Friday, May 8, 2009

What's for Supper?

I'm a Southern cook. I'm not the cook my Mama is, or that Nanny or Grandmama were, but I can, like Mama, breeze into the kitchen with no idea what's for supper, peer into the freezer or pantry, and whip up fried ham, butterbeans and/or peas, biscuits, and grits in about a half-hour total. Ditto other menus. I don't do it as often as I should - there are, after all, advantages to living in a developed area, including good take-out Chinese and plenteous restaurants - but I can do it when I need to. And the biscuits? - I have come to depend upon Mary B's or Marshall's frozen biscuits. (Mine are only about 65% likely to bake up fluffy; theirs have a better track record)

Like Nanny, I mess with recipes. This sometimes turns out good, like when I took the recipe for Russian Tea Mix, added some pumpkin pie spice and black pepper, and made it a spicy Southern Russian Chai Mix, and sometimes it turns out badly, like the time I added Cajun Seasoning to a meatloaf recipe that already had sausage in it, resulting in the consumption of gallons of sweet tea to cool the fire. (Our guests said, "It's good - - really. We like spicy food." Then they moved away.)

{In the above paragraph, I am not certain if I shoulda said, "...turns out good...turns out bad..." or "...turns out well...turns out poorly...", so I split the difference. I guess I mess with grammar, too}

Since I have packed up my cookbooks into storage, I have become adept at finding recipes online. My favorite source in Recipezaar, though there are many others. Southern Living is another old favorite.

Southern Plate is a recipe-driven blog I am just beginning to explore. Christy is a Southern cook shore 'nuff. I cook some of her recipes already, because they are already part of my upbringing. Her how-to-make real Banana Pudding is a must for anyone who thinks banana pudding comes in a box. It's made the way Mama does, except we make ours in a long Pyrex casserole, and top it with meringue. I want to try her Mama's Chocolate Cobbler. I've made the Shoney's look-alike strawberry pie. And that's just what I see from my first viewing.

Do you have a favorite recipe website?


crispy said...

I still think fondly of that meal you made us the night we moved. It hit the spot.

As for recipe sites...I just google a few items on hand and see what I can come up with.

K-Sue said...

Yup, I whipped that one up out of the pantry and freezer, too. After all, I did not know I would have such special guests that night. Earthgirl was just missing her friends yesterday. ;(

Anonymous said...

I don't have any favorite recipe websites, but as for cookbooks I love anything from Paula Dean, Southern Living, Pampered Chef. I also have one called "Land of Cotton" that has a lot of southern specialties-you'd like it. My treasure is a homemade cookbook given to me by my mother-in-law (JD calls her "The Master"). She's never made a bad dish yet. I've learned a lot about cooking from her. I've definitely learned how to cook "southern" (my Mom is a Yankee). However, while my mother-in-law cooks everything in bacon grease or with a ham hock, I try to lighten things up. But like you I like to experiment with spices and make recipes my own.

K-Sue said...

That cookbook from MIL is a treasure. What a wonderful gift for a daughter-in-law.

Life At Camellia Cottage said... is a great one! It's all the recipes from Southern Living and other affiliated magazines.

Neat post, Sue! Becky G.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for visiting; I am glad to find your blog. I will check out the links you mention and I'll be back shortly to tell you what mine is!!!

Anonymous said...

Me's and I also get their free monthly magazine with recipes, coupons, and grocery check lists.

Debbie @ said...

Hi! Thanks for your visit to my blog. First time here. I have never been to those recipe blogs but I am very interested and will take a look. We too love to cook and love 'real' banana pudding the way our grandmothers made it. Yummy. I love to cook, love to eat and love to look at cook books for fun! I will have to take a look on line!
Have a blessed Mother's day!

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