Southern Comfort

We had quite a day today. Since the weekend was so nice and restful and I had the time to really think through what food I wanted to make this week, I decided to run with the idea of cookin’ up one delicious Southern meal, and you two boys “helped.” Well, like some say, you can take a girl out of the South, but you can’t take the South out of the girl. :)  Of course, don’t worry, my 2030 boys, I’m sure you know that I don’t feed you all bacon and butter every day. I do shop at Whole Foods, so you get plenty of healthy vegetables, fruits, and lean meats. But sometimes, it is okay to have a nice treat for a meal like we had tonight, particularly since lately, I miss home.

I’d like to clarify, I love where we live. I can list a thousand reasons why I’m glad God moved us here. I wouldn’t change it, but there are many things I miss about the South, and the food is definitely one of them. Even though the food here is amazing with all of its outstanding ethnic restaurants, I just wish I could place an Old Hickory House in our neighborhood and put it right next to a Waffle House. Of course, I also miss the friendliness from strangers, the “How’s your mama?” inquiries, and the numerous people with their large families dressed in their “Sunday best” at restaurants at noon on Sundays. Although there are drawbacks to the South, which I won’t go into, it is so much a part of me, and I don’t ever want to forget it. In fact, I don’t want you two to forget it either. So, here is tonight’s Southern meal – with recipes and photos. Note: For you, Prince 1, they are wheat-free and nut-free (and no one would ever know it)!

Menu: Brunswick Stew, Southern-style Spinach, Cornbread  Dessert: Peach Cobbler

Brunswick Stew

Many people out where we live have never heard of it. This is shocking. Did you know there is a controversial debate among Southerners about where this stew originated? Those who live in Brunswick, Georgia swear it came from there, while those in Brunswick County, Virginia swear it was created in their home town. The reason there is an argument at all? Because it is deeee-licious!

First, cook up some chicken and shred it.

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Then, heat the oil in a large pot and add the onions and celery. Saute it over medium heat until soft. Add the ground meat and brown it. Do not drain, but if you must, don’t drain it all. Tonight, I chose ground beef since that is what I had on hand.

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Add, chicken broth, ketchup, a can of diced tomatoes, salt, pepper, a dash of ground mustard, a dash of red pepper flakes, frozen or fresh vegetables, and the barbecue sauce. Tonight, I used this kind from Trader Joe’s:

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At this point, your stew should look like this:

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Simmer, stirring occasionally for two hours. Feel free to add more barbecue sauce and/or salt and pepper. However you like it. YUMMY!

Brunswick Stew Recipe (taken from a few recipes I found on the Internet and then modified over time by yours truly):

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp EVOO
  • 1 Cup chopped onion
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 lb ground beef (or 1/2 lb ground pork and 1/2 lb ground beef)
  • 1 chicken breast, cooked and shredded
  • 1/4 Cup ketchup
  • 1/4 Cup BBQ Sauce
  • Dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans chicken broth
  • 1 8oz can tomato sauce
  • Frozen vegetable medley or fresh (eyeball it)
  • Dash of ground mustard
  • Dash of red pepper flakes

Method of Preparation:

Heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and celery and sauté until soft. Add ground meats and brown. Do not drain. Add everything else and cook for a couple of hours, stirring occasionally. Add more barbecue sauce and salt/pepper to taste. Enjoy!

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Cornbread

This recipe came from Cup 4 Cup (a gluten free flour). For those not familiar, for our family, “gluten free” means that the product is free of wheat, and our son is allergic to wheat, which means he would end up in the ER if he ate it, so we aren’t on a fad-diet health kick. We absolutely must buy gluten free products.

Anyway, here are the ingredients:

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Here is the recipe, which can be found at www.cup4cup.com Because I don’t like it too sweet, I used 1/3 Cup of sugar rather than 2/3, and it was soooo perfect.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup cornmeal
  • 1 Cup Cup4Cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 Cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/3 Cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Cup milk

Method of Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Butter an 8×8 baking dish.
  3. Combine melted butter and sugar together. Add in eggs and whisk to combine. Add in milk and whisk.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, salt, and baking soda.
  5. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and put batter into buttered baking dish.
  6. Bake in oven for about 30-40 minutes, or until done.

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Peach Cobbler

Oh, how I love this dessert. The hot cobbler mixed with the cold vanilla ice cream… Heavenly. You two scarfed it up and exclaimed, “Mommy, you should make this again!” I do believe I will. You will be amazed at how easy this recipe is.

First, melt a stick of butter in a 9×13 pan. Yes, that’s a lot of butter.

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Then, mix up the Cup4Cup flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, beaten egg, and milk. Pour it on top of the melted butter. No need to stir!

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Drain two cans of peaches halfway and pour 1 can and half of the other over the top. Sprinkle with cinnamon on top. And yes, that’s a lot of butter.

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Put it in the oven and bake for 50 minutes to an hour, and enjoy the heavenly smell that is sure to fill up your home. But be sure to hold onto your oven mitts so that you have them when it’s ready! :)

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Peach Cobbler Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick of butter (1/2 Cup)
  • 1 Cup flour (Cup4Cup for us)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/4 Cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Cup milk
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 2 1/2 Cup canned sliced peaches (but one could use fresh fruit, too, of course!)

Method of Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Melt butter in a 9 x 13 pan.
  3. Mix the flour, salt, baking powder, sugar, milk, and egg, and pour over butter. No stirring necessary.
  4. Drain the peaches about halfway, and pour those evenly over the flour/sugar/egg/milk mixture. Again, no stirring necessary. Sprinkle a little bit of sugar and cinnamon on top, if desired.
  5. Bake in oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

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Enjoy!

My sons, I hope that when you read this in 2030, you also have a love of the South as well as of the native country of your grandparents. I also hope you have a love of your own home and of the food from each place. They all represent all that you are and in all of your uniqueness!

Lots of Love,

Mom

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