Sunday, August 2, 2009

Food and Recipes

Candy Apples - At Halloween, my mother use to make Red Glassy candy apples. They weren't the soft shell red ones you get in the grocery store, they were a hard red candy that was really hard to take the first bite. I remember when I was a little girl and was taking the apple upstairs; it fell off my stick and bong, bong, bong, it went down the stairs. It was really funny and made a loud clatter!
Mom's Candy Apples
3 c granulated sugar
1 c corn syrup
1 c water
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t red food coloring

Heat mixture until candy thermometer registers 290 degrees. De-stem the apples, stab with popsicle sticks and when the mixture gets hot enough, dip each apple into and set aside. When the apples dry the shell becomes very hard and as glossy as glass!
Southern Greens - I like turnip greens, mustard greens, and collard greens, or a combination of all three. What I do is clean greens 2-3 times under faucet. Place in large strock pot. Cover to the top with water. Add several liberal dashes of olive oil, several liberal dashes of red pepper flakes, several liberal dashes of vinegar (white or cidar). The piece of resistance is a country ham hock, seasoned to perfection. Cook at medium heat for 3-4 hours; checking frequently to add more water as needed. Some people even cook dandelion greens, but I've not had any of these. The greens cook until they become dark green. Served with a big slice of homegrown tomato and onions---whooo wheee! I also like them served with black eye peas! The liquid around the greens gets good and thickens....this is known to the southerners as pot liquior....Enjoy! If they are not spicy enough, my husband will add a dash of pepper vinegar or Tennessee Sunshine sauce.

Southerners really do eat fried green tomatoes; and they eat fried red tomatoes too. If you haven't tried them, you're in for a treat! There are plenty of ways to coat and fry your tomatoes; use bread crumbs, cracker crumbs, cornmeal, or flour. Some people dip them in beaten eggs before dredging, while some just dredge then fry. Salt and pepper them first, and use a little bacon grease for flavor if you have it.
Also be sure to enjoy the book written by Fannie Flag and the movie (1991) directed by Jon Avnet. With Kathy Bates, Mary Stuart Masterson, Mary-Louise Parker.

Another food that southerners eat are grits. I made this set called "Kiss my Grits" a phrase made famous by Florence "Flo" Jean Castleberry in the television series, Alice. A funny family time, my brother-in-law, Bill Sharpe came to visit and ordered breakfast. When they brought his breakfast, he looked at his plate and said, "I didn't order cream of wheat." He did not know that they were the southern staple of grits!

Another grit set and a recipe. "G-R-I-T-S" = Girls Raised in the South (or at least with southern values as my case). The following recipe is for a family favorite--cheese grits!
Marilyn's Cheese Grits
Preheat Oven to 350 degrees
Cook 3-5 minutes, 1 cup quick cook grits, 1 1/2 t. salt, 3 cups water. Remove from heat and add 1 stick butter and 1/2 lb. shredded cheddar cheese. Beat 4 eggs until fluffy and add 1 cup milk. Slowly add to grits to egg mixutre. Pour in greased casserole dish and top with shredded cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour until souffle sets.

This set could go under my food section as well as regional history as "Little Debbie" snack cakes are a Tennessee Tradition. The McKee story began during the height of the Great Depression when young entrepreneur O.D. McKee began selling 5 cent snack cakes from the back of his car. He was just out of college and newly married, and he was eager to get into the baking business. Soon after, he and his wife, Ruth, bought a small, failing bakery, using the family car as collateral. Money was so tight they had to put up a sheet near the back of the bakery for the family's living quarters. In 1960, McKee Foods founder O.D. McKee was trying to come up with a catchy name for their new family-pack cartons of snack cakes. Packaging supplier Bob Mosher suggested using a family member's name. Thinking of what could be a good fit for the brand, O.D. arrived at the name of his 4-year-old granddaughter Debbie. Inspired by a photo of Debbie in play clothes and her favorite straw hat, he decided to use the name Little Debbie® and the image of her on the logo. Not until the first cartons were being printed did Debbie's parents, Ellsworth and Sharon McKee, discover that their daughter was the namesake of the new brand. The first family-pack was produced in August of that year and consisted of the original snack cake, the Oatmeal Creme Pie. Family-packs were one of the first multiple-item baked goods available with individually wrapped products. The cost per carton was only 49 cents. By combining a quality product with outstanding value, Little Debbie® quickly became a member of America's households. After its initial introduction, more than 14 million cakes were sold within 10 months. While the Oatmeal Creme Pie was the original Little Debbie® snack cake, there were 14 different varieties by 1964 including the ever-popular Nutty Bars® Wafer Bars and Swiss Cake Roll. Since 1960, Little Debbie® snacks have remained a value leader. Currently, they sell for less than other leading brands while providing quality products. More than 75 varieties are available. Little Debbie® snacks are available in all 50 states, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico, as well as on U.S. military bases throughout the world. (Source: McKee foods website)

Another Regional History and Food Set: RC Cola and Moon Pies; Bell Buckle, TN
Known as the champaigne and cavair of the south! Bell Buckle, TN has a RC Cola and Moon Pie Festival every year! Early in the 1900s, while servicing his territory of Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia, Mr. Mitchell was visiting a company store that catered to the coal miners. He asked them what they might enjoy as a snack. The miners said they wanted something for their lunch pails. It had to be solid and filling. “About how big?,!” Mr. Mitchell asked. Well about that time the moon was rising, so a miner held out his big hands, framing the moon and said, “About that big!” So, with that in mind, Mr. Mitchell headed back to the bakery with an idea. Upon his return he noticed some of the workers dipping graham cookies into marshmallow and laying them on the window sill to harden. So they added another cookie and a generous coating of chocolate and sent them back for the workers to try. In fact, they sent MoonPie® samples around with their other salespeople, too. The response they got back was so enormous that the MoonPie® became a regular item for the bakery. By the late 1950's, the MoonPie® had grown in popularity, so much that the bakery did not have the resources available to produce anything else. The phrase "RC Cola and a MoonPie®" became well known around the South, as many people enjoyed this delicious, bargain-priced combination. (Source: Moonpie website)

Popsicle and a Smile!

That's Amore! There is nothing as good as Pizza. I like Dominoes and Sir Pizza. One of my favorite recipes, however, is making pizza on English muffins just like my mom use to make.

Holy Cow; Drink Chocolate Milk

Olive Oil

Grocery Shopping @ the Old Kroger's

Who knew ketchup could be so much fun!

What's with this ad?

Big Orange

Wonderbread Strong!

Campbell's Soup

Hello Kitty Cookies

Cherry Pie

More Cherry Pie

Chocolate Chip Cookies

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