Recipes and Stories

30 October 2017: Chicken Pot Pies

October 30, 2017

Tags: Classic Southern Cooking, Classic American Cooking, Chicken, Chicken Pot Pie, Pastry, Autumn Cooking

My Chicken Pot Pie, with carrots, celery, onions, and peas and a basic pastry topping
One of the most welcome of all supper dishes on a crisp autumn evening is old-fashioned chicken pot pie. For warming comfort it may have its equals, but it has no superior.

Like so many homey dishes of its kind, there are probably as many versions as there are cooks, ranging from the elegantly simple triad of chicken, gravy and pastry to those loaded with vegetables, herbs, and spices. Some are even embellished with hard-cooked eggs and ham.

Some are made only with a whole chicken that was cooked specifically for the pie, while others are only made when there are leftovers that need using up. (more…)

23 October 2017: Mama’s Stuffed Zucchini

October 23, 2017

Tags: Classic Southern Cooking, Classic American Cooking, Italian Cooking, Zucchini, Stuffed Zucchini, Stuffed Vegetables

Mama's Baked Stuffed Zucchini
My mother has capably filled many roles in her life—singer, teacher, administrator, pastor’s wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, but she’s never more herself than when she’s in her garden.

Even from hundreds of miles away, I can see her puttering in that garden as clearly as if I was standing at her kitchen window looking out at it. From early spring until well after the first frost, in the morning and again at dusk, she’d be out there, her face shaded by a big straw hat, her shoes and trousers stained with red clay dust, watering young seedlings, talking to the pest-eating critters who forage among the plants, inspecting the cucumbers, okra, squash, and tomatoes for fruit that has gone from green nub to ready-to-harvest literally overnight. (more…)

9 October 2017: Broccoli, Bacon, and Potato Soup

October 9, 2017

Tags: Soup, Broccoli, Bacon, Classic Southern Cooking, Classic American Cooking, Autumn Cooking

Broccoli, Bacon, and Potato Soup
This morning, my office window looks out on an autumnal scene that seems like the beginning of perfect day for soup. Through the dwindling leaf canopy of the old pecan tree that dominates the view, the early sun occasionally peeks weakly through clouds that promise rain. There’s even a bit of frost on the window panes.

Unhappily, appearances, as they so often are here in Savannah, are deceiving: (more…)

3 October 2017: Pork Chops for Fall

October 3, 2017

Tags: Classic American Cooking, Pork, Pork Chops, Sauerkraut, Apples, Oven-Braising

Oven-Braised Pork Chops with Apples and Sauerkraut
It was a crisp fall evening in the early days of my graduate school work at Clemson University, and we actually had something that architecture students rarely see: an evening free of deadlines.

I’d just moved off campus into my first apartment on my own, a cozy four room half-basement affair tucked into the side of a hill, with a kitchen that, at long last, was completely mine. Every free moment back then was spent in that kitchen, experimenting, puttering, nibbling. (more…)