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Recipes and Stories

28 August 2017: Sherry Cobbler

An Old-Fashioned Sherry Cobbler. Photograph by John Carrington Photography, from The Savannah Cookbook (Gibbs-Smith, 2008).

Today, in part because of the horrendous weather that’s wreaking havoc elsewhere in the South, we’re having an unusual and welcome break from the long, unrelenting swelter that’s August in the lowcountry. With almost daily showers and high temperatures hovering at three digits, the outdoors has been a giant steam bath since July. Every year we complain that it seems worse than the last, but if we’re honest, we’ll admit it’s pretty normal for summer down here. Still, it often leads us to ponder how our ancestors got through it without air-conditioning.

The answers to that puzzle are: mountain cabins, beach cottages, and sherry cobbler.  Read More 

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17 July 2013: Suffering Succotash

Classic Succotash with fresh butterbeans, corn, tomatoes, and herbs
Succotash is a true American classic and arguably one of the greatest vegetable dishes in all of American cookery. Though what we know by the name today mostly likely bears very little resemblance to the original, this mélange of corn and beans originated in Pre-Colombian America, and still carries its Native American name.

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23 February 2013: Comfort me with Country Style Steak

Country Style Steak, served in the Lowcountry way on a fluffy bed of rice

When the weather turns cold and damp, as it has this week, or simply when we just need comforting, nothing answers in my household like this simple but deeply satisfying dish of tenderized round steak slow-simmered in an aromatic gravy. Originally called beef “collops” (the old English word for sliced meat), this dish goes back at least to the mid-eighteenth century, and as its contemporary name suggests, has long been a staple of farm kitchens all across the South. Read More 

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18 October 2012: Apple Pie Season

Gingered Apple Tart with Shortbread Crust, photographed by Timothy Hall
Surely one of the best fragrances of autumn is the heady aroma of the season’s first juicy, ripe apples baking in a pie. For many Americans, it’s the quintessential aroma of the season—the subtle smell of falling leaves and of toasting pecans, roasting turkey, and mulled cider all rolled into one. Read More 
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13 October 2012: History on the Egg I--The Big Green Egg as Brick Bread Oven

The Bread of our Forefathers, fresh from the Big Green Egg
When Kitchenware Outfitters, the kitchenware store where I have worked for the last six years, became a dealer for Big Green Egg, the ceramic outdoor cooker that was modeled on an ancient Asian technology, the historian in me was fascinated by the realization that these cookers performed much like another ancient technology: the open hearths and brick bread ovens of our ancestors here in the West. Read More 
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27 August 2012: American Ragù

American Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

If you are of a certain age, you remember it simmering for hours on the back of the stove, thick with tomatoes, redolent of garlic, oregano, and sometimes an adventurous splash of wine, filling the house with its rich aroma. It came to the table ladled thickly over a bed of fat, slightly overcooked spaghetti, dusted generously with grated cheese that came straight from a green can. Read More 

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21 May 2012: Blueberry Crumble

An Old-Fashioned Blueberry Crumble, photographed by Timothy Hall

Here in Southeast Georgia, the early blueberries from Florida and the southernmost end of our state are already coming to the market. Though blueberries are one of my favorite fruits, I can usually resist the earliest ones: picked a bit unripe and shipped in from South America or even South Florida, they’re almost always a disappointment. Read More 

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