecutive weeks, she brought a different homemade dessert to my front door. It reminded me of the treats that I had enjoyed often in the kitchen at Andrew´s house. Naturally, the consistent weekly confection became known as the “Treat of the Week.” Even if she was going to be out of town, she arranged for someone to deliver an ice cream dessert she had prepared before leaving. These continued until I moved to Oxford to resume my university studies at Ole Miss.
I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I did and remember how much a little sweetness adds to life
More quotes from pivotal figures in Sam’s recovery can be found within the book.