Recipes and Stories

26 April 2018: Asparagus, Leeks, and New Potatoes

April 26, 2018

Tags: Asparagus, Stir-fried Asparagus, Classic Southern Cooking, Stir-frying, New Potatoes, Spring Leeks, Spring Cooking

Stir-Fried Asparagus with Leeks and New Potatoes
Before the season for asparagus passes completely, here’s another great stir-fry that brings it together with two other favorite spring flavors, young leeks and little red new potatoes.

This is the kind of thing my mother would make when I was growing up, since Stir-frying is one of her favorite cooking techniques. Not only is the technique quick, it does wonderful things for the fresh produce that is no further than her back yard. (more…)

21 April 2018: Spring Peas and Onions

April 21, 2018

Tags: Classic Southern Cooking, My Father's Rare Cooking, Sweet Peas, Green Peas, English Peas, Spring Peas and Onions

My Father's Sweet Spring Peas with Spring Onions
While we’re on sweet peas, a favorite way to dress them in my kitchen is with bright, herby spring scallions and butter (and lots of it). It’s not only delicious, the mere aroma of it always brings with it warm memories of my father.

Contrary to the notion that ministers do nothing from Sunday to Sunday but write long, tedious sermons, my father was a very busy man. Aside from three services a week (more, if someone got married or died), Bible study groups, and not one, but three sermons to compose, there were visits to the sick, shut-in, worried, and grief-stricken, counseling sessions for troubled marriages and spirits, and patience to be found for irritating parishioners who were ever eager to find fault with him, his family (that would be my brothers and me), and the church in general. (more…)

21 April 2018: Of Spring Peas and Thyme

April 21, 2018

Tags: Classic Southern Cooking, Classic French Cooking, Green Peas, Spring Peas, Puree, Soup, Pea Soup, Chilled Soup, Thyme

Fresh Spring Pea Soup with Spring Onions and Thyme
Whether you call them garden, green, sweet, or, as we often do in the South, “English” peas, you probably take the plump, round seeds of the trailing plant pisum sativum for granted. You may even think of them as ordinary and a bit boring. Yet, once upon a time, these little orbs were celebrated as a precious commodity and a rare harbinger of spring.

Thomas Jefferson even carried on a friendly competition with one of his neighbors for the first pea harvest of the season. (more…)

6 April 2018: Stir-Frying Asparagus

April 6, 2018

Tags: Asparagus, Stir-fried Asparagus, Country Ham, Classic Southern Cooking, Stir-frying

Southern-style Stir-Fried Asparagus with Country Ham and Scallions
The lovely thing about the tender new produce of spring is that it doesn’t ask for much in the kitchen, but practically begs for quick, light treatment. And nothing is quicker and lighter than stir-frying.

Most of us automatically associate stir-frying with the ancient cuisines of China and South-East Asia. But it’s actually a basic, almost universal technique (essentially the same as sautéing) that’s found in most of the world’s cuisines well beyond Asia, including France, Italy, and the Middle-East. (more…)