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Cooking to Honor Edna Lewis


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#31 Gifted Gourmet

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Posted 20 February 2006 - 10:10 AM

Judy, what a great, detailed "report" on the meal you made .. seems that you have analyzed all aspects of both the preparation as well as the end results.

I, too, will be doing the scallions in cream and it sounds like the result is well worth the even minimal effort that this recipe entails. No one can afford using heavy cream so liberally but your substitution sounds equally perfect to complete the dish.

Thanks again for offering us a glimpse into Edna Lewis' creations ...
Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"


#32 moosnsqrl

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Posted 20 February 2006 - 10:29 AM

Judy, what a great, detailed "report" on the meal you made .. seems that you have analyzed all aspects of both the preparation as well as the end results.

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OK, so it was a little verbose. But you know what they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. :wink:
Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

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#33 Probono

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Posted 20 February 2006 - 11:26 AM

Judy, what a great, detailed "report" on the meal you made .. seems that you have analyzed all aspects of both the preparation as well as the end results.

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OK, so it was a little verbose. But you know what they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. :wink:

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As an old guy who lived and loved in NYC for many years, I had the pleasure of eating Edna's food at the old Cafe Nicholson under the bridge. I will tell you I can still see the spoon breaking the chocolate souffle and putting in the cream..
Oh my, she is a fabulous cook..with great style in her simplicity.
A joy in my life..
Bob McConnell
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So, when there is the slightest doubt, Marry the Cook!

#34 artisan02

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Posted 20 February 2006 - 01:44 PM

I am going to a potluck with a group of foodies tomorrow, and I changed my offerings based on the news of her death.  I am making  several things from her last book, as well as some from my own southern heritage. 
I am thinking of making Country Captain, and Chess Pie.  The Asparagus and Scallion Pie

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Please share how they turned out and what your thoughts were ... and, yes, exposing Californians to true southern cuisine is always a good idea!

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Well, I didn't end up making the Country Captain, as my time and energy were at a premium. I did end up making the Thyme-Smothered Chicken, which was a big hit, and wonderfully tender and flavorful.

And the Chess Pie I made, got wonderful reviews, especially from a veteran pie maker.

I didn't end up making any other of her recipes, but did cook some of my family recipes, which come down from some southern grandparents. Those too, were a big hit.

Edited to add: I totally forgot that I made her Pimento Cheese as well. I walked into the party with it, and when I put it down on the table and told people what it was, I got these delighted responses: "Oooh!!! Pimento Cheese!!!". I never saw people moving so fast to get to it!

I did manage to take a picture of the Chess Pie yesterday, but somehow didn't get a picture of everything else. Too much going on. If I can figure out how to upload it here, I will post it.

I still have scallions and asparagus here. I might try something with those tonight. And I still have some chicken, so I think I am going to fix the Country Captain or repeat the Thyme Smothered Chicken, all for myself. :wink:

Christine

Edited by artisan02, 20 February 2006 - 01:49 PM.


#35 Gifted Gourmet

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Posted 21 February 2006 - 11:08 PM

Shopping trip for the ingredients for the dishes I will be making today from Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock's cookbook ... her apple cake with caramel and the scallions in cream recipe ... sounds like a balanced dinner to me! :laugh:

Photos as soon as I finish cooking ...
Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"


#36 Lan4Dawg

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Posted 22 February 2006 - 08:45 AM

since Fuss decided to pass her upper respiratory infection along to me I was not able to do any thing this past w/e. Hopefully things will be back to normal enough to experiment this Sunday.
I was considering the pork roast or the short ribs unless some thing else caught my eye or there was a request to try some thing else since those two have already been prepared. Any suggestions?
in loving memory of Mr. Squirt (1998-2004)--
the best cat ever.

#37 suzilightning

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Posted 23 February 2006 - 08:53 AM

sunday dinner was an homage to Edna Lewis from The Gift of Southern Cooking. i had already decided to do chicken and had it thawing in the icebox.

Chicken Baked with delicate herbs and bread crumbs - pronounced by johnnybird to be a real keeper. it was nicely crunchy and reminded me of my mom's oven baked chicken

Lemon-glazed sweet potatoes - another keeper. the lemon syrup was a great complement to the sweet potatoes

Garlic Green Beans

Egg Custard Pie

simple good southern food
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#38 Gifted Gourmet

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Posted 23 February 2006 - 10:41 AM

At the moment, Edna Lewis' apple cake is in the oven and I will be making the caramel glaze shortly to put on top ... bet our dessert tonight will be a good one ... too bad that's our entire meal ... :laugh:
Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"


#39 ludja

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Posted 23 February 2006 - 10:45 AM

At the moment, Edna Lewis' apple cake is in the oven and I will be making the caramel glaze shortly to put on top ... bet our dessert tonight will be a good one ... too bad that's our entire meal ...  :laugh:

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If you're not too shy to post a photo, it would be interesting to see what this looks like... I'm intrigued by Abra's hearty endorsement above.
"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"


#40 Gifted Gourmet

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Posted 23 February 2006 - 11:06 AM

If you're not too shy to post a photo, it would be interesting to see what this looks like...  I'm intrigued by Abra's hearty endorsement above.

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Moi? Too shy? :huh: Not possible! I have to make the glaze and then will upload my apple cake photos shortly ... before my husband takes out his fork and favorite dessert plate and digs in with no regard for the integrity of the finished cake! :laugh: Otherwise? Crumby pictures of an empty baking dish! :hmmm:
Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"


#41 Gifted Gourmet

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Posted 23 February 2006 - 12:12 PM

Posted Image the cake ready to be baked ...


Posted Image the cake, now baked, and the caramel topping is dripping into the holes ...


Note here: the caramel is less thick than in the original photograph in Leite's Culinaria ... but I did take a tiny taste and am pleased indeed! Granny Smiths all the way! :biggrin:
Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"


#42 hwilson41

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Posted 23 February 2006 - 12:30 PM

Bay Leaf Studded Pork. Actually, the whole plate is from "The Gift of Southern Cooking"


Posted Image

Watercress in Pork Stock
Butterbeans in Pork Stock
Plain Rice
Bay Leaf Studded Pork with Mushroom Sauce
....

We ate good. A very satisfying meal.

:biggrin:

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No doubt you did :biggrin:. That's as lovely looking a pork roast as I've seen in many moons. Off to buy the cookbook and a nice pork roast. Thanks for sharing and for the inspiration.

Edited by hwilson41, 23 February 2006 - 12:31 PM.

"My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne." John Maynard Keynes

#43 annecros

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 05:32 AM

Thank Edna! It was really a wonderful roast, and it seems to "bloom" as it bakes. The aroma is amazing when it goes into the oven, but occaisionally we would get the lovely whiff in the air as the flavors developed, and each whiff was richer and more complex than the last. This is definitely a keeper.

Gifted Gourmet, that apple cake looks great, and I am a big Granny Smith fan. We even eat them out of hand around here for snacks. Going to have to try that cake soon.

I did the roast chicken from "In Persuit of Flavor" last night, only I added carrots, onions, celery and potatoes to the bottom of the roaster. It was chickeny perfection! No pictures, hubby came in hungry as a bear.

:biggrin:

#44 debbiemoose

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Posted 07 March 2006 - 09:45 AM

Well, I fear I did not do Miss Lewis justice in my efforts with her Famous Coconut Lane Cake, but it was not for lack of effort - perhaps lack of ability, since I don't bake very often. But as a friend who tasted it said, anything with 1/2 cup of bourbon in the frosting can't be all bad!

Despite containing 2 sticks of butter, the 3 layers were amazingly light and fluffy from the 8 beaten egg whites. My layers were lopsided, but that happens every time...that's why frosting was invented.

The frosting reminded me more of what goes on a german chocolate cake in texture - very chunky with chopped pecans, chopped raisins and the coconut. I chopped the raisins (golden) and pecans in the food processor. I could not find unsweetened coconut, so used the frozen sweetened (thawed; I'm not THAT dumb). I tasted it, and it wasn't sweet, so I didn't change the 1 1 /2 cups sugar in the frosting. The recipe said to cook 12 large egg yolks, sugar and 1 1/2 sticks melted butter until it coated the back of a spoon. This may have been my problem. I thought it was coating, maybe it wasn't. Like I said, baking involves too much direction-following for my taste so I don't do it much. But I do love a coconut cake and wanted to try this. After adding the raisins, pecans and coconut, I let it cook a little longer than the 1 minute specified just in case the coconut was still cool.

The result, even after cooling to room temp, was not real thick. There was no way it would stick to the sides of the cake (as in the photo at the Oprah web site where I got the recipe). So I just heavily coated between the layers and the top. Interestingly, even after the remainder was in the refrigerator overnight, it was still runny. User error, obviously, as they say.

The result was a decadently rich flavor, if not the most attractive cake, with a big whack of bourbon. A neighbor came over to watch the Oscars and snarfed it up; the remainder I sent to work with my husband yesterday and he said there was about 1 little piece left at the end of the day (and there are only 10 people in his office, including a diabetic who shouldn't have been within a mile of this thing).

The result: I am, once again, in awe of the skill and art of bakers, who must have a completely different mind than mine. And in awe of someone like Miss Lewis, who could cook everything well.

I took photos but I can't seem to figure out how to get them out of iPhoto into this...will keep trying.

#45 ludja

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Posted 24 May 2006 - 10:51 AM

The NYTimes reported today on a recent tribute dinner for Edna Lewis sponsored by Scott Peacock and the Atlanta History center.click

She was an icon of Southern cooking, but she was also a culinary presence during the years she spent in New York. According to her accounts of cooking at Café Nicholson on the Upper East Side in the late 1940's and early 50's, her food was so good that Truman Capote would show up at the kitchen door in the morning in purple velour pants and penny loafers, demanding biscuits.

Miss Lewis's family in Virginia held a funeral in the days after she died, but Mr. Peacock waited until the spring to say his farewell.

Then, from behind the plantation house, someone rang a bell. The vanilla ice cream had been churned and was ready for the blackberry cobbler. The cobbler was the first dish Mr. Peacock and Miss Lewis ever cooked together, and on a hot Georgia spring day, with a scoop of that ice cream, it evoked the easy grace of their friendship. The ice cream didn't taste too bad next to a slice of Miss Lewis's coconut layer cake, either.
"I just wanted people to have a quintessential Southern experience," Mr. Peacock said. "It's what Miss Lewis would have wanted, too."


HERE is the menu for the memorial dinner for Edna Lewis on Sunday at the Tullie Smith Farm, at the Atlanta History Center.

Edna Lewis Tribute Dinner
Cheese Straws
Benne Seed Wafers With Shrimp Paste
Pimento Cheese and Celery
Buttermilk Biscuits Stuffed With Smithfield Ham, Sweet Butter
Strawberry Preserves
Southern Pan-Fried Chicken
Deviled Eggs
Asparagus Dressed With Cucumber and Spring Herbs
Heirloom Tomato and Field Pea Salad With Garlic Mayonnaise
Sunday Night Cake
Miss Lewis's Coconut Layer Cake
Cat's Tongue Cookies
Fresh Strawberries
Blackberry Cobbler With Fresh Churned Vanilla Ice Cream
Old-Fashioned Tea Cakes

So many of her recipes are based on great summer ingredients; time to start cooking... :smile:
"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"


#46 Gifted Gourmet

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Posted 24 May 2006 - 02:46 PM

So many of her recipes are based on great summer ingredients; time to start cooking...  :smile:

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I saw that too, Ludja! Thanks for posting the menu and notice!

Atlanta Journal-Constitution has an article by John Kessler: Friends, dishes honor Edna Lewis Published on: 05/25/06

Edna Lewis died the day before Valentine's Day and two months shy of her 90th birthday. But it wasn't until last weekend that her longtime caretaker and devotee, Scott Peacock, invited friends and admirers to celebrate her life at the Atlanta History Center... the room filled with well- known Atlantans — former Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson's widow, Valerie Jackson; actress Jane Fonda; Baccanalia chef Anne Quatrano... Peacock recalls her sense of humor and fondness for Jack Daniel's. He chokes up when he says that Lewis helped him know himself, but adds that she wouldn't want him getting emotional.


Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"


#47 Probono

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Posted 24 May 2006 - 04:41 PM

Lord you all have had a good time with Edna's food. I wish I could have enjoyed the dinner with you.
I think I stuffed myself with her wonderful food (and a lot of wine, as well..it was included!!) at Cafe Nicholson twice a week back in the day (as my daughter's call 'my time.'
Now it's all about big bucks in NYC in 'the scene'...
When Edna was cooking, it was .. do you want chicken or beef...and let the lady do her work...with some Spanish wine and her wonderful food, we were all happy and went often.
And, then the waiter brought the little chocolate souffle, broke a hole in the top, filled it with unsweetened whipped cream, and left us to our pleasure.
Then a walk home, or perhaps, a ride home in the special Rolls..
Who remembers that?
Ah, back in the day...and my daughter's think I don't have a clue!!
:rolleyes:
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So, when there is the slightest doubt, Marry the Cook!

#48 ludja

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Posted 24 May 2006 - 06:52 PM

Lord you all have had a good time with Edna's food.  I wish I could have enjoyed the dinner with you.
I think I stuffed myself with her wonderful food (and a lot of wine, as well..it was included!!) at Cafe Nicholson twice a week back in the day (as my daughter's call 'my time.'
Now it's all about big bucks in NYC in 'the scene'...
When Edna was cooking, it was .. do you want chicken or beef...and let the lady do her work...with some Spanish wine and her wonderful food, we were all happy and went often.
And, then the waiter brought the little chocolate souffle, broke a hole in the top, filled it with unsweetened whipped cream, and left us to our pleasure.
Then a walk home, or perhaps, a ride home in the special Rolls..
Who remembers that?
Ah, back in the day...and my daughter's think I don't have a clue!!
:rolleyes:

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Wonderful reminiscences, Probono.

Did you ever run into Truman Capote or any other luminaries at her restaurant? From a few different stories I've read, it seems like quite a few well-known people frequented the restaurant.
"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"


#49 ludja

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 10:52 AM

I also posted these photos in the Dinner thread but wanted to include my menus here which are primarily from “The Gift of Southern Cooking". I really love this book and am grateful that Scott Peacock and Ms. Lewis were able to create this together.

Here’s a Southern vegetable plate with Buttermilk Cornbread with Okra and Sweet Corn, Scalloped Tomatoes, fresh refridgerator Pickles with garlic, dill and coriander and Collard Greens cooked in Pork stock. The greens were sprinkled with some chile pepper vinegar also before serving.
Posted Image

Dessert was a fresh Coconut Pie from Bill Neal's "Biscuits, Spoonbread and Sweet Potato Pie". As an aside, everthing I've made from this book is a winner including this pie which is subtley scented with orange flower water and rum.
Posted Image

I made another Southern vegetable plate a few weeks ago also using "The Gift of Southern Cooking". The plate this time was Okra Pancakes (so-named, but more like fritters), Creamed Scallions, Scalloped Tomatoes and fresh Black Eyed Peas cooked in Pork stock.
Posted Image

The scalloped tomato dish is a real revelation. It is one of those dishes in which the ingredients are completely transformed to a new flavor. The ingredients are just fresh ripe tomatoes that are skinned and seeded and chopped, minced onions, salt, pepper, a tiny bit of sugar and cubed bread sauteed in butter. A bit more butter is poured over the mixture of tomatoes and croutons before baking. The dish has such a interesting flavor; it almost tastes like there is some parmesean cheese or other flavoring in there. The first time I used white bread cubes; the second time I had light rye bread at home and used that. Both very good!

I like both the okra dishes as well. The okra pancakes have a much nice texture than the traditional fried okra I’ve had in NC restaurants. Of course, they vary widely in quality but I like the more substantial cornmeal batter around them in this recipe. I’ve made cornbread with fresh corn in it before but I like the addition of okra as well; nice heft and flavor.

I’ll be making the creamed scallions often as well; a delicious and easy side dish that would also go well with roasted meats.



I looked back to see if I had 're-made' anything that had been reported on before. Here are some previous comments on the cornbread vegetable bake and the creamed scallions.

...
This cornbread vegetable bake was wonderful. Sort of like cornbread dressing, reminded me of hushpuppies as well. This was my favorite. Hubby suggested cracklings, or at least rendered bacon next time, but he is the biggest fat consumer in the house, and his health and bloodwork give me no excuse to not feed him in the manner in which he prefers. I baked it in the cast iron grill pan, something I stole from an egulleter somewhere, I unfortunately cannot remember who. Thanks whoever you are. It is pretty, and very effectively doubles the crusty surface of the cornbread. Son came by after work and polished off half the cornbread.
...

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...

Creamed scallions may be one of my new favorite foods.  Simple but delicious.  I'll have to try them with evaporated skim milk if they're going to become a staple, though.  Not sure I need to introduce heavy cream into my daily routine.
...

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"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"


#50 Pontormo

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 10:29 AM

Ludja, I want to thank you especially for inspiring this Yankee to check out the book. I've heard and read about Edna Lewis, even her close friendship with the book's narrator, but never bothered to investigate further. Racheld's response to Ling's question provided a second nudge.

I only wish you and other scalloped tomatoes/vegetable plate makers in the Dinner thread advised us to high y'all hither and yon. I would have visited this thread earlier.

Judy, I have to say your description of a meal early in this thread is truly eloquent--lovely!

The vegetable-based dishes look fantastic! It makes sense that there are so many dishes perfect for the muggy weather and summer produce of Washington, D.C. And man, does that Lane Cake look amazing!!!

* * *
REGARDING PREFERRED INGREDIENTS A NORTHERNER WOULD NORMALLY SHUN

In high school I worked at McDonald's when they used lard for french fries. My stepfather stopped buying the fat when his doctor put him on a radically altered diet in which all fried foods were forbidden. Therefore, I am ambivalent: a bit hesitant about using lard and rarely deep fry anything, but willing to make biscuits with lard at least once. I know about the lard thread in another forum and will consult it.

The two things that make me more reluctant are the following:

1) White cornmeal
2) White Lily flour & bleached Gold Medal All-Purpose flour

Please redirect me if there is a fine discussion of these Southern preferences in the Baking forum. I can also conduct a search using Google on my own. However, if anyone here has an opinion based on personal experience, I'd like to know more, especially in the form of comparative analysis.

It was my impression that white cornmeal is more refined than yellow cornmeal, and that it not as nutritious. For example, it lacks the Vitamin A the latter provides. Ditto regarding the preferred soft flours made from wheat.

I have new bags of King Arthur All-Purpose and Bread flours and like the results I get from each. In fact, I thought the larger amount of protein in bread flour promoted rising. I get the impression that Scott Peacock believes KA does not produce baked goods as light as the more refined flours do, though KA is fine for a few items.

I also really like the gritty texture and taste of newly ground yellow cornmeal and am a miser when it comes to mail-ordering food. What would the advantage be in switching to white cornmeal?
"Viciousness in the kitchen.
The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

#51 ludja

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Posted 06 September 2006 - 03:40 PM

Ludja, I want to thank you especially for inspiring this Yankee to check out the book.  I've heard and read about Edna Lewis, even her close friendship with the book's narrator, but never bothered to investigate further.  Racheld's response to Ling's question provided a second nudge.

...

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Glad my report helped to pique your interest, Pontormo! I have a bunch of southern cookbooks and this is already looking to be one of my favorites along with Bill Neal's books.

I like lard in moderation and use it in places where it will really add some flavor like in a bean dish. Another key application for me is pie crusts--I use half lard/half butter. For frying, which I do infrequently, I use canola oil--the good lard I render myself is too precious! I used whited cornmeal when I lived in North Carolina for a few years but I can't remember enought to make a comparision anymore. I use yellow cornmeal and regular flour with any adjustments as suggested.
"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"


#52 NYC Mike

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 06:35 AM

I'm late to the party but I wanted to thank you all for this thread. Having recently moved to Georgia we have been very keen to learn how to cook southern food at home. The touching story of Miss. Lewis and Scott's relationship is very inspirational.

With brand new unsoiled copy in hand, we dip our little pinky toe in the water. More to come hopefully, it is a wonderful book.

Boiled Peanut Cookies :biggrin:

Posted Image

-Mike
-Mike & Andrea


#53 Gifted Gourmet

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 06:59 AM

I'm late to the party but I wanted to thank you all for this thread.  Having recently moved to Georgia we have been very keen to learn how to cook southern food at home.  The touching story of Miss. Lewis and Scott's relationship is very inspirational.

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Thank you, Mike, for reviving this thread! You are so right about Scott Peacock and Edna Lewis ... together they brought this type of cooking back to life and gave it new exposure to a new generation of southern cooks ... hope your Boiled Peanut Cookies were as delectable as the book was delightful!
Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"


#54 NYC Mike

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 08:26 PM

My wife just got this in the mail from the Women Chefs & Restaurateurs.

2006 WCR National Conference - Atlanta
Southern Roots & Hospitality

Mark Your Calendars!  The 2006 WCR National Conference will be held in Atlanta, November 18-20. Registration materials will become available by mid-month. 

Some planned session topics will include:

A Tribute to Miss Edna Lewis
Slow Southern Grains in the American Culinary Fast Lane
From Southern Iced Tea to the Modern Tea Cocktail: American Trends in Tea
From Restaurant to Retail: Perspectives From the Trenches
Writing Recipes for Home Cooks
Southern Cakes

We hope to see you there!


-mike
-Mike & Andrea


#55 NYC Mike

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 01:40 PM

Working my way up to country captain and ham steak with red eyed gravy very slowly.

Here is our attempt at the pound cake with lemon glaze. This is the best pound cake I've ever had. The slow increase in cooking temp allowed it to develop a remarkable but subtle crust. In the future we will omit the glaze, it just seems overkill with such a good pound cake.

Posted Image

-mike
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#56 shellfishfiend

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Posted 12 October 2006 - 11:01 AM

NYC Mike, that pound cake looks wonderful. I remember growing up and going to relatives' houses for visitin' and half of them would have that pound cake to serve with coffee. We never had it with the glaze, it just didn't need it. And moist—it brings tears to my eyes to remember how moist that pound cake was.
Preach not to others what they should eat, but eat as becomes you and be silent. Epicetus

Amanda Newton

#57 NYC Mike

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 05:06 AM

Thanks Shellfishfiend!

Well, I just can't put this book down!

Last night we made the Country Captain with rice and Onion Rings. This was the children's first intro to curry and they all loved it. As with all the other recipes we have tried in this book so far, its a keeper and we will do all again.

Posted Image

.....and for dessert. Fresh Apple Cake. We couldn't find Winesaps anywhere so we made it with Granny Smiths.

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When we try new recipes we always ask ourselves what we would do differently. So far with this book's dishes we wouldn't change a thing. Very fine indeed.

-Mike
-Mike & Andrea


#58 Pontormo

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Posted 21 October 2006 - 08:33 PM

Mike: I can't believe it!

I am waiting for the fresh apple cake to come out of the oven in 5 to 20 minutes (recipe says 75 minutes, start checking after 50) and I thought I'd look down here since I remember Gifted Gourmet documented the same cake some time ago.

You said you wouldn't change a thing. Please see my question about ingredients (White Lily flour, etc.) which is a few posts before you started contributing to this thread. It was written some time this summer. If you have any thoughts on the matter, let me know.

I did change several things, but in minor ways since I don't like overly sweet things and I wanted to use up stuff in the house, including too many apples of various kinds. I prefer butter to vegetable oil and actually combined butter, newly made applesauce and just a little canola to replace the 1 1/2 cups of vegetable oil. It smells incredible. So hard to wait.
"Viciousness in the kitchen.
The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

#59 annecros

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Posted 22 October 2006 - 05:36 AM

Ludja, I want to thank you especially for inspiring this Yankee to check out the book.  I've heard and read about Edna Lewis, even her close friendship with the book's narrator, but never bothered to investigate further.  Racheld's response to Ling's question provided a second nudge.

I only wish you and other scalloped tomatoes/vegetable plate makers in the Dinner thread advised us to high y'all hither and yon.  I would have visited this thread earlier. 

Judy, I have to say your description of a meal early in this thread is truly eloquent--lovely!

The vegetable-based dishes look fantastic!  It makes sense that there are so many dishes perfect for the muggy weather and summer produce of Washington, D.C.  And man, does that Lane Cake look amazing!!!

*  *  *
REGARDING PREFERRED INGREDIENTS A NORTHERNER WOULD NORMALLY SHUN

In high school I worked at McDonald's when they used lard for french fries.  My stepfather stopped buying the fat when his doctor put him on a radically altered diet in which all fried foods were forbidden.  Therefore, I am ambivalent: a bit hesitant about using lard and rarely deep fry anything, but willing to make biscuits with lard at least once.  I know about the lard thread in another forum and will consult it.

The two things that make me more reluctant are the following:

1) White cornmeal
2) White Lily flour & bleached Gold Medal All-Purpose flour

Please redirect me if there is a fine discussion of these Southern preferences in the Baking forum.  I can also conduct a search using Google on my own.  However, if anyone here has an opinion based on personal experience, I'd like to know more, especially in the form of comparative analysis.

It was my impression that white cornmeal is more refined than yellow cornmeal, and that it not as nutritious.  For example, it lacks the Vitamin A the latter provides.  Ditto regarding the preferred soft flours made from wheat. 

I have new bags of King Arthur All-Purpose and Bread flours and like the results I get from each.  In fact, I thought the larger amount of protein in bread flour promoted rising.  I get the impression that Scott Peacock believes KA does not produce baked goods as light as the more refined flours do, though KA is fine for a few items.

I also really like the gritty texture and taste of newly ground yellow cornmeal and am a miser when it comes to mail-ordering food.  What would the advantage be in switching to white cornmeal?

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White Lily Flour is divine, especially for biscuits. Lard is a separate issue. If you cannot get a good quality lard, or do not want to render your own, don't bother. I think there is a separate thread around here dedicated to lard and includes detailed instructions.

I prefer white cornmeal, espeacially for fried cornbreads like hoecakes, or for coating okra to pan fry. Yellow cornmeal I reserve for baked corn breads and corn muffins, as I prefer that texture there. I think that, unlike the difference between yellow and white grits (white grits being treated with lye), white cornmeal is actually made from white corn. But I could very well be mistaken on that count. I would suggest that you try them both, and take what you like and leave the rest. The nutritional differences in the two products is probably minimal if they do exist, from what I can tell from the labels I've read. The biggest difference appears to be in fibre content, and that is even minimal. You are dealing with a starch here, shouldn't be thought of as a vegetable. There is a sweeter, cleaner flavor to the white cornmeal and a softer texture. The yellow cornmeal is denser, moister, and has a grittier texture and perhaps a stronger flavor.

Have fun, and good luck!

#60 annecros

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Posted 22 October 2006 - 05:41 AM

Working my way up to country captain and ham steak with red eyed gravy very slowly.

Here is our attempt at the pound cake with lemon glaze.  This is the best pound cake I've ever had.  The slow increase in cooking temp allowed it to develop a remarkable but subtle crust.  In the future we will omit the glaze, it just seems overkill with such a good pound cake.

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-mike

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Lovely! Pound Cake is the recipe that most young southern cooks first cut their teeth on, I know I did! I have modified my sour cream pound cake using her technique for temperature , and it made a fantastic difference in my old recipe that was quite good already.

Don't wait too long to whip up that country captain. It is easier than you think! Just requires patience and involvement, just like the rest of Ms. Edna's recipes, and you have demonstrated that with your lovely pound cake!

Edited to add: OOPS! I see you have already made the country captain jump! Congrats and it looks wonderful!

Edited by annecros, 22 October 2006 - 05:43 AM.