Authentic Southern Style Cookin'. Mississippi favorites you just can't get anywhere else.
What Fond Memories
Ahhh, the wonderful childhood memories of summers at Grandma's house, being awakened to the smell of farm fresh eggs, country ham, red-eye gravy, grits, piping hot biscuits filled with home made butter, coffee perking on the stove and farm fresh milk straight from the cow's udders. The smell was so scrumptuous, your tongue would nearly beat your brains out before you could get to the table!
Believe it or not, there was a time when pretty much everything was home grown that stocked our kitchens and pantries. Coffee was made in a stove-top percolator, the stove being a cast iron stove that you actually had to build a fire in. The pots and pans were cast iron and doubled as a washing machine when on an outside open fire to heat the water for the whites. The milk came from the cows, not the grocery store and you could actually taste the milk because it wasn't watered down! The home made butter that was produced from this milk was like nothing you can buy in the stores today.
While the years flew by and we did become more modernized, we never forget the flavor of those wonderful down home meals and southern hospitality. Through the years, we have passed on the old recipes as well as added new ones to be handed down through the future generations. I will share some of my favorites with you in this hub, some of which are from several generations prior and some of which are more recent. All, however, are mouth-watering recipes that anyone with a tastebud can enjoy. So put away the diet sheet and enjoy some down home southern style cookin'!
Southern Fried Chicken
What southern meal woul be complete without a recipe for some southern fried chicken? Well, I wouldn't want to disappoint my readers (neither of the three) so I will begin with the obvious!
- 5 lbs. chicken ( Yardbird to some)
- 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
- 4 tablespoons Lowry's Seasoning Salt
- 1 to 2 tablespoons black pepper
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- cooking oil (vegetable oil for true southern style)
Put all dry ingredients in a bowl or pie plate and mix well. Preheat the oil in the skillet. This is best cooked in a cured cast iron skillet on med/low heat but if you use an electric skillet, preheat to 350 degrees with about a half inch of oil in the skillet. Batter chicken thoroughly in mixture and put in skillet. Cook with lid on until golden brown (about 20 minutes). Turn chicken pieces over and cook the same on the second side. If you like crispier chicken, cook the last 10 minutes on each side with lid off. Check chicken for doneness by poking with the fork to the bone to see if juices run clear. Make sure when you remove the chicken from the skillet to scrape the crumbs from the bottom of the skillet as this is the best part! Drain chicken on paper towel before serving.
For those who prefer something not fried, try this juicy meatloaf recipe that will melt in your mouth. No more packy, dry meatloaf that the dogs won't eat! This recipe is from past generations of an in-law and is the only way I will eat a meatloaf.
- 5 lbs. ground beef ( not ground chuck as it is too dry )
- 3 eggs
- 1 medium bell pepper, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced ( can 2 bunches green onions, diced )
- 1 slice of bread toasted ( or 6 saltine crackers )
- 3/4 cup ketchup
- 2 small cans tomato sauce ( not paste )
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 2 tablespoons black pepper
Put ground beef in a 13" x 9" baking pan or glass baking dish. Crumble bread or crackers into very fine crumbs into the ground beef and add all other ingredients except for the tomato sauce. Mix all this together by folding over and over until well mixed. Do not knead as this will make the meatloaf dry and packy. Once you have mixed these ingredients well, separate the mixture into halves, making a row down each side of the pan lenghtwise. Pack tightly against sides and leave about a 1 inch space between the 2 loaves. This will allow room for the drainage. You will bake this at 375 degrees for about an hour, keeping the meat drained about every 20 minutes. You can drain the excess grease into a glass or metal bowl until cooled for disposal. Before removing the meatloaf from the oven, pour the 2 cans of tomato sauce in a small saucepan. Add 1 of the cans full of water to the sauce and heat to boiling. Remove from heat. When the meatloaf is removed from the oven and remaining grease drained, pour the mixture over the top of the meatloaf and let stand about 5 minutes. This is the best meatloaf I have ever tasted!
Creamy Potato Salad
Some people prefer to cook potato salad with cubes but I prefer cream style. This can be done however you prefer.
- 1 to 2 lbs. red skin potatoes (peeled and diced)
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1 bunch green onions (diced)
- 1 small diced bell pepper (optional)
- 4 boiled eggs (diced)
- 1/4 cup sweet pickle relish or salad cubes
- 4 or 5 tablespoons mayonnaise (depends on how thick you prefer)
- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
Hard boil eggs, peel and set aside. Boil potatoes just to tenderness for cubed or to total doneness for creamed. Cubed would need to have a slight crisp to it. Drain water thoroughly from potatoes. If you are making creamed, you should mash potatoes with a potato masher. Dice all veggies and eggs and add to potatoes along with all other ingredients and stir well. You can garnish with paprika and parsley if you prefer.
Home Made Macaroni and Cheese
Put away those boxes of shells and cheese and those boxes of pasta with the fake powdered cheese and get ready for some REAL mac and cheese! But be prepared to get off the wallet because you won't get this cheese from the dairy section and you may want to sharpen your grating muscles ahead of time. Yep! This will be done the old fashioned way!
- small bag of elbow macaroni
- 1 to 2 lbs. of red rhind hoop cheese (normally found in the meat dept.)
- 1/2 cup milk (may add more if you prefer it thinner or less for thicker)
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel rhind from cheese, grate and set aside. Boil macaroni per package directions and drain thoroughly. While macaroni is still hot, add milk, salt, pepper and all the cheese except about 1/2 to 3/4 cup. Mix well until cheese begins to melt and macaroni is well coated. Pour into a baking dish and sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Bake in oven until cheese is melted. Once you eat mac and cheese like this, all the other stuff just sucks!
Fried Green Tomatoes
You haven't had an authentic southern meal until you have eaten fried grean tomatoes! You know you are doing something right when they name a movie after you, right? This is one veggie that goes with any southern style meal! But remember to go to a farmers market or roadside fruit stand for your tomatoes because the ones from the grocery store just can't measure up to good, fresh tomatoes. Better yet, just plant you a few tomato plants and grow your own. All you need is a bale of hay and the plants if you don't have good garden soil!
- 6 green tomatoes
- 1 cup self rising flour
- 1/4 cup self rising white cornmeal
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- cooking oil
Slice tomatoes just as you would slice them for a sandwich (about 1/8"). Mix dry ingredients well in a bowl or pie plate. Put just enough oil in a skillet to cover the bottom (about 1/16" deep). Batter tomato slices and put in hot grease and cook on medium heat until golden brown. Turn them over and cook to golden brown on second side and drain on paper towel. These are very easy to make but the oil may begin to burn the tomatoes if you cook several skillets of them. If this begins to happen, drain skillet, wipe with paper towels and add fresh oil.
My Secret Baked Bean Recipe
Move over, Jay Bush! This secret baked bean recipe will blow you out of the water! Many years, I have been asked for my baked bean recipe and many years I have refused. I have never even passed it to my daughters yet so trust me when I tell you that those who are reading this hub are of high privilege. I suppose now I should pass it on down to the girls, huh? Unfortunately, this recipe is for a huge family gathering (little over 50 family members at Christmas and other holidays) so you may need to do a bit of math if you want to break it down for a small family dinner. Especially if you are all sleeping in the same house as you wouldn't want it to spontaneously combust!
- 1 restaurant size can of pork and beans
- 5 lbs. ground beef
- 4 bunches green onions (or 1 large onion of your choice)
- 2 large bell peppers
- 2 lb bag of light brown sugar
- 4 bottles honey flavored BBQ sauce
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 4 tablespoons black pepper
- 1 cup pancake or waffle syrup
- 10 crackers (crumbled to a fine powder)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brown and drain ground beef and set aside. Pour pork and beans in a large roasting pan (about 10" to 12" deep). Dice onions and bell peppers. add all ingredients to beans and stir well. Run a paper towel around the top edge of the pan to removed excess sauce before cooking. This prevents the edge around the top of the pan from burning before the beans get done. Bake for 1 hour then stir well. Continue to bake at least 1 hour then check for thickness. I prefer mine thinner than some but remember that they will thicken upon standing. If you prefer them thicker, continue cooking, checking them every 15 to 20 minutes until desired consistency. Let stand at least 30 minutes before serving. This is also a dish that goes with almost any meal, be it indoors or from the grill!
Southern Style Turnip Greens
Ahhh, who doesn't love a good pot of turnip greens and cornbread? The trick to these is to know how to clean them properly before cooking. Of, course we have to clean them! You didn't really think we were gonna open a can of them did you? This is fairly simple once you get the hang of it.
Simply place the greens into a sink of cold water and swish them around. Have another sink of cold water in the other sink. Then pick each leaf up and fold along the stem toward the inside. Just peel the green from the stem until you reach the tiniest part of the stem close to the top of the leaf. As you peel each leaf, put the leaf into the second sink of water and throw the stem away. Keep doing this until you have all the big stems pulled from the leaves and the greens in the other sink. Then just swish them around to wash them thoroughly. Pull them out of the sink and put into a large pot of water. You will need your pot about half full of water because the greens will cook down considerably as they heat. Remember that it takes a lot of greens to come out with a family meal once they are cooked. These can also be frozen after they are cooked so don't worry about cooking too many.
Once you have them in the pot, poke them down using a large knife to be sure there is enough water in the pot (just enough to cover the greens when pushed down). Next, you just wash the turnips (if you are using them), dice them up and throw them in. Add chunks of ham, bacon or salt meat and just let them simmer for a few hours. You can season to taste as they cook. Not much of a secret to this dish!
No southern style meal would be complete without the cornbread muffins! Heck, many just eat hot buttered cornbread or a bowl of milk and cornbread. There is just nothing like the taste of a good buttery pan of cornbread!
- 2 cups self rising white corn meal
- 1 cup self rising flour
- 1/2 cup butter or margerine (melted)
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup water
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. If you are making muffins or corn shaped sticks, rub butter in each compartment thickly and set aside. Mix all ingredients (including melted butter) in a mixing bowl and stir well. Mix should be slightly thin, similar to thickness of cake batter. If it is too thick, add a touch of water to get the right consistency. Once consistency is right, set aside for about a half hour and allow it to rise. Then, heat buttered pans in oven (or if making a skillet of cornbread, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the skillet on the stovetop until sizzling. Stir batter and pour into pans or skillet and bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. If desired, smear butter over tops right from the oven! Dump from pans immediately to avoid sticking.
Home Made Chocolate Pie
I will tell you straight up "I don't do pie crusts" so if you want the home made kind, you are on your own! I just like the frozen ones better and I could never get mine to work right anyway. I chalked that up years ago to one of those things that I just didn't have any luck with. This pie filling is my Mama's recipe and makes 2 pies with a little left for lickin'. I often accused her of doing that on purpose because we always wanted to lick the boiler when she was done. After all, that is one of the advantages of childhood as well as our inherited right! I also don't like the meringe on top but the recipe will follow for those who do. I remember my daddy referring to meringe as calf slobber. Those are my sentiments exactly!
- Two 9 inch pie crusts
- 2 cups sugar
- 5 eggs (seperated)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
- 1/2 cup self rising flour
- 4 cups milk
- 1/2 stick butter or margarine
- 1/4 cup hershey's powdered baking chocolate
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Poke holes in pie crusts to avoid bubbling and prebake about halfway done. If you don't plan to add the meringe, you will want to completely cook the pie crusts until they are golden brown. Set aside.
Separate eggs and set whies aside for meringe. In medium saucepan, beat egg yolks slightly. Add remaining ingredients and cook over medium heat until pudding thick, stiring constantly to avoid sticking. Pour mixture into pie crusts and set aside. If you are not adding the meringe, just let cool slightly then refrigerate until well cooled.
Measure out 1 cup sugar and set aside. Add a pinch of cream of tartar to egg whites. With electric mixer, beat at medium speed until egg whites begin to get foamy. Slowly add 1/2 cup sugar and continue beating. Taste to see if desired sweetness is reached and if not, slowly add the remaining sugar until desired sweetness is reached. Continue beating until whites form a very stiff peak and is totally dry. Spread on top of pies and bake until golden brown. Let cool slightly and refrigerate until well cooled.
You may choose to add whipped cream topping instead of meringe or just eat it without a topping!
Home Made Custard Ice Cream
Your tastebuds have never lived until you have had my Mama's home made cooked custard ice cream! My mouth waters just thinking about it! Of course, most of you know that you'll need an ice cream freezer, ice and rock salt to create this delicacy. The recipe below can be changed simply by adding what you like to add as far as fruits and such after it is cooked. You will find this recipe very similar to the chocolate pie recipe because it, too, is a cooked custard.
- 2 cups sugar
- 5 eggs (separated vanilla flavoring
- 1 tablespoon self rising flour
- 3 cups milk (plus some for freezer)
Separate eggs and set whites aside. In medium saucepan, slightly beay egg yolks. Add remaining ingredients except milk and egg whites and stir well.. At this point, if you want chocolate ice cream, add 1/4 cup Hershey's powdered baking chocolate. Then add milk to this mix. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until slightly thick. It shouldn't be thick enough to hold a form but should be almost as thick as pudding before chilling. Put about 2 cups milk in the ice cream container and add custard mixture. Stir well and add enough milk to fill the container about 3/4 full. Stir well. Add paddle and lid and set inside ice cream freezer. Add ice and rock salt (about 1/2 way up then add another row of ice and rock salt. Make sure as it freezes that you keep the water drained, fresh ice and lots of salt all the way to the top handle. Once it freezes, you're in for a frozen treat!
You can add fruit to the vanilla custard after cooking by just dicing the kind of fruit you prefer into small pieces and adding it into the ice cream mix once you get it in the freezer. Be sure to get your fruit in before filling up with milk to allow room and not overflow it. You can put the egg whites in an airtight container for future use with another dish if you'd like.
Southern Style Fun!
Here you have the makin's for some southern style food and fun! Whether you are cooking indoors or grillin' up some ribs outdoors, just add lots of friends and some down home southern pickin' and you got a party in paradise! So hop on down to visit sometimes and don't be shy about your eatin' in this neck of the woods. You can start the diet back when you get back home and I'll bet that you won't miss it for one second while you're down here.
Many people laugh at our southern style of cookin', talkin' and just plain out chillin' but one thing is for sure. You won't find the kind of good food, fun and fellowship anywhere to beat the southern style and hospitality. Come on down! Bring yer friends and we'll do some eatin', pickin' and grinnin' like you never seen before! Then, when we have reached our food intake limit, we can start the hibernation process!
The Secret Life of Southern Cooking
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