Recipes and Stories

30 October 2012: Autumn Apple Tart

October 30, 2012

Tags: Apples, Classic French Cooking, Apple Tart, Cinnamon Sugar

A Simple Apple Tart
Now that we’re finally getting a little bit of a nip in the air, here’s another simple apple tart that is just the thing to warm and soothe.

The most important part of a good pie or tart is good pastry, which is fortunately a snap to make, especially if you own a food processor. (more…)

22 October 2012: Roast Chicken

October 23, 2012

Tags: Roast Chicken, High Temperature Roasting, Classical Southern Cooking, Historical Southern Cooking, Mary Randolph, Lettice Bryan, Annabella Hill

A simple roasted chicken is the very essence of autumn's kitchen
For the last two centuries, fried chicken has taken all the attention as the ultimate symbol of Southern cooking. Nothing else, except possibly barbecue, has hogged the limelight nearly so completely—and not without reason. When properly done, it’s one of the loveliest things in any cuisine’s repertory.

But fried chicken is—or, rather, should be—special occasion fare. For me, the simplest, and most satisfying, way of cooking a chicken is roasting, especially at this time of year: the aroma is the very essence of autumn’s kitchen. (more…)

18 October 2012: Apple Pie Season

October 19, 2012

Tags: Apple Pie, Apple Tart, Historical American Cooking, Historical Southern Cooking, Damon Lee Fowler's New Southern Kitchen

Gingered Apple Tart with Shortbread Crust, photographed by Timothy Hall
Surely one of the best fragrances of autumn is the heady aroma of the season’s first juicy, ripe apples baking in a pie. For many Americans, it’s the quintessential aroma of the season—the subtle smell of falling leaves and of toasting pecans, roasting turkey, and mulled cider all rolled into one. (more…)

13 October 2012: History on the Egg I--The Big Green Egg as Brick Bread Oven

October 15, 2012

Tags: The Big Green Egg, Historical Cooking, Historical American Cooking, Historical Southern Cooking, Classical Southern Cooking, Mary Randolph, Annabella Hill, Historical Bread Baking

The Bread of our Forefathers, fresh from the Big Green Egg
When Kitchenware Outfitters, the kitchenware store where I have worked for the last six years, became a dealer for Big Green Egg, the ceramic outdoor cooker that was modeled on an ancient Asian technology, the historian in me was fascinated by the realization that these cookers performed much like another ancient technology: the open hearths and brick bread ovens of our ancestors here in the West. (more…)

8 October 2012: Mushroom Soup

October 9, 2012

Tags: Mushrooms, Mushroom Soup, Sarah Rutledge, German Cooking, Early American Cooking, Historical Southern Cooking

Thick, rich Mushroom Soup made with both fresh and dried mushrooms and broth, cream is only added as a garnish at the end
After my recent newspaper story on fall mushrooms, several correspondents asked about a good recipe for mushroom soup, since one wasn't included in the story. I went looking to see what might turn up in some the early American cookbooks in my collection, and to my surprise, found only this simple recipe in The Carolina Housewife: (more…)