Recipes and Stories

29 September 2018: Michaelmas and Mushrooms

September 29, 2018

Tags: Classic Southern Cooking, Mushrooms, Stewed Mushrooms, Mary Randolph, Lettice Bryan, Annabella Hill, The Virginia House-wife, The Kentucky Housewife, Mrs. Hill's New Cook Book

Mary Randolph's Stewed Mushrooms
Though autumn officially began a week ago and won’t really be felt here in Savannah for weeks to come, for me September 29, the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels (commonly called Michaelmas) is the real beginning of the season, which happens to be of my favorite of the entire year.

Aside from roasted goose in parts of England, there’s not a lot of food that’s connected with Michaelmas. But among the flavors that speak of autumn for me are mushrooms: in soup, sauce, over pasta, rolled in an omelette, or just on their own, sautéed in butter or, as the early nineteenth century doyenne of Southern cooking, Mary Randolph, directed, stewed in their own juices: (more…)

3 December 2015: Ambrosia

December 3, 2015

Tags: Ambrosia, Classic Southern Cooking, Essentials of Southern Cooking, Annabella Hill, Mrs. Hill's New Cook Book

Classic Ambrosia the way Mrs. Hill (and God) meant it to be.
799. Ambrosia—Is made by placing upon a glass stand or other deep vessel, alternate layers of grated cocoanut, oranges peeled and sliced round, and a pineapple sliced thin. Begin with the oranges, and use cocoanut last, spreading between each layer sifted loaf sugar. Sweeten the cocoanut milk, and pour over.

—Annabella Hill, Mrs. Hill’s New Cook Book, 1867.

Ambrosia was the legendary food of the gods, and it’s an especially appropriate epithet for this luscious fruit salad. When well made, it is indeed heavenly. A traditional Christmas dish all over the South at least since the days of Sarah Rutledge’s The Carolina Housewife (1847) (more…)

25 August 2012: Annabella Hill’s Grilled Pork Tenderloin Medallions

August 25, 2012

Tags: Annabella Hill, Mrs. Hill's New Cook Book, Historical Cooking, Historical Southern Cooking, Classical Southern Cooking, Pork Tenderloins, Broiling, Grilling, Grill-Broiled Pork Tenderloin Medallions, Pork Tenderloin Medallions

Mrs. Hill's Grilled Pork Tenderloins with Sage Butter, 1867
25 August 2012: Annabella Hill’s Grilled Pork Tenderloin Medallions

While working on a story for a Labor Day backyard party, I kept coming across articles that were reaching (or should we say, stretching) for something new and different—and with very little real success. What they generally ended up with was the same old things with a different sauce slathered onto it.