This Thanksgiving I insisted that we shoot a video of the preparation of my Mom’s chicken dressing, considered by many to be a true test of a Southern woman’s cooking chops. To my friends outside the Southeast United States it may appear that this recipe simply calls for five quarts of flavored fat, some protein (chicken), and a binding agent (cornbread). BUT!!! Until you’ve had the opportunity to have this recipe explode in your mouth, you don’t know what you’re missing. And believe me, I’ve watched people from Los Angeles fall to pieces when they encounter southern cooking, especially if somebody calls it “soul food”. While this recipe changes all the time, you can download the recipe (including the ingredients) of a “standardized” version and Continue reading How to Make Traditional Southern Chicken Cornbread Dressing
This is probably a boring post but I’ve been meaning to do it, so there. I grew up ‘neath the shade of a fine example of the ancient plant genus known as Magnolia, part of a family of plants believed to be over 95 million years old. Our magnolia belonged to the subgenus Magnolia grandiflora, better known as the “Southern magnolia”, star of stage, screen and stereotype of the Mint-Julep-sipping American South. Paleobotanists say that the magnolia family has outlasted mountain ranges, ice ages and continental drift, finding itself spread around the world in the process, from Asia to the Americas. Back in its prime this tree was undoubtedly the favorite food of more than a few kinds of dinosaur, an electrifying concept. Its limbs, its leaves, its fruit, its very essence is imbued with a peculiar, tart odor. I imagine it to be the primal scent of Dinosaurtown.
Continue reading Magnolia Blossoms
My Dad once told me a long, fascinating story from his youth that kept building and building, every twist and turn made the story more fantastic. Just when I thought the tale couldn’t get any wilder it surged above and beyond my grasp, building toward a final payoff that I knew must certainly be the most wonderful thing I would ever hear. Finally, unable to contain myself any longer, I asked him what happened next. He replied, “Well, I left about that time.”
Continue reading I Left About That Time