Browsing Category Southern

Mac & Cheese

What’s not to love about elbow pasta swimming in a bowl of warm, creamy cheese? My childhood memories of macaroni and cheese are my mother’s ingenious version of mac and cheese. Since we always had some spaghetti noodles in the refrigerator, she recognized that she could simply pull out some already cooked noodles and cover them with a slice of American cheese. Microwave for a minute or two and mix the noodles with the melted cheese. Voila. Homemade Eris-style mac and cheese. She predated Amy’s frozen-section single serving mac and cheese by at least ten years.

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Meyer Lemon Pound Cake

Meyer Lemons are special. They are a hybrid of a common lemon and mandarin orange. They become ripe around December in the South and can be difficult to find in grocery stores because their delicate skin bruised easily during shipping. But, boy are they delicious! They have a more complex floral flavor which is sweeter and less acidic than the common lemon. I think this classic pound cake showcases the sophisticated flavor.

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Pimiento Cheese

My grandmother ALWAYS had pimiento cheese in her refrigerator. It was one of the treats that I sought out within 15 minutes of arriving at her house. It was savory, a little spicy, and oh so special! We ate it on crackers for a snack, on celery sticks as a side dish to fancy meals or melted on rye bread as cheese toast for breakfast or lunch. It’s just one of those things that tastes like home.

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Buttermilk Biscuits

These are the biscuits of my childhood. I actually learned to make these biscuits from my grandfather. He would get up early to milk the cows then come in to cook breakfast for the family. Of course, he never measured anything, and he kept the sifter and mixing bowl in the 5-gallon tin with the flour. He just scooped up the right amount of flour with the sifter and eyeballed the rest. They were always perfect!

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Sweet Potato Casserole

Buy fresh turkey from grocery store (with three children in tow). Buy fresh chestnuts. Roast fresh chestnuts. Peel fresh chestnuts (with three children running around the kitchen with assorted rackets and balls). Make chestnut stuffing (while hoping children have found cartoons on TV to watch). Make cranberry dressing. Clean house for guests. Set table with china. Serve Thanksgiving lunch. Put up all food and clean all china (hoping everyone is in a tryptophan induced nap instead of having a shaving cream war in the bathroom). I really don’t know how my mom managed to host Thanksgiving…but she did for years without much complaint.

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Frozen Cranberry Salad

My paternal grandmother always served a “salad” with any proper meal. That could be a green salad, fruit salad, Jell-O salad, canned pear with cheese, mayo and maraschino cherry on lettuce, or a frozen salad. I always thought the frozen salads should be dessert! Some had sweetened condensed milk and whipped cream…mercy. They were all delicious and still taste like “childhood.”

This frozen cranberry salad is a holiday tradition in our family. I always wondered why we didn’t have it the rest of the year. Maybe my healthier version will be a little more guilt free! Or, a popsicle.

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