Ada’s Rice Dressing

In the mid 1890s, my great grandfather, Andrew Joseph Rowell, Jr., was a young man in need of gainful employ. He had heard that there were jobs at a logging camp in Chicora, Miss., which was not too far away. Joby, as he was known to his family, traveled up there to sign on and…

Talkin’ Turkey

I can take a hint. That’s why when Daddy mailed me the recipe for his foolproof Thanksgiving turkey, I figured the baton had been passed and I was doing the cooking this year. The last time I cooked a turkey was about twelve years ago. I found myself trying to fish a sack of hot…

Cacklefruit all the ways

If you can cook eggs, you’ll never starve. Cackle fruit is as versatile as the day is long, not to mention cheap and cheerful. Here are my favorite ways to eat eggs. Now Mama makes the best fried eggs — lacey and blindfolded. That’s where you have a crispy edge on the egg but the…

Crabmeat Casserole

Crabmeat. It’s my absolute favorite seafood. More than oysters, more than shrimp, I love me some crabmeat. Not crab legs, mind you. Blue crab. I’d eat a cat turd if it was served with lump crabmeat on the top. One of my favorite ways to eat crabmeat is in Crabmeat Casserole. This dish is another…

Aspic, Southern Style

Aspic. What in the cat hair is it? The dictionary defines it as “a savoury jelly based on meat or fish stock, used as a relish or as a mould for meat, vegetables, etc.” Blech. I have a real problem with meat jellies. Something about the idea of it just gives me the heebie-jeebies as…

Super Bowl Snacks Inspired by Halftime Shows

Ten years have come and gone since Janet Jackson’s infamous “wardrobe malfunction” during the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show. Chances are you don’t remember who won that game. I don’t even remember who played in that game. But I’ll bet you a nickel you remember that jaw-dropping moment, which proves what I’ve suspected all along…

Pam’s Apple Cake with Praline Glaze

There is a certain type of Southern cook who is the envy of us all. You know her. She is the queen of the covered dish. The preacher never refuses an invitation to her house for Sunday dinner. When a relative dies, the silver lining for the mourners is that she will bring a casserole….

Creamed things on toast

With Thanksgiving looming before us, it’s time we had a little cooking lesson. I am going to share with you the the first thing Mama taught me to cook. With this recipe she gave me the key to making most anything reasonably palatable, using up leftovers, and making the perfect gravy. Just this one basic…

Sweet Potato Cobbler and a Lesson in Love

If it’s true that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, then my husband’s heart belongs to another woman. Since we’ve been married, he has sung the praises of her pinto beans, her cornbread, her fried pies. She had the culinary Midas touch. At her hand the most common ingredients turned into…

It’s that time of year – the time for gingerbread

I’ve got gingerbread on the mind. It’s just that time of year. The time of year when fall’s chilly winds begin to blow and the leaves begin their lazy descent to the earth. The time of year for sweaters, and hot toddies, and pumpkin carving. The time of year scented by clove, cinnamon, and spicy…