Ambrosia: Food of the Gods

Ambrosia — food of the gods. And food of the Southerner, especially around Christmas. It’s so good you’ll think the deities bore it down straight from Mount Olympus on winged feet and silver platters. I remember making the ambrosia every year with Granny, her kitchen table command central. It was a process, and Granny was…

Pralines

Picture in your mind a round disc of sugar and butter with pecans in it. Do you call it a PRAH-leen or a PRAY-leen? Only one is right, and it’s time to put the confusion on how to pronounce “praline” to bed. The candy was brought to America, particularly Louisiana, in the 1800s by French…

Lemon Jelly Cake

One of my favorite cakes is a Lemon Jelly Cake — yellow cake layers with lemon filling in between them and on top. No fussy, too-sugary icing (or Seven-minute Frosting). Just plain, buttery cake and a sweet, tart jelly. The recipe for the lemon jelly comes from my great grandmother, Ada Rowell, and I found…

Leftovers: The Best Part of Thanksgiving

You’ve planned and shopped for weeks to get ready for Thanksgiving. You’ve cooked for two days, maybe even three. You’ve polished Granny’s Grand Baroque silver, gotten out the good china — the bone with the gold band not the pink flowers because that’s too summery, ironed the napkins into perfect rectangles, and arranged the flowers…

Pecan Pie

We are a house divided. And it doesn’t have anything to do with football. It does have everything to do with a nut. That’s right. A nut. You see my Georgia-born boo says “PEE-can” and I of Alabama birth say “puh-KAHN.” Now admittedly this is not a subject that comes up for disagreement every day….

Sweet Potato Pie

The influence of African-Americans on Southern food cannot be ignored. From greens to okra to ham hocks and more, many of my favorite dishes originated from a culture that is not my own. And Thanksgiving always features something that is extremely prominent in traditional African-American food — the sweet potato. I love sweet potatoes. You…