Southern Plate Newsletter November 2

UPDATE 2011: Please note that this newsletter was written in 2008 and contains a lot of outdated information. I’m leaving it up here for those who are going back to read in the order it was written. Have a great day! Gratefully, Christy

1. Southern Plate Is Getting Around!

2. Whats coming up on Southern Plate
(How I’m going to make your Christmas easier, less expensive, and more meaningful!)

3. Whose Cooking With Southern Plate!

4. Merry Christmas! Free shipping!

5. Your Input

6. Comments and Emails

7. A Little Bit About Me, My Grandparent Surplus, And Why I LOVE Generics

Southern Plate Is Getting Around!

I am amazed, stunned, thrilled, flabbergasted, and grateful as all get out to every single one of you WONDERFUL people who read Southern Plate! Since Southern Plate began the second week of July (not quite four months ago), we’ve had over 300,000 visitors!  During the month of October alone, I received 749 emails! (I really do want to answer each one of them, hang in there, I’m tryin’!)


My first food column ran last week in the Athens Courier. If you’d like to see it, just click here!
Y’all, I have ALWAYS wanted to be in print. I should probably say that I read it calmly and put it up for safekeeping with little reaction, but y’all know me better than that! I left early to get the kids to school so I could stop by a newspaper stand and get one (Hmmm, maybe I should subscribe to it at this point?) and hurried back into the car with my paper. I flipped through that thing like wildfire until I came to my page and then SQUEALED so loudly that even my youngest said “Geez mom, you’re hurting my ears”.

Jennifer Hill, the lifestyles editor, wrote a column about me and WOW, by the time I was done reading it I almost wanted to meet myself! Thank you for your kindness and generosity with that column, Jennifer! Y’all hang on to your hats, if this keeps up folks will actually start taking thinking I know what I’m doing here!

I also write a Southern Plate column for, the largest website in Alabama devoted to all things Alabama (Update: I no longer blog for due to time constraints. Instead, I do all of my blogging for you here on OH and Southern Plate was featured on Foodbuzz as one of the 24 participants in the 24/24/24 event this month! You can view my post on the Dixie Brunch that I made for that event (along with all of the recipes, of course!) here.

And guess who I have to thank for all of this?
Guess who I have to thank for the growth of Southern Plate and my enthusiasm and glee each and every day when I log on or bake or write a post?

I hope you all know how grateful I am for you taking the time to read SP, telling your friends, commenting, emailing, and trying out your recipes. Southern Plate is a direct result of the AMAZINGLY wonderful people who read it. Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you!



The holiday baking season is upon us and I have some GREAT recipes and INEXPENSIVE gift ideas for you!!

Beginning this week, EACH WEEK through December I am going to bring you a new cookie recipe AND instructions for a gift mix COMPLETE with printable tags (which include instructions, just attach to your gift and go!) and inexpensive wrapping ideas!

Don’t you just hate it when you see a great homemade gift idea and they wrap it in a ten dollar package? Goodness, I could have bought a gift! My packagings will cost no more than $1.50, with most of them costing less than fifty cents to wrap…seriously! Its homemade gifts that mean the most so stay tuned, I have plenty of ideas coming up to keep the money in your pocketbook and put MORE meaning into your gifts!

Want an even easier way to give gift mixes? How about I do it for you?
*giveaway alert!*
I plan on getting all of my gift tutorials done in November and when I’m done, I’m taking every one of the demo mixes (the pretty wrapped ones), and putting them in a box to mail to one person who will be chosen at random from among the commenters on the gift tutorial posts!
First one is coming up this week so stay tuned!
These will all be in addition to my regular posting, of course!
Whose cooking with Southern Plate?
Whew, this list is getting long! I have been doing these newsletters every month but am now switching to every two weeks and …get a gander at this!
Y’all are AWESOME!

Tipnut (One of my all time favorite sites) featured our Taco Soup! Thanks, Tip nut!

Tina at Mommy’s Kitchen posted about Strawberry Punch Bowl Cake and Tea Cakes!

Yellow Jeep Blonde posted about pecan pie muffins.
(I have such fun reading her blog!)

Growing Up Gabel posted about Crock Pot Oatmeal!

Almost Frugal Food posted about pintos and cornbread.

You have a treat coming as you’ll learn about by reading Mama Belle’s post over at Bayou Belle’s And Their Beau. She’s speaking with her readers about her upcoming guest spot on Southern Plate and what delicious cajun dish she is going to bring us!

Bodhi Baby posted about our Chicken Stew.I went to her site to read about the stew and ended up sitting there for half an hour! LOL!

Y2K Hippie made tea cakes, and her husband sure was happy!

Adventures of A Working Mom included our pintos and cornbread on her meal plan monday!She also posted about cooking large quantities of ground beef using this method.

Southern Plate was also listed in the Carnival Of Chicken Recipes for Chicken Stew.

A Common Book made hoe cakes, looking yummy!

Dee of Dee’s Divine Designs made Dixie Cornbread (always a favorite!)

There is the sweetest post written about Southern Plate at Life At The Lake. So very sweet!

The Adventures Of Heather made apple butter and canned it using the canning tutorial!

Zesty Cook featured Southern Plate twice on his weekly favorites list! Zesty is a blogging buddy who is just as nice as they come. He also has a picky eater in his house…just like I do. I wonder which one of us has made the most peanut butter sandwiches? Hmm…

Stephanie is at it again! She just about did me in with her french onion soup because I WANTED IT SO BAD. She made hoe cake again on her blog along with oodles of other goodness.

Your input….

I’ve thought about doing videos or podcasts for some of Southern Plate’s content. If you think this would be a good idea (or if anyone would have a need for them), let me know your ideas for this in the comments section. I’m kind of on the fence as to whether or not it is neccesary. If you have any other ideas for increasing readership, I’d love to hear those in the comments section as well! Mostly, I need ideas which don’t require much more time than I’m already putting into it. I LOVE writing Southern Plate and am having the time of my life, but its already taking up a good five hours or so a day so ….how can I continue to get word out without needing more time to put into it?

Comments and Emails

Every day, the thing I look forward to the most with Southern Plate is reading the comments and emails I recieve. If it weren’t for those, I’d have no idea if I was hitting homers or pitching to an empty stadium, THANK YOU  SO MUCH! Earlier this week, my email subscribers know I had a freak glitch (Thank you, Google!) in which my feed address was changed without my prior knowledge. My subscription service picked this up as being a new feed from me and automatically sent out every post I had put up for the month of October…in a matter of about two minutes. I was absolutely mortified.

I sent out an apology letter to each email subscriber and sat back, just waiting on the nasty emails to come with dread and a churning stomach. Emails did come alright….and they came in a big way. By the next day I had over four hundred emails from my readers with words of assurance, gratitude, and kindness unlike I could have ever imagined. Truly, you are the most wonderful people on the planet. I am hoping to respond to each one, but if I don’t get to, please know that I read every single one of those blessed replies to my letter and each one added to the happiness and gratitude that I have for all of you. I don’t know how I got so lucky, I truly don’t.

I don’t always get to answer each comment like I would like to do. Mostly this happens on weeks where a lot is going on at my son’s or daughter’s school or where I get busy with other things (I’ve been working on Southern Plate posts for the holidays as well as a holiday cookbook for y’all). Please know that I do appreciate and read every single comment. Y’all make me laugh, y’all make me smile, y’all let me into your homes and I count each one of you as a friend.

When you press that little comment button, you are making my day!
A Little Bit About Me, My Grandparent Surplus,
And Why I LOVE Generics
Y’all hear me talk about my grandparents a lot. Most especially my great grandmother, Lela, and her daughter (My Grandmama) Lucille, as well as Mama Reed. I love it when you respond with comments about your grandparents and your memories of their kitchens, their food, and their love.
I thought I’d tell y’all a little about all of my grandparents, though, and just how many I actually had when I was born. You see, long before I was born, every one of my grandparents had been divorced and remarried. Take into account the great grandparents that were still with us at the time and I had a total of THIRTEEN Grandparents at my time of birth! Out of all of those, there are only two which I didn’t get a chance to know very well (because they passed away while I was young) and two others who weren’t very involved with us, but I still have vivid memories of them.
Even now, at  (insert age here), I am very fortunate to have six grandparents living, four of which have always had a major role in my life.
And you wonder why I have so many recipes? LOL
This is a photo of me and my Grandaddy, JM Pockrus. He was technically my step grandfather, but I would have a hard time believing any man on earth could have been more of a grandfather to me. When I was younger, I was always in this spot, on his lap, whenever he was around. As I grew up, my spot was sitting right beside him on the couch, with his arm around my shoulders.

When I went to college at The University Of North Alabama, I lived with my grandparents. Grandaddy used to sit in this one spot on the couch and as I passed behind him each night to go downstairs to my room, I’d stop and lean down, kissing the top of his head and hugging him. He’d look up and kiss my cheek and say “I love you, babe”. “I love you, too, Grandaddy”.
I kissed him for the last time in September of 1997.
I will ALWAYS miss my Grandaddy.

Grandaddy retired from Morton Thiokol along with my Grandmama and Papa Reed. It is for that reason that I always buy Morton brand salt, just because it makes me smile and think of them.

I would have never thought, when I started Southern Plate, that I would get so many emails and comments praising my use of generics! Folks have even posted about it on their blogs! I love it! I smile so proudly whenever I see that! I do have a love for generics which stems mainly from my own frugality (I usually just call myself cheap but that word sounds better here, doesn’t it?) and determination not to pay a dollar more (or even fifty cents more!) for the same product in a name brand packaging.
I LOVE GENERICS! Having said that, there are very few things which I will not buy generic in.
Here they are:
Morton Salt (See above story)
Manwich brand sloppy joe sauce– This is soooo good and the generic…~shudders~ does not taste remotely near this one, I’m afraid
My Coffee – I don’t have a particular brand I stick with because I switch often to keep my taste buds hoppin. I do love Eight O’ Clock brand though and this new one from Folgers called “Lively Columbian” because the name is so cute, every time I grind the beans I picture this little columbian man dressed like Juan Valdez dancing around all lively-like on my kitchen counter! Hey, its the simple things….

Heinz Ketchup – Wal Mart brand trumped them…so that one no longer applies! :)
Whew, I reckon y’all have about had your fill of me for one day so I’m gonna end this one! Hope I didn’t talk your ears off!

I love y’all!


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  1. kingsqueen says

    Love the picture of you as a little girl! :)
    And really? Walmart ketchup trumps Heinz?? I may have to check this out. (Of course I will have to use up all the Heinz I bought recently first. LOL)
    Thanks for putting yourself out there for us with your blog. I have really enjoyed it since I discovered it a couple of months ago. Keep on doing what you’ve been doing! :)

  2. BillGent says

    Ok Woman, Ya done got inside my head. I admit I never buy generics but as of Friday night, I started. Walmart had some generic Alfredo and Spaghetti sauce and for the first time, I bought them… and it’s simply because of this site.

    I guess I’ve always had some sort of phobia about generics for some reason. I’ll let you know if I run into a generic that needs to have a skull and crossbones on it.

  3. Claire says

    I am COMPLETELY with you on the White Lily. There is a cookie I make and the White Lily (as well as a good quality butter…no kroger brand for this cookie) REALLY makes a difference. The last time I made them, one of my guy friends noticed a difference…the store didn’t have WL, and I had to use the store brand. So…White Lily has my undying devotion, too!!!

  4. Life at the Lake says

    Okay Christy, I just got back from Wal-Mart and I had a cart loaded with generics but GV ketchup?? I’ve been too chicken to try it – we are HEINZ Ketchup all the way at our house. I’ve tried some other name brands and was like “no way”. I guess we are ketchup snobs but maybe no more – I’ll have to give the GV brand a try. Thanks for the heads up!!

  5. Southern Plate says

    LOL! Boy I set y’all off with the Heinz ketchup thing! Rest assured that we have ALWAYS been Heinz people, too! it’s the only kind of ketchup that I have EVER liked…but y’all know I had to try generics!!
    Here are my reviews of less expensive ketchups:

    Del Monte – This ketchup tastes VERY sweet to me. Far too sweet.

    Hunts – I just said I was Heinz person, didn’t I? Therefore, you all know I just don’t like Hunts. Hunts is not Heinz

    Great Value – I cannot tell the difference between this one and Heinz. Honestly. I’ve used Heinz all of my life.

    Y’all remember a few years back when they had the peanut butter scare (or maybe that was last year)? And it was with JIF and so they had to recall all of the peanut butter made by JIF? And so all of the JIF brand AND Great Value brand peanut butter was taken off the shelves…..See what I mean??

    JIF peanut butter is AT LEAST a dollar more than Great Value but made at the same factory and by the same people! Do a taste test, they are the SAME thing, seriously!

    So its really not that far fetched that Heinz could be manufacturing Great Value for Wally World, after all they sure do buy enough to make it worthwhile….Oh they also have similar bottles, Great Value even offers that small upside down bottle like Heinz does. ~grins~

  6. Southern Plate says

    Oh darn, I think it was peter pan and not JIF…I can’t remember! LOL THank you all!!!! Joan and everyone, thanks so much for the votes!!!
    I was called a “Columnist”
    THAT IS SO COOL! hehe

  7. Heather says

    Congrats on all the success you’re having! I didn’t realize you just started this blog a few months ago, I thought you’d been at this for much longer! I’m thankful that there are people like yourself out there on the internet who are willing to open your family cookbooks to share with the world.

    I would definitely be interested in videos and podcasts. I think the videos would be of more help to people who are new to southern cooking (like myself), especially for things that might be more technical. I think your step by step photos are of great help too!

  8. says

    AWESOME JOB! I would love to have YOU as a guest blogger on my blog sometime in between your “jobs” if you would like to give us a hollar and a great recipe or two LMK! HEY and on BELLE & BEAUS post, i too am from CAJUN country and never did make it the way she said, neva neva eva even thought of NOT making a roux, YIKES! I’m just kidding about the yikes, but truthfully I have never had pre-made roux!
    ANY WAY……….. I am displaced in VA (which btw is still the south) but there is nothing like true LOUISIANA cooking and if you ever find an EASY but TASTEFUL recipe for Natchitoches meat pies shoot it my way!


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