Monday, September 18, 2017

Real Sauerkraut - AWESOME!

In this short video, I show you how to make real sauerkraut, from scratch (as always).  I grew up on real sauerkraut, and it has been a part of traditional Southern food for a very long time - both French and German immigrants brought kraut to the Carolinas in the 1600s.  This is nothing but cabbage and salt.  It is lacto-ferment... sour, rich, deep flavor.... supposed to be good for your gut health, too.... all around, super awesomeness!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Bread Isn't Rocket Science, Part 3: Scoring, Baking and Tasting the Loaf

This is the final part on my Sourdough sandwich bread series. In this one, I show the bread having risen. I score the loaf and bake it. I cool it on a rack and slather it with butter. I cut a slice and taste it, and it is soooo good! You can make great bread at home, easily and for about .50 cents a loaf.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Bread Isn't Rocket Science, Part 2: The Recipe, Mixing, Kneading and Shaping the Loaf

In this video, I combine the Sourdough Starter with 3 cups of all purpose flour, 1/2 cup water, 1 Tablespoon melted butter, 1 and 1/2 Tablespoon sugar and 1 and 1/4 teaspoon salt.  I stir it up  into a dough.  Then, I knead it, shape it into a loaf, put it in a buttered bread pan and leave it to rise.  I tell a few stories and generally have a good time making bread... join me!  Making bread can be easy and relaxing; not complicated.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Stewed Okra

Good, old fashioned, Southern Stewed Okra.  This is okra, simply chopped, and cooked in bacon fat.  It is mighty good!

Recipe: Tender okra, stem cut off, cut into rounds about 1/2 inch long.  Bacon fat, heted to about medium.  A dash of salt...... Yes, it is that simple.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Bread Isn't Rocket Science, Part 1: Sourdough Starter

I love bread.  I love sourdough.  I love fermented food.  For years, I hesitated to get into sourdough baking due to the very technical nature of many recipes.... "Cooking is art; baking is science." One day I picked up a book by George L. Herter, and realized that I could bake sourdough, simply... without scientific measurements or regular feedings like a high maintenance pet.  My bread does not measure up to that of a professional baker, but the home cook can make good sourdough, without digital scales or metric measures.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Fried Corn Bread

This is my family's recipe for fried corn bread.  This recipe goes back well over 300 years in my family.  It was taught to me by my mother, and to her by her mother, etc., etc... back to the 1600s on the coast of SC, NC and VA.  This is not baked corn bread; this is crispy, lacy, fried cornbread - simple goodness.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Cooking Real Grits

This is how to cook real, stone ground grits in less than 10 minutes, even on a lousy stove.  Real grits are a wonderful thing.... "quick" or instant grits are evil.  Cook real grits and eat real food.  I serve mine with butter, diced fresh tomato and sharp cheddar cheese.... and a fried pork chop.

Real Grits Basics

Here are my basics: 1) Buy only stone ground real grits. Never, ever purchase instant grits, quick grits or any grits that are the consistency of cream of wheat. As the late and brilliant Lewis Grizzard said (paraphrased), "Southerners only serve lumpy, unsalted, instant grits, without butter to yankees as revenge for burning Atlanta." 2) Salt the cooking liquid generously. 3) Use only real butter as your fat. The cooking ratio is 1 parts grits to 4 parts liquid. The liquid can be plain water, broth or stock. I always use plan water for breakfast grits, shrimp stock for shrimp and grits, chicken broth for cheese grits, etc. For a breakfast for two or three people, bring 1 cup of water to the boil and salt it to taste. Add 1/4th cup grits. Reduce to a simmer and stir occasionally to prevent lumps (stone ground grits rarely lump). Simmer until the grits have absorbed about 90% of the water (so they don't dry out on the plate). Serve with butter and black pepper. I grew up on the NC/SC line, in the eastern part of the state. The local tradition in that area is to chop fresh, home grown tomatoes and cucumbers onto your plate, with soft scrambled eggs and spicy country sausage. You mix all of that into the grits and eat everything with a big spoon in one hand and a home made biscuit or fry bread in the other, which aids in pushing everything onto the spoon. Then, you eat the biscuit or bread with honey or grape hull preserves. A breakfast like that will certainly carry you to lunch!