Collard Greens with Hot Pepper Sauce! (The dish that might make you rich!)

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I have always loved greens. Turnip, collard, or mixed, I just adore them. Among the greens I like, my Grandmama's ranks the absolute highest. No one can make them like her. However, I did learn that there is such a thing as too much of a good thing... When I was working on my degree, I lived with my grandparents for a while. Grandadddy passed away while I was living there and it was just me and ... Continue Reading

Black Eyed Peas and Hoppin’ John! (Vegetarian version)

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New Year's day hosts the most important meal of the entire year for Southerners. Deeply rooted in tradition, superstition, and hope for the future, we have definite must have dishes which even those of us who might not be as superstitious as others dare not shirk on this day. I've told this story before, but it certainly bears repeating in reference to this meal. Back in the days of civil war, ... Continue Reading

Boiled Peanuts (And how to choose a spouse)

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Boiled peanuts have been popular in the south since at least the civil war when our troops used to carry them  as a large part of their rations. With salt being a natural preservative, the boiled peanuts could be carried and eaten for up to a week, providing a quick nutritional source on the go and helping to make up for the piteous lack of meat in the southern soldier's diet. The first time I ... Continue Reading

Cut Out Cookies For Santa

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Throughout my childhood, this was our one must have cookie for Christmas. Mama would make a huge batch so we all had plenty to decorate. She cut them in shapes of trees, stars, and reindeer and each of us got our own platter full. She mixed up red, green, and yellow icing and always had plenty of sprinkles to go on top! They will be "wet" right after icing and decorating but if you wait an hour or ... Continue Reading

How To Feed A Gathering, Enjoy Yourself, AND Have A Clean Kitchen!

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Several readers have emailed me asking about ideas for Christmas entertaining when hosting gatherings. Seeing as how this is the best time of the year, we don't want to be sweating away in the kitchen when our family comes to pay call! (Mama would object to me using the term "sweating". She says ladies do not sweat, we "glisten"). Here is what I would do for a meal for a gathering.  The best ... Continue Reading

Daddy’s Coconut Cake

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This is my Dad's favorite cake at Christmas time and Easter and its just divine beyond compare. Another great refrigerator cake, it can be made three days ahead of time and then left to sit in the fridge as it just grows moister with every passing minute. Coconut around the Holidays is a tradition in the south, especially coconut cakes! Back in the old days that was the only time of year you ... Continue Reading

Double Layer Peppermint Bark (Especially for Mrs. Alexander’s Third Grade Class!)

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I made this a while back but wasn't going to post it, thinking it was likely something everyone did and y'all might think I was crazy for actually doing a tutorial on it! Yesterday though, I went to my son's school and sat with his class while the teacher's had a gathering. I took a bag of this peppermint bark to bribe them with (I am a firm believer in substitute teachers bribing their class) and ... Continue Reading

Seven Cakes – Though Dirt Poor, They Had Cake For Christmas

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Life during the depression in rural Alabama wasn’t too different from any other time of year for my people. You see, they were sharecroppers – dirt farmers who didn’t even own their own dirt. They wouldn’t have known if the world had been prosperous, their lives had always been a struggle of hard work and all too often relying on hope for the next meal. This time of year, there wasn’t a whole lot ... Continue Reading

Junior Bake Kit (Better Quality, Made By You!)

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Katy and I went out to lunch last week, while her daddy was at work and her brother in school. It was a little girl time and produced some great conversation. Anytime you get an almost-four year old to sit still long enough to be able to express their thoughts, you know you're in for a treat! "Mama, when I get big, can I do anything I want?" This seemed like a trick question to me. "Well, kind ... Continue Reading