Tag Archives: Southern food

The Story of Biscuits in My Family

Southerners love biscuits.

I love biscuits.

Biscuits are something to which we can always look forward. I’m sure everyone can hear my inner carboholic celebrating.

When I was a kid, Poppy made biscuits every Sunday. Except his biscuits were actually from a can, but he made practically everything else from scratch, so that was totally okay. I learned around the Lazy Susan Table to enjoy gravy on my biscuits.

This eventually led to my Gigi taking us by a local gas station to get biscuits in the morning before school and sometimes even before we went somewhere in the mornings during the summer. I always wanted a gravy biscuit, and my brother always wanted a jelly biscuit. I think I did flip-flop between gravy biscuits and bacon, egg, and cheese biscuits, which is what Gigi usually ate, and if I felt really froggy, I would even go for a sausage biscuit.

But the gravy biscuits remained my favorite.

One time, my mom asked for an egg biscuit and a jelly biscuit, and apparently, someone misunderstood and gave her an egg and jelly biscuit- something we didn’t discover until it was too late to return to the gas station. Or maybe it was a bacon jelly biscuit, I’m not sure. The point is, it was one of those situations where someone did something that made absolutely no sense.

Contrary to popular belief and what my friend’s mom once told me in high school, gravy, and I mean good gravy, can be made without meat. All it takes is butter, flour, and milk- the concoction is properly called a roux, I think. Salt and pepper are almost absolutely necessary at this point to give it that authentic gravy flavor.

In more recent years, Gigi started making her own biscuits, and then I took her recipe and started making a variation of them that turned into a mimic of the Red Lobster Cheddar Bay biscuits, though they aren’t nearly as fluffy and good as the Cheddar Bay biscuits.

Cheddar Bay biscuits are delicious, and the first time I ever had them at Red Lobster, they were so spicy I almost couldn’t eat them. I had never eaten that amount of garlic in my life, so it was overpowering to say the least, but I loved them. Also, I happened to be coming down the chicken pox at this time unbeknownst to any of us, so that might have played into the matter. This was on a Saturday, and the next day at Poppy’s house, I noticed some spots on my stomach, which Poppy said were the first signs of chicken pox.

Tomato gravy is also one of my favorite foods that goes with biscuits. You haven’t truly lived or eaten Southern food until you’ve had tomato gravy.

Biscuits are seriously a perfect food. I’m pretty sure Ms. Alice used to cut open biscuits and put butter in them. Biscuits are great for filling- and you can use meat, cheese, vegetables, and even sweet stuff. Biscuits are great for topping- gravy and even other kinds of sauces can go on top of them. Biscuits are great by themselves or as a side dish!

We love biscuits!

Gigi and Mimi’s mother, my maternal grandmother, used to make a chocolate sauce with biscuits. I always heard about this and thought it was incredibly strange. Apparently my maternal grandmother also made caramel cakes, and Mimi said she pronounced it as “CAR-uh-mel,” not “CARE-a-mel,” and my cousin Susanne and I both liked the first pronunciation better. I wonder if we can dig up the recipe for a caramel cake and make it.

That being said, the recipes are coming soon.



Posted by on May 19, 2011 in food, postaday, postaday2011


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YAY for getting up and cooking breakfast!

I’m sure I’ve blogged about breakfast in the South, but today, I managed to rouse myself from bed at the crack of noon due to a particularly nasty sinus headache, and I started cooking. I made grits, toast, and bacon (Morning Star, of course.)

In addition to this, I sliced up cucumbers, tomatoes, and bananas- this is the closest thing to the so-called “balanced” breakfast that I could figure out under the circumstances. We’re fresh out of eggs, something I should remedy in the near future.

And the sinus headache pounds away, even after taking Sudafed and Goody powder, yikes- not good, not good- I need a Neti pot!

Bapaw praised my scrambled eggs from the other night. The problem is that I have no idea what I did differently, except that I may have prayed before making them, and I’m not even sure about that. Attempting to offer literally everything one does to God is a great endeavor, and if you offer something to God, He makes it His own- this is an important lesson to learn, spiritually, if not a difficult one.

That being said, I’m going to apologize to everyone for my increasingly shortened blogs. There’s a lot going on that I can’t exactly mention in here, though I have documented it deeply elsewhere. Things have changed immensely in the past three weeks or so, and because of the immense changes, I’m having more trouble than usual keeping my mind focused on practical things like doing the Post-a-Day challenge. Several times I’ve considered dropping down to the Post-a-Week challenge, but as much as I love writing, that would destroy almost all motivation and sense of pressure, the sense of the daily “deadline.”

As many of you may have noticed, my blogs are coming at random times in the evening now. That’s because I’ve decided to simply post my blogs when I write them instead of scheduling them to post at any particular time- the people who are going to read them are going to read them, and so there’s no point in setting a particular time unless I’m posting into the future. Most of the blogs from the past few weeks have been day-to-day posts instead of the two-week’s-worth of blogs that are written at once and then scheduled to post later on.

So go cook breakfast for dinner since I cooked it for lunch. How’s that for a non-sequitur?


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Posted by on May 17, 2011 in food


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Gigi’s Squash PUFFS!

Yes, folks- this is a recipe that also includes squash but is different from the former one.

What you need:

  • 1 cup cooked squash
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup ALL-PURPOSE flour
  • 1/3 cup cornmeal
  • 1 MEDIUM onion, grated
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

What you do:

  • Combine squash and egg
  • Mix cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt
  • Mix all ingredients together
  • Drop by level Tablespoons into hot oil

I hope you guys enjoyed that, too!



Posted by on May 9, 2011 in food, postaday2011, recipes


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Gigi’s Squash Patties!

As promised, here’s the recipe for Gigi’s Squash Patties!

What you need:

  • 2 cups grated squash
  • 1/4 cup self-rising flour
  • 1/3 cup self-rising cornmeal
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper to taste

What you do:

  • Mix the ingredients
  • Form the mixture into patties
  • Fry until they brown

See, wasn’t that easy and delicious?


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Posted by on May 8, 2011 in food, postaday2011, recipes


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Vegetables and Vitamins

Today, Gigi defeated the Squash Monster again by frying it. Apparently, fried squash that has seasoning in it doesn’t taste too terrible. Maybe the issue with squash and me is that the taste, combined with the consistency of boiling it, has traditionally not been appealing to me. There are many foods I’ve tried over the years that were prepared differently, and the difference in preparation made all the difference in whether or not I liked the food.

Suffice it to say, then, that apparently frying certain vegetables that I don’t like renders them into something I do like- corn and squash alike have fit this bill. Carrots are still up in the air, though. I did make some pierogies yesterday and boiled carrots to add to them. Not liking carrots and squash makes me wonder if I have a problem in general with food that has yellow and orange color to it- is there some kind of vitamin or mineral in carrots and squash that I simply can’t stand?

But Gigi’s squash croquettes are the best version of it so far. Again, the carbs make the difference for me.

Also, tonight we had boiled potatoes and green beans in addition to the fried squash, along with sliced tomatoes and onions. It’s nice to have a meal that consists entirely of vegetables, to be quite honest. A big tradition in the south is to take what we call New Potatoes, which are just smaller versions of regular potatoes, and boil them, skin and all. A little salt and pepper added to these babies, and you’re set.

Of course, as I discovered, salt isn’t good for us- and so apparently the only way we can enjoy food is if we eat bland, tasteless food all the time that includes no meat, no sugar, and no carbohydrates. But personally, I think someone faced with that world would end up developing health problems due to depression.

Science, of course, isn’t something that’s as stable as some people like to imagine it- our health news is constantly updated and sometimes even conflicts with itself according to the source, and for the common Joe, it’s just too much effort to dig through all the countless sources and studies to confirm what is and isn’t accurate- and moreover, many times we wouldn’t even have access to the studies.

However, contrary to how Bapaw thinks, that doesn’t mean that we should simply ignore a warning about a particular food or diet- instead, we should proceed with caution. People become easily riled up when someone on the news says that “bananas are the devil,” and suddenly people are boycotting bananas and writing books entitled You, On a Banana-Less Diet and so on.

Such is the excitable nature of humans!

Anyway, to deal with my vitamin situation, I take Flintstone vitamins. Why not Centrum, you may ask? Well, I used to take Centrum, but for reasons unknown, I have a hard time swallowing pills, especially something as large as Centrum. So the chewable vitamin is my choice.

Do any of you take vitamins? I highly recommend them.



Posted by on May 5, 2011 in food


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Grits: A New Trick!

Somehow, last night possessed me to make grits. My father made some and messed them, and Bapaw’s sad bowl of grits inspired me to try a new trick I learned.

Instead of using water to make grits, one should try using milk.

Low and behold, the grits turned out to be magnificent!

I used instant grits for my recipe.

What you need:

  • two packages of plain instant grits or the equivalent amount of not-instant grits
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 teaspoon of butter
  • salt
  • pepper

Heat the milk to just below boiling; add the butter and allow it to melt. Add the grits and stir profusely, removing from heat.

Add salt and pepper to taste. In my case, I use a great deal of pepper; otherwise, these grits were too sweet for me.

Normally, I’ve made grits only using water. However, the milk does the trick and makes them fluffier, the way grits are supposed to be. Dry grits are not fun- trust me on that.

Also, remember that the grits will thicken as they cool!

They’re definitely a great Southern treat.



Posted by on April 29, 2011 in food, postaday2011


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Maw-Maw’s Biscuits

Somehow, the oven quit at Caleb’s house. This was a random happenstance that saddened us all, because Maw-Maw relies on the oven to make her biscuits.

So she decided to go a different route and fry her biscuits on the stove top. This worried her greatly.

But never fear: the biscuits turned out amazingly. The texture was somewhere between a biscuit and cornbread. I thought the whole thing tasted a lot like hoe cake, and I love hoe cake.

That’s the old Southern cooking magic for you.

Caleb swears that Maw-Maw is a witch. She’s not really a witch, of course, and if she is, she hides her spell books really well.

In another blog, we’ll look at the difference between rolled out biscuits and drop biscuits.



Posted by on March 4, 2011 in breads, food, postaday2011


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