Recipes and Stories

30 November 2018: The Writing Life and Chicken and Dumplings

November 30, 2018

Tags: Classic Southern Cooking, Chicken and Dumplings, Slipperies, Winter Comfort Food, Comfort Food

Old-Fashioned Southern Chicken and Dumplings
This page has been a bit quiet the last few months and I’m sorry about that. But I did promise at the beginning that it wouldn’t be filled with drivel just to keep myself in front of you all.

In the meantime, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what I do.

In many ways, it’s a small thing. It’s just stringing words together on a page—and not about the monumental, earth-shaking problems that are facing humankind. I don’t probe the depths of the human intellect or heart, nor contemplate the vast mysteries of the universe. I don’t attack injustice, blind hatred, suffering, or destructive greed.

All I do is write about how to cook and do it well. It’s never about being clever or inventive, and rarely tries to shake anyone up. It’s about ordinary stuff. And comfort.
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20 November 2018: Mastering Thanksgiving Again

November 20, 2018

Tags: Thanksgiving 2018, Thanksgiving Dinner, Mastering Thanksgiving Dinner

My Thanksgiving Dinner from a couple of years ago.


This year, for the first time in at least thirty-eight years, I’m probably not going to be cooking Thanksgiving dinner. Or if I do, it will be in a strange inadequately equipped kitchen, sharing the job with someone else, and keeping mostly with their traditions. My sister-in-law is gathering the clan at a beach house in North Carolina and the meal is likely to be a communal effort.

It feels strange not to be making the final tweaks to my menu, planning and executing my shopping forays, and cleaning out the refrigerator to make room for everything. (more…)

5 November 2018: Autumn Breakfast Biscuits Stuffed with Pan-Fried Pork Tenderloin

November 5, 2018

Tags: Classic Southern Cooking, Classical Southern Cooking, Pork, Pork Tenderloins, Pan-Fried Pork Tenderloin Medallions, Pork Tenderloin-Stuffed Buttermilk Biscuits

Hot, freshly-baked buttermilk biscuits stuffed with pan-fried pork tenderloin, an old time "hog killing day" breakfast treat.
Some of my very best childhood memories are tied to the cool, crisp days of autumn—and not merely because it happens to be the time of year when I was born. There’s something about the cool, clear air, golden light, and rituals of the season that are always renewing and reassuring.

One ritual of autumn that has been nearly lost to us all is the annual hog killing day. I confess to having only a vague memory of those days from when we lived in Grassy Pond, a little farming community outside Gaffney, South Carolina. But the memories that have been passed down by my mother and her parents have been told and retold until they’re almost as vivid as if I’d been right there beside them, (more…)