Divinity is the Devil

Karo Syrup. Go on. Say it with me. Kaaaaay-rooooow suuuuur-up. Drag it out. It sounds better that way. Why are we talking about Karo Syrup? Because without Karo Syrup we wouldn’t have one of the absolute level best products of the Southern kitchen — Divinity. Sounds like a purely heavenly treat doesn’t it? Don’t be…

The Best Thing About the Holidays

Late afternoon cocktails. That’s one of the best things about the holidays. Well, aside from the birth of Jesus, watching the children’s eyes light up in wonder and joy, and peace on earth and goodwill toward men. Yes, cocktails come in about number four. But …  there’s also the love of family, and giving beautifully…

This is a very good pie.

Your Christmas may smell like pine boughs, or cinnamon, or chocolate, but mine smells like coconut. And liquor. But that was another post. Let’s stick with coconut for now. I put coconut in everything at Christmas. There’s coconut in ambrosia, bourbon balls, Lane Cake, Coconut Cake, and on and on and on. Maybe it’s because…

Sister Audnitha’s Filé Gumbo

(Just a quick note before we get into today’s post: We’ve come to the end of the See Jane Write #bloglikecrazy challenge. Thirty recipes, in thirty days. And I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who followed along throughout this month. This challenge certainly gets my mind working and gets the creative juices…

Ambrosia: Food of the Gods

Ambrosia — food of the gods. And food of the Southerner, especially around Christmas. It’s so good you’ll think the deities bore it down straight from Mount Olympus on winged feet and silver platters. I remember making the ambrosia every year with Granny, her kitchen table command central. It was a process, and Granny was…

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…

Pralines

Picture in your mind a round disc of sugar and butter with pecans in it. Do you call it a PRAH-leen or a PRAY-leen? Only one is right, and it’s time to put the confusion on how to pronounce “praline” to bed. The candy was brought to America, particularly Louisiana, in the 1800s by French…

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…

Cheesy Fiesta Noodles

Sometimes I play “eat the pantry.” Every so often I wind up with a pantry full of canned goods and dry goods because I love to grocery shop and try new products. So from time to time, when I run out of room in my tiny, condo kitchen, I decide it’s time to eat up…

Pecan Pie

We are a house divided. And it doesn’t have anything to do with football. It does have everything to do with a nut. That’s right. A nut. You see my Georgia-born boo says “PEE-can” and I of Alabama birth say “puh-KAHN.” Now admittedly this is not a subject that comes up for disagreement every day….