Bonjour, Gizzard Salad!

Candied gizzard salad. I went all the way to France and ate candied gizzard salad. It’s called salade de gésier in French, which sounds so very elegant … more elegant than candied gizzard salad. Everything sounds more elegant when you say it in French. Oui? The minute I saw it on the menu at Les…

How to Put the Scald on a Bird

It was Christmas day in the early double aughts, and it was just Sonny, Brother, and me. We’d thought for a few weeks about all the good things we wanted to cook for Christmas dinner and finally settled on fried chicken. To us, holidays are not about having the fanciest dinner you can have, but…

Lemon Jelly Cake

One of my favorite cakes is a Lemon Jelly Cake — yellow cake layers with lemon filling in between them and on top. No fussy, too-sugary icing (or Seven-minute Frosting). Just plain, buttery cake and a sweet, tart jelly. The recipe for the lemon jelly comes from my great grandmother, Ada Rowell, and I found…

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…

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…

Red Beans and Rice — A Comfort to Your Soul

Beans beans, good for the heart! The more you eat, the more you … like ‘em! You know I just couldn’t resist! Seriously, red beans are good for you — full of iron, protein, and vitamin B. And they’re good for the wallet too! You can feed nearly a dozen people for under $10. And…

To dunk or to crumble – that is the question

Recently I read an article by John T. Edge, the venerable Southern food writer and director of the Southern Foodways Alliance, in which he referenced his master’s thesis written about the Potlikker and Cornpone Debate of 1931. Yes, you heard that right — the Potlikker and Cornpone Debate of 1931. For nearly a month that year,…

Hold the sugar, Sugar

Let’s get one thing straight: sugar has no place in grits. If you want to put sugar on your breakfast, eat oatmeal. Eat Cream of Wheat. Eat Ralston. But never, ever, under any circumstances, put sugar on your grits. There. I’ve said it. Grits are meant to be salty and buttery. Sprinkled with black pepper….

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…

Eat Like a Local in Birmingham

Anyone who knows me knows I’ll eat just about anything that won’t eat me first. Here’s a short list of some of my favorite Birmingham eating establishments: Once known only for its thriving steel industry, Birmingham has become a city that is recognized far and wide for dining excellence. From the James Beard Foundation to…