Hoppin’ into the New Year

December 28, 2013

Hoppin John

Hoppin’ John is one of my favorite dishes, and it’s something that really shouldn’t be confined just to the first day of the year. For those of you who have never heard of Hoppin’ John, it’s a traditional Southern dish made with rice and black eyed peas, and when eaten on New Year’s Day, it is supposed to bring good luck and prosperity for the year. It is generally served with greens. The black eyed peas are supposed to resemble coins, and the greens add to the year’s prosperity and wealth due to their green color (you know, the color of money). Sometimes cornbread also gets into the action, given its golden color (again, the color of a different kind of money). While I’m not sure about all that, I am sure that creamy black eyed peas mixed with the saltiness of bacon and spiced up with some andouille and pepper makes taste buds happy and fills up bellies. (more…)

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Southern Favorite with a French Twist: Soup Beans with Red Wine

October 22, 2012

French Soup Beans

At the age of 18, I moved away from Tennessee to the midwest, and I had more than my fair share of culture shocks. Most of these had to do with food. A ham biscuit at Hardee’s was made with deli ham, because no one north of Kentucky had ever heard of country ham. White Lily flour was only sold in Williams-Sonoma, and a small bag would cost you eight dollars. Barbecue was most often beef, most often ribs. And in the self-proclaimed barbecue capital of the world, being invited to a barbecue didn’t mean you were going to get smoked meat, but that you were simply grilling out some burgers and hotdogs. And soup beans… no one knew what these were. How was I to explain it? I had no other words for soup beans – they were soup beans, cooked and served with cornbread most usually. (more…)

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Pimento cheese, a Southern favorite

July 25, 2011

Pimento Cheese Sandwich

For the past few months I’ve had a craving for pimento cheese. While I’ve found it in the grocery here in the past, I wanted a homemade pimento cheese, because I remember it being so much better than something out of a plastic tub.

A friend had posted about pimento cheese a while back, so I asked for his recipe. I have to say while it sounded wonderful, it missed on one main note for me — it called for scallions, the green parts. I didn’t remember any green in my pimento cheese, so no matter how tasty (or how may scallions I have in my garden right now), it wouldn’t do. So his recipe was my jumping off point, and I started tasting, adding, and came up with this recipe. (more…)

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Sunday breakfast

November 7, 2010

Fried Apples

Most Sunday breakfasts are some version of a pork gravy. Biscuits and ham or biscuits and sausage gravy, either way to make it a proper Sunday breakfast you need a little something extra on the side. And that something extra should be fried apples.

They’re similar to the apples you toss into a pie crust, only you cook them on the stove and there is no crust. They come out gooey and candy-like, a perfect treat for your Sunday morning. Or evening — they are also great with pork chops for dinner. (more…)

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Ooey, gooey, yummy-in-your-tummy stickies

October 17, 2010

Stickies

Over a week ago I got back from Tennessee and promised you a Southern breakfast favorite, at least in my house, stickies. The old hard drive bit the dust, I went into a period of mourning, but I’ve finally snapped out of it and decided to get back on the horse, so to speak.

When I was a kid, I would get so excited by these. They’re not all that extravagant — just a way to use up all of your scrap biscuit dough, so they’re rather frugal. (more…)

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