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…

Chicken and Dumplings

Granny died fifteen years ago this past March. She was just a few weeks shy of her 99th birthday. Brother and I thought that she’d live forever, and she just about did. (I wrote about what I think her secret was to longevity here.) She’d always been the same our whole lives. White hair, twinkly…

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…

The Dookie Cake

Dump Cake. That’s the official, albeit unflattering, name of one of my favorite recipes. It’s not as bad, however, as what Brother calls it — Dookie Cake. Ain’t that a little brother for you? But let me tell you what, his teasing doesn’t stop him from gobbling up a big ole bowl of it! Despite…

Relish the Relish Tray

No holiday meal on Granny’s table was complete without a relish tray. Picture a divided crystal dish full of bite-sized, savory treats that compliment the main meal. It was usually filled with things we didn’t get very often. After all, there was no fancy-shmancy olive bar at Citronelle’s Piggly Wiggly. That’s why I always thought…

Pinto Beans Just Like Mama Used to Make

Being from South Alabama, I never realized that pinto beans were a thing, something to be sought out, a comfort food. We just never ate them. We ate red beans and broad axes and navy beans and lima beans, but never pinto beans. In fact, I didn’t even know they existed until I was in…

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…

The Care and Feeding of Pickled Okra

I recently had the pleasure of traveling to New York City where, while shopping in a book store, I had the following exchange with the women at the register. “So where’s your accent from?” I am asked by one of the two nice ladies. “Alabama,” I say. “Have you heard of pickled okra?” says the…

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,…