Tag Archive | southern

Southern Potato Cakes

Southern Potato Cakes

Mammaw’s Southern Potato Cakes
When I was young, my Mom always found ways serve leftovers that made them seem like an entirely new meal. One of my favorites was Potato Cakes. Left over mashed potatoes, fashioned into small individual cakes. They were always delicious.

I never helped make them when I was still living at home, so when I called and asked her how do you make potato cakes, she said “you just cook them in butter in a skillet”. So I fashioned the left over potatoes and fried them……yeah that didn’t work. I called back and told her about how they fell apart and she asks “well did you put flour in them?” No Mom, you didn’t tell me to do that.

You really need to go home and cook with your mom and write down the family recipes, because they didn’t seem to do that in my family. I learned how to make them by watching her and I’ve written it down to share with my son.

Preparation Time: 1 hour
Serves: Depends on how many leftover mashed potatoes you have.  We usually have enough to make 3 to 6 cakes.
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Southern Fried Okra

Southern Fried Okra

Vickie’s Southern Fried Okra
One of Gary’s favorite southern foods is fried okra. He says it’s like eating popcorn and you just can’t get enough of it.

I make it for him about three or four times a year. For his birthday, our anniversary and on holidays.

Preparation time: 1 hour, 30 minutes


  • 1 to 2 cups of fresh or frozen okra (thawed)
  • ½ cup Flour
  • ½ cup Corn Meal
  • 1 tspn salt
  • 1 tspn pepper
  • ½ stick of butter or margarine

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Green Beans and Potatoes

Vickie’s Green Beans and Potatoes

Beans and Potatoes

A classic way to spruce up your vegetables. Beef stew is a popular favorite in my family. But sometimes stew isn’t really what you want.

One very cold winter day, we just wanted to warm up the house. Too snowy to take to the country roads. It was time to open the freezer and the cabinets to find something good for dinner.

Cleaning out the pantry, we found a sack of potatoes and some green beans in the freezer. And a dinner side dish, became dinner.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes, 3 hours to cook.  Continue reading

Country Green Beans

Vickie’s Country Green Beans

Country Green Beans

A spin on our Southern Green Beans.
There are several southern cooking restaurants around the country. One of our favorites is Cracker Barrel. And the boys love their green beans.

One weekend we slow cooked a roast with potatoes and green beans. The beans in particular garnered rave reviews and my son mentioned he liked these beans better than the southern green beans. So I devised a way to get the flavor of a slow cooked stew, without the 2 day cooking.  They go great with a chicken or beef dinner.

People ask, what’s the difference between country green beans and green beans? The answer is cook time. Today a lot of people barely cook green beans, making them crunchy and hard. That might be great for the vitamins, but it’s not the way our country ancestors cooked beans. My grand mothers cooked the way their grand parents cooked and so on. They cooked the hell out of their veggies.

Preparation Time: 6 to 12 hours
Serves: A large family Continue reading

Southern Green Beans

Southern Green Beans

Vickie’s Southern Green Beans

When I was young, we would trek down to Tennessee to visit the relatives. My Dad’s Mom loved to cook. Of course she kept cooking even when everyone had sat down to dinner or supper. My Dad was always telling her to sit down and eat. Within 5 minutes she’d jump back up and run to tend something else in the kitchen.

I loved the smell of her house. It always had such a warm and welcoming scent. Primarily because she was always cooking something. She had her own large vegetable garden and was always canning and cooking for the freezer. It’s always the simple recipes you don’t write down and become lost to the shadows of the past. I’ve never been able to recreate her version, but I stumbled on a version that my family loves. They go great with a ham or chicken dinner.

People ask, what’s the difference between country green beans and green beans? The answer is cook time. Today a lot of people barely cook green beans, making them crunchy and hard. That might be great for the vitamins, but it’s not the way our country ancestors cooked beans. My grand mothers cooked the way their grand parents cooked and so on. They cooked the hell out of their veggies.

Preparation Time: 4 to 8 hours
Serves: A large family Continue reading

Southern Greens – Turnip, Collard and Mustard Greens

Southern Greens – Turnip, Collard and Mustard Greens

Collard Greens

Turnip greens are popular in the South and probably the most common greens you’ll find on a Southern Dinner Table. But mustard and collard greens are also popular favorites.

Turnip greens are distinctive, but mild tasting. Mustard greens tend to have a strong and somewhat tangy pronounced flavor. While Collard greens hold the mildest taste and pick up the flavor of the ingredients you add to them.

None of these are my thing, but I’ve had to learn to cook them for Gary. All of them are really simple to cook. Just don’t ask me to try them.

Preparation Time: 2 – 2.5 hours
Serves: 4 to 5 Continue reading

NC BBQ Cole Slaw

Granddaddy Holland’s NC BBQ Cole Slaw

BBQ Coleslaw

I’ve heard many stories about Gary’s side of the family going to Love Valley in North Carolina to visit their grand parents. One of the stories I often hear about are the bbq dinners with Granddaddy’s special Cole Slaw. It became a family tradition and even a family secret.

Sadly, Granddaddy Holland passed away before passing on his secret recipe that everyone loved so much. But cousin Kevin has been working on that recipe for a number of years and everyone has told me he has recreated it quite well.

Like a lot of North Carolina bbq, this slaw has a vinegar base.

Preparation time: 10 minutes or 2 days.
This is best when made 2 days ahead of meal time, so flavors have time to blend.  Continue reading

Country Baked Beans

Papaw’s Country Baked Beans

Country BBQ Beans

We’re from Tennessee where barbeque is summer time mainstay. Whither it’s a bbq rub or sauce, there’s nothing like smoking a side of meat on the grill for an outdoors weekend bit of fun. But my Dad’s bbq beans were also a side dish during the winter too. I don’t remember a single Thanksgiving dinner where a bowl of bbq beans next to the Turkey wasn’t part of our table.

One cold and rainy fall day, my dad decided we were having a warm roast for dinner. And that meant making bbq beans. I don’t remember how I got involved in fixing the meal, but this is how he taught me to make a country version of baked beans.

Preparation Time: 1 hour
Serves 6 to 8 Continue reading

Vickie’s Sweet Cornbread Muffins

Vickie’s Sweet Cornbread Muffins

Sweet Cornbread Muffins

It’s a cold wintry day and I thought it would be nice to warm up the house with a little baking. I love my Dad’s Southern Cornbread. But since it’s snowing and I don’t have buttermilk, I decided to do some experimenting.

One of my first professional jobs was at a large Fortune 5 company. We were graced with a large cafeteria for breakfast and lunch. One of my favorite things from that time was their sweet cornbread muffins. So here’s my attempt to replicate them. These muffins are a bit sweeter and definitely a lot lighter than buttermilk cornbread.

Preparation Time: 45 Minutes
Makes 12 Muffins  Continue reading

Papaw’s Southern Cornbread

Papaw’s Southern Cornbread Sticks

Papaw’s Cornbread Sticks

One of the things I remember my dad baking during the fall and winter seasons is cornbread. He had an old iron baking dish, that shaped the corn bread into small corn on the cob shapes. He liked his cornbread heavy and stiff, for soaking up sauces and juice from the main meat of the meal. Or his favorite red kidney beans. The mainstay in Beans on Toast in our house.

My Mom and Dad are from east Tennessee, in the mountains of the Smokeys. The north side of the South. My dad learned to cook from his Mom, who learned to cook from her mom and so on. The old family recipes are ages old and they were designed to sustain anyone during the hard work of the field and farm. I don’t know exactly where this recipe started, but my Dad told me, his grandmother used to make this nearly every Sunday for dinner after church.

Preparation Time: 1 hour
Makes 12 Sticks Continue reading