Hooked on Crocheting

Make a slip knot in a piece of yarn. Then wrap the yarn around your little finger. Bring it under your middle two fingers and around the back of your pointy finger. Pinch the knot between your thumb and middle finger. That’s how you start just about every crochet project. My Great-great-aunt Bessie taught me…

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…

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…

Leftovers: The Best Part of Thanksgiving

You’ve planned and shopped for weeks to get ready for Thanksgiving. You’ve cooked for two days, maybe even three. You’ve polished Granny’s Grand Baroque silver, gotten out the good china — the bone with the gold band not the pink flowers because that’s too summery, ironed the napkins into perfect rectangles, and arranged the flowers…