02 December, 2010

southern supper & sweet roses

What's better than some fried chicken, collard greens, biscuits, and banana pudding?  
That's a classic southern meal to me.  
That was my dinner tonight.  I got help from Mary B. with the biscuits, but all else I made from scratch:
Southern collard greens is one of my husband's favorite things.  He had a wonderful Kentuckian grandmother (bless her soul) who could fry chicken like nobody's business.  I've never had chicken that good since.  She's in heaven now.  I just wish I would have actually watched her fry it so I could know her secret.  
She would say "It's just chicken, flour, salt and pepper."  
Well, that's how I usually make it and.....it must be the Grandma love she put in it.
One thing I can do well tho' is collard greens.  I'm going to share my recipe.  If you've never had them they are a little like cabbage except a bit bitter.  We give them a long bath in bacon, drippings, and seasonings and the result is just plain deliciousness.  

                                               Start by frying up 6 pieces of bacon good and brown set aside bacon fat and all

                                           Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add your greens (I use 1 1/2 bags of the bagged kind already washed and cut), 1/3 c. vinegar, salt, and pepper to taste and a generous sprinkling of cayenne (if you enjoy heat)  Now add your bacon and all the drippings from the pan.


                                          Then you're going to let them cook for about an hour.  Adjust seasonings to make sure you've added enough salt.  A great side dish for fried chicken or just a big bowl all by themselves.  (that's what I'll have).

                                       Banana Pudding is to the south as cheesesteaks
                                      are to Philly.  When we first moved to the south many years ago there was a little restaurant in Corinth, Mississippi we loved to frequent called Truitt's. They put out a wonderful southern spread of fried chicken, greens, black eyed peas, bacon studded green beans, biscuits, cornbread and banana pudding.  To this day I believe that is still the best banana pudding I've ever tasted.  This recipe is an easy one but still quite good.  I do double the custard.                                                                

Southern Banana Pudding
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
4-6 bananas
2 tbsp. flour
2 c. cold milk (i use whole)
10 oz. box vanilla wafers
1 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs, separated

6 tbsp. sugar
3 egg whites                                                                                        

In saucepan or top of double boiler make a custard by combining sugar, flour and salt. Slightly beat the egg yolks and add to milk. Cook over medium heat while pouring into sugar-flour mixture. Stir continually until consistency of custard. Let cool while lining dish with vanilla wafers, then layer the custard, layer sliced bananas (cut lengthwise) another layer of wafers and so on. Make your meringue by beating your egg whites and gradually adding sugar until stiff peaks form.  Spread over pudding layers. Put in oven at 400 degrees just until meringue is lightly browned.

                                          Just out of the oven...

                                 Here's my chicken frying.  It's just chicken rolled in flour, salt, and pepper.  I use a cast iron skillet.  It's good but it can't touch Grandmas.  

My youngest son is a duct tape expert.  He makes wallets, rings, wrist bands, and these beautiful roses!  It is a joy to watch him create new things.  He loves to please people with his creations.  Of all my boys he is the creative one.  He is my little artist.  Love that kid.

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