In this column, Iíll be sharing those family recipes and those Iíve collected from friends over the years. Some of those recipes are hand-written on paper so spattered with batter and butter that theyíve gone transparent in some places. Thatís how you know a recipe is really good.
I learned how to cook from my mother and grandmothers but I donít cook the same way they did. I make biscuits with vegetable shortening and not lard; I only make hushpuppies on special occasions; and I make macaroni and cheese with skim milk. (Seriously, itís got all that cheese in it, no one will ever notice.)
Still, while I like to achieve a balance between taste and nutrition, Iím not afraid of butter and I know how to use it.
I have been cooking personally and professionally since I was old enough to read a cookbook. (I specialized in brownies as a child.) I began catering informally when I was in college, and now am a partner in a catering firm specializing in large events. If you ever want to make bread pudding for 100 people, Iím your girl. (And just so you know, Iíve eaten my weight in bread pudding all over the country, and my recipe can stand up to any of them, including the famous dessert served at Commanderís Palace in New Orleans.)
My grandfather used to say, ďIíve had a gracious plenty,Ē when he meant he was full, and Iíve always loved that phrase.
I hope youíll find this Southern Cooking column offers you ďa gracious plenty,Ē because if thereís one thing a Southern cook never wants, itís to send someone away hungry.
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