Recipes and Stories

19 April 2016: Spring Simplicity and Salmon

April 19, 2016

Tags: Spring Cooking, Spring Salmon, Salmon, MaMa

Sautéed Salmon with Capers
Some of the most welcome sprouts of spring in my backyard are not the wild violets or bulb flowers, but a pair of wild poke sallet plants that have taken over two big terracotta pots by the back door stoop. Even if I didn’t love these greens, I’d still fertilize and nurture them: their bright new leaves bring a smile to my heart every day by reminding me of my grandmother. (more…)

31 March 2014: More Spring Carrots

March 31, 2014

Tags: Spring Carrots, Spring Cooking, Butter-Braised Carrots, Butter-Braised Root Vegetables, Classical Southern Cooking, Historical Southern Cooking

Butter-Braised Whole Spring Rainbow Carrots
Most of the nineteenth century cookbook authors treated all root vegetables the same way: scrubbed them well, trimmed, and sometimes “scraped them nicely” (that is, peeled them), boiled them in abundant salted water, and then dressed them with salt and butter. So long as the roots are not overcooked, it’s still a fine way to cook them. (more…)

29 March 2014: Spring Carrot Soup

March 29, 2014

Tags: Spring Cooking, Spring Carrots, Spring Leeks, Classical Southern Cooking, Carrot Soup, Soup

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Here on the coastal plain of Georgia, spring carrots have been turning up at the farmers’ market for a couple of months, but it is now that they’re really hitting their prime. Friend Relinda Walker, the proprietress of Walker Farms, grows both the usual orange and colorful rainbow varieties of sweet young carrots. Laid out with their bright, fresh greens still attached, they’re as beautiful to look at as any bouquet of flowers you can imagine. (more…)

2 May 2013: Asparagus Season

May 2, 2013

Tags: Asparagus, Spring Cooking, Classic French Cooking, Entremet, Eliza Acton, Classical Southern Cooking

Newly gathered asparagus, kept fresh for the table in a vase of water.
A glance through cookbooks of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries might give the casual reader the impression that our ancestors played a one note theme when it came to asparagus. (more…)

2 April 2012: Poke Sallet

April 2, 2012

Tags: Poke Sallet, Pokeweed, Poke, Historical Southern Cooking, Historical Cooking, Lettice Bryan, Emma Holmes, Early American Cooking, Spring Cooking, Spring Greens

Poke Sallet sauteed with Spring Onions and Bacon Lardons, served here as Mrs. Bryan would have done, with poached eggs
Under the deep-green shade of the old camellias in my back yard, one of the quiet miracles of spring is unfolding: a thick, luxurious stand of new-green poke shoots. This lovely wild green, once a defining element of spring’s table for country folk all across the South, is a real piece of Southern lore, and has been turned by popular culture into an object of derision, a symbol of ignorance and raw poverty.

It is none of those things to me. (more…)