Cake AND Pie and Granny

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Producing Food… planting food, tending food, harvesting food, preserving food, cooking food, that was my early childhood, running along barefooted behind my Granny. Learning everything she did by doing it with her, her talking me along, telling me why it was important to hoe the corn, why we needed to plant the melons closest to the creek, how some flowers bloom every other year, like Sweet William, but they came up anyway to add their green coats to the flowers around them. Why planting asparagus was worth the two year wait because it tasted of spring itself, cooked simple and quick especially with scrambled eggs. If I woke early enough I’d go to the hen house with her to gather warm eggs from under sweet hens who seemed to know their purpose was to provide for Granny’s family. She spoke to them as we went along, calling each by name, talking softly, as she did to me… late at night telling stories to help me sleep. Food was her life, feeding good food to her loved ones was her hard work each day, but more importantly it was her joy each day. And the family that gathered around her to tell stories and play music and share the lives they lived, that was her entertainment. Whatever we were eating, there was always something sweet at the end, a fruit pie or slice of cake or bread pudding make from leftover biscuits and eggs. Sometimes it was cinnamon apple jelly on a butter biscuit, or honey on cornbread, just a little sweet kiss to to close the meal and make the day brighter.

One of my fondest memories were the fruit pies that Granny made. I don’t remember ever having buttermilk pie or chess pie, didn’t have those until I was grown. Granny loved the tartness of a good fruit pie. Blackberry was my special favorite, maybe because blackberries were so hard to actually get to. Peach pies were made with the peaches off of Granny’s trees, and sometimes these two fruits ended up together in a pie or cake, because they came in at the same time. One of the things I have eaten all my life is a peach cake. Something most people have never heard of, or they think it is some kind of a layer cake with peaches as the filling. That actually sounds like something someone would make that had some time on their hands, beautiful and excellent but not something a farmer with corn to hoe would have time to make. Pies are quick, cakes usually not. But this one is very quick and so tart sweet incredible you will want to have it for breakfast the next day. You can make this with all peaches, you can make it with all blackberries or you can combine the two.

Deep Dish Blackberry, Peach Cake

4 pints of  blackberries rinsed (or 8 pints if you are just doing blackberries)

6 big peaches peeled and cut into 2″ chunks (or 16 if just peaches, if you’ve got small peaches use more)

1 stick of butter cut into small pieces

1/2 to 1 cup of sugar (depending on how sweet the fruit is or how sweet you like your cake)

1 tablespoon corn starch

Put all of the above in a deep buttered casserole dish and mix together, let it all get to know each other while you make the cake batter. I use an old Corning Ware deep casserole dish about 5 inches deep.

Yellow Cake batter for top,

1 1/2 plus 1/8 cup of cake flour sifted then measured

1  and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

scant 1/8 teaspoon salt

1 stick of butter softened

2 large eggs

1 egg yolk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3/4 cup whole milk

sift flour baking powder salt into a bowl and stir together, sit aside

In a mixer beat butter until creamy add sugar beat on high until light and fluffy

Put mixer on low and add eggs 1 at a time and then egg yolk

beat in Vanilla

Add flour mixture at low speed in 3 additions alternating with milk in 2 additions just until mixed.

Pour batter over fruit and spread evenly, dot top with an additional 1/2 stick of butter

Bake at 350 degrees about an hour until top is brown and center is set, check with toothpick.

Serve hot with vanilla ice cream.

Yep! you’ll be eating this for breakfast the next day.

Keep leftovers if there are any in the refrigerator.

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LIVE!!!!!

The website is live
http://www.thelmaandnate.net

please visit us there and often, thank you!

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Coka-Cola and Lance Toasty crackers

My best friend, Keith and I took an early morning trip to a small town not too far from here to visit a man who is tearing down an old feed mill, old as in, over a hundred years old. We have started a new business, one we have talked about for years, making furniture. Not just ordinary furniture, but useful beautiful pieces from re-cycled wood and “burn pile” furniture parts and various things that most people throw away. I’ve always been a “use it up or wear it out” kind of a girl. I’ve never had the kind of money that would allow anything else. If you think about it, that philosophy has been kind of missing in this society, since about WWII. American prosperity has trashed our oceans, our landfills, our lives, our bodies. But I was so lucky to have been raised by my Granny, Thelma Eaker that lived and scrimped through that war and the rest of her life. So I generally don’t buy new, and if I or Keith can make it, I don’t  buy it at all. I really like old well made chairs and couches, so I taught myself to re-upholster. Seriously, not that hard. When was the last time you bought a couch for $200? I just got a 1950’s french made mid-century Walnut trimmed beautiful couch for just that, heavy as a Volkswagen. That’s because 65 years ago a real artisan took the time to make a beautiful piece of furniture, out of beautiful real materials. That’s what we want to do, but with up-cycled materials headed for the land fill or the burn pile. So early this morning we headed out to meet a man who thinks like us. Just one of the benefits of our new business, we get to meet people, really interesting good people who think outside the box.

So we take off for Carthage, 2 lane road, Keith is driving. That was kinda the first problem, we are like little kids we are so excited to be going on this adventure. So he is talking, I am talking about what all this guy has and what all we can make. And about 15 miles into the trip I get motion sickness.  So the last 5 miles into Lebanon I am barely holding on to the breakfast we had at 6:30. He pulls into a truck stop to let me drive. I am reeling from nausea. He runs in and get me a Coka-cola and Lance Peanut butter toasty crackers. The exact cure for the flighty stomach. I know, I know… Coka-cola is seriously bad for you, with the high fructose corn syrup but I only drank about a third and it is my cure all for icky stomach. A Mexican coke would have been so much better, it is made with sugar, but I didn’t have time to hunt one down. So feeling better we took off again with me driving. We are so excited to be doing this, sometimes we just look at each other and go “man we should have started this 10 years ago.” But things happen in their own good time.

I guess you have noticed this post isn’t exactly about food. But it is about all the things that feed my passion for food. My Granny Thelma, my husband Keith and my son Nate, and the love and joy I have for all these people. So wish us luck!! But this feels right, our journey is going in a true direction. Food is coming back next blog, I promised you cake and pie and you will get it.

In the meantime…stuff 025thelma_nate~     

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Macaroni (not pasta) salad

Summer to me is a tall glass of fresh iced tea, slightly sweet and a tomato sandwich. A tomato sandwich made with fresh white bread, Dukes Mayonnaise and a tomato freshly picked off the vine, perfectly ripe and juicy, tasting like the sunshine sweetness from which it was made, with just enough salt and pepper to bring out the tomato-ness of the whole thing. A sandwich you have to lean over and eat fast because the bread starts soaking up the juiciness as soon as you get it made. Thats summer to me. Tomatoes were plentiful on Granny’s farm, so much so that we gave away almost as many as we used. So it is not surprising that if I went to her and said, “Granny I’m hungry.” She would make me a tomato sandwich. And pour me a glass of tea that she had made that morning before the heat set in for the day. A tomato sandwich after a full day of swimming and sunshine in the summer heat is about the best thing on earth.

I’m guessing that is where this macaroni salad came from. I’ve never met anyone else who makes it this way. She probably made it up. Thats the way she cooked, making stuff up along the way. I recall very few recipes that were actually written down in her kitchen.

Macaroni salad, when I was growing up was a simple cold delicious salad, with a mayonnaise base. A meal by itself or a as side with a sandwich.  Basically the only dried pasta you could buy in the foothills of North Carolina back then was a simple macaroni and maybe a spaghetti noodle at the big grocery in Forest City. But the tiny grocery store that Granny went to, where my Uncle Arthur was the butcher, only sold Creamette Macaroni. We were of Scots descent with a little German thrown in so I never even had spaghetti at home until we moved to Tennessee. We ate what we grew. We grew a lot of tomatoes. We ate a lot of tomatoes. When I give you this recipe you are going to think “WHAT?” this is so simple, it can’t possibly be good. It is good. This is that first tomato sandwich of the season good. When you go into your own backyard and pick a perfectly ripe tomato warm from the sun, slice it thick, salt and pepper it really good and place it gently on some thick white bread that has been coated with a good mayonnaise, and you take that perfect first bite that is creamy and salty and sweet from the tomato, and the juice slides out of the corner of your mouth and dribblers off your chin good.

Grannys Macaroni Salad

Because it is so simple you HAVE to use really good ingredients.

Here are my suggestions,

Dukes Mayonnaise, the best mayo EVER!(Did you hear about the guy who wanted to be buried in a Dukes Jar? He might be my long lost cousin. And the Dukes people made him his own personal jar with his name on it to be buried in. Seriously this happened! Like not very long ago.)

Perfectly ripe tomatoes 8 to 10 of them, hopefully from your own back yard…but if not, your local farmers market, Bradleys are good, perfect combo of tart and sweet, or almost ANY heirloom variety. Forget grocery store tomatoes they are shipped green and gassed to make them turn red, and any flavor they might have had is lost when they are refrigerated. I won’t even eat a tomato in the wintertime, it just pisses me off. There is a part of Tennessee that grows very a sweet and piquant tomato that I used to buy in Knoxville and those were called Grainger County tomatoes, they were excellent.

Barelli Macaroni (yes I like it better than Creamette, it has little ridges that hold onto the creamy goodness), a 1 pound box, cook it in well salted water, salty like the sea, according to package directions. (yes,taste the water its the only way to tell)

Sea salt and black pepper

While the macaroni is cooking, cut up the perfectly ripe tomatoes in 3/4 inch cubes (leave the skin on it helps to hold their shape) and put them with their juice in the bottom of a large bowl, I just cut them over the bowl, salt and pepper them to taste. Add aprox. 1/2 cup of Dukes and stir to combine. Let them sit there while you are finishing the macaroni.

Now I am not an al dente kind of a girl, but in this recipe do slightly undercook the pasta, just right past al dente. But not mushy. Drain it well. Pour it over the tomato mixture in the bottom of the bowl, it will slightly warm the tomato mixture and the macaroni will absorb the tomato goodness. Let it sit about 1 minute. and stir it up. Add more salt and pepper and a dab of mayo if needed for the creaminess factor, but not too much, you want to taste those beautiful tomatoes. Get you a big bowl of it and a glass of cold iced tea. If you catch yourself in the mirror while you are eating, what you will see is a very happy person who looks like a mule eating briars, grinning like a fool.

Yes this is as good hot as it is cold, my mid-western husband who didn’t even like tomatoes when we got married can eat about a half gallon of this hot or cold. We have actually made a meal of just this, but it is wonderful as a cold side with grilled hamburgers or cold fried chicken on a picnic.

Just simple and good food.

Oh by the way this makes a bunch, like “Church Supper” bunch or relatives from out of town bunch, so if you are just a normal family you might want to cut the recipe in half.

 

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Chick, chick, chick….chick-in!

IMG_0966Lets start with chicken salad, one of my favorite cold salads served on a bed of crisp lettuce or on a sandwich made with crusty bread or a buttery croissant.

When I was a child, chicken salad was boiled chicken cooked in salted water, with celery and pickles and mayo, it was good and serviceable and made a nice little tea sandwich on white bread with the crusts cut off. In other words, kind of plain. Then I discovered chicken salad with grapes and celery, great on a bed of lettuce. But it kind of left me with the idea that it could be better. In my early 20’s I had to come up with some chicken salad that could be served on sandwiches for a bridal shower and I was thinking that grapes on bread wasn’t quite the thing, also I felt like the chicken needed more flavor. So I tried to think of a way to make it better. Chicken is a wonderful thing, it will absorb the flavor of what you cook with it. I was thinking first thing cook the chicken so it has more flavor, and instead of grapes use crushed pineapple, and for crunch use chopped pecans. I had made in my young past a particularly taste filled soup when I stewed the chicken with lots of vegetables and the chicken itself needed no additional seasoning, so I started there…

You can start with a whole chicken, or parts, or if you are really in a hurry boneless skinless chicken breasts. But the key is… you must cook your own chicken (stay off the canned chicken aisle at the supermarket that is for when your dog is sick), because it is chicken salad… right? So the chicken has to taste really good. And NO rotisserie chicken doesn’t work well either, I will give you a short cut at the end just be patient.

If I do a whole chicken I always throw in a couple extra breasts just to make it meatier and to get a better ratio of white to dark meat. But remember if you do a whole chicken you will have to pick the chicken, however this makes the best stock you have ever tasted so be sure to strain and freeze the stock.

Get the largest pot you own (you are going to need it), you also need a lid to fit that pot,

  •  1 whole chicken, plus 2 to 3 chic breast
  • Other things you need,                                                                                                                Dukes Mayonnaise                                                                                                                      2 cans Dole Crushed pineapple in its own juice                                                                        10 to 16 ounces of whole pecans (chop them yourself they taste better)
  • vegetables and spices listed below
  1. 8 carrots cut into 3″ pieces (don’t bother to peel them)
  2. 5 white onions cut in half then in quarters (3″onion aprox.)
  3.  8 cloves of garlic peeled slightly crushed
  4.  1/4 cup of whole peppercorns
  5. 5 dried bay leaves
  6. 3 tablespoons of dried rubbed sage
  7. 3 tablespoons of poultry seasoning
  8.  5 sprigs of fresh thyme
  9. 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
  10. 3 boxes of chicken broth plus enough water to cover chicken (next time you make this you’ll have the stock in the freezer)
  11.   At least 1 teaspoon of sea salt (you will be tasting it once the chicken is cooked (about 45 minutes into the cooking) to adjust the salt levels, you may need to add more.
  12. Throw all of that in a really large pot on high heat and bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer, perch the lid on it allowing some steam to escape and cook for aprox. 1 and 1/2 hours or until the chicken is falling off the bones. Basically what you are doing is infusing the chicken with all the flavors you want it to have without actually putting it in the salad itself. Keep the chicken covered with liquid adding broth or water as needed.

By the way no matter what I am making with chicken (casserole, soup,dressing) I use this method to cook the chicken, it is the secret to my Thanksgiving dressing and gravy, that and sautéed chicken livers, but I will be talking about that in October.

Once the chicken is done, cool it enough to get it picked good, getting rid of all the bones, gristle and skin. Strain the vegetables out of the stock and put the stock in freezer containers for the next time you make soup or chicken salad. Taste the chicken…it doesn’t need a thing, right?

Oh, by the way, while the chicken is simmering away, take the 2 cans of Dole crushed pineapple and strain them in a colander mashing all the juice out with your hands and paper towels.

Also chop about 10 to 16 ounces of pecans.

As for the sweet pickle relish, I highly recommend Wickles Pickle Relish (it is not made with high fructose corn syrup), its made the old fashioned way with sugar and peppers and cucumbers and spices in the great state of Alabama, where my best boyfriend, Nick lives. If you can’t get it where you are… here is their website http://www.simsfoods.com, you can order it there or just bug them to put it in your local store.

Now you have huge bowl of really tasty chicken, the rest is super easy. All the work is on the front end and seriously once you have this method down and start using it, you don’t even have to measure anything just throw it in the pot, so not really hard.

Take the huge bowl of shredded chicken and mixed in the well strained crushed pineapple, the chopped pecans, and then about a half cup of Wickles Relish slightly strained, taste it, if you want more pickles add more. You will notice that the mixture is already quiet moist with flavor. Now for the last thing, Dukes Mayonnaise, about 1/2 to 3/4 cup is all you need, we are looking for flavor here not drenching the flavor we already have with mayo. So add it slowly, let it still crumble a bit. Taste it, now you really understand why you made so much.

Get you a big old plate of the stuff (you know, just to make sure it really tastes good) and put the rest in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Serve it with fresh sliced tomatoes and cucumbers and crisp lettuce and ice tea.

My son really hates Mayonnaise, but he loves loves loves this chicken salad and it really doesn’t have much mayo in it.

Now for the short cut, use the braising method I described for boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 4 maybe 5 will fit in a 12″ skillet) on Feb. 25th 2014, “Brazen Braising” and add in small pieces of the veg and spices I listed above omitting the salt until you can taste the broth. Once cooked, shred the breasts for the chicken salad, it doesn’t make as much and you don’t have the stock to put in the freezer and it doesn’t taste quite as good but its better than having NO chicken salad. Also cut back accordingly on the pineapple (use 1 can) pickles and pecans and mayo.

Next will be more salads and a dessert or two. Happy eating!

Posted in fresh food, love and family, small farm, SOUTHERN FOOD, Southern Living, summer salads, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Summer food, summer memories…

My Granny’s house was a little white frame house, with a big front porch, set back off the road. A deep pine wood was behind it. The land rolled down to a spring fed creek, clear enough to drink, that stayed cold all summer and was the setting for many safaris and cowboy games. She always had puppies and cats and chickens and oddly enough parakeets in their own little house outside. There were fruit trees and grape arbors, and vegetable and melon gardens. The flowers and roses took over the yard. If you were hungry you almost didn’t even have to go inside to eat. But if you did go inside, there in that tiny hot kitchen, wonderful things were being made…almost all the time. Especially in the summer. Summer stretched from May, when the strawberries came in, to October when the pumpkins and winter squash were ready for harvest. Even after the 1st frost the turnip greens were harvested, that was when they were the sweetest. It was the garden of my life, it was the place where I took root, it was the place where I was “growed up”, if that seems a strange phrase to you, please let me explain. Being “growed up” means many loving people and hands were directly responsible for who I turned out to be as an adult, and those loving adults took that responsibility VERY seriously. I lived with Granny, there at that tiny farm, full time until I was 5 years old and stayed with Granny every afternoon after school through second grade. The summer I turned 8, we moved to Tennessee. My grieving started that summer, the summer of 1965. It is now the summer 2014 and I can’t believe I’ve been away so long. I’ve been trying to get back there my whole life…

When I cook in my Tennessee kitchen now, I am back in that kitchen, when I grow tomatoes (cherokee purples) that are the size of pumpkins I am back at that farm. When I taste fresh picked corn, cut off the cob, by the tiny pocket knife I take with me to the farmers market, it almost tastes as good as it used to, something about that soil at Grannys farm with mica sparkles all through it, down by the creek, made her corn really sweet.

One of the things we did here in the south in the summer is eat a lot of  cold salads. I am not talking about lettuce here folks. I am talking chicken salad, macaroni salad, tuna salad, aspic, pimento cheese salad, potato salad, egg salad. Dishes where the food part could be cooked EARLY (4 a.m.) in the morning before the heat set in, mixed with other yummy stuff, stored in the refrigerator and whisked out at mid-day to provide a filling but cold lunch, along with a few lettuce leaves and some big juicy slices of fresh (never refrigerated) tomatoes and bread and butter pickles on the side. Even dessert was cold, jello salad (sorry, it was the early 60’s), banana pudding, ice box pie, cold bread pudding, cold coconut pie with meringue piled high. You couldn’t really keep a cake very long in the summer since most icings were butter cream, unless you had room in the refrigerator or a cold larder, they would melt right off the plate. One exception was pound cake, which was small and plain and excellent with fresh fruit on top, Granny cooked a lot of those early in the morning. What a wonderful smell to wake up to. So for the next month or so that is what I am going to be posting here in my world, those recipes updated, no real Jello will be used, but gelatin and fresh fruit juice, with sparkling fresh fruit suspended in it, will certainly make an appearance.

I hope you will join me this summer of 2014.

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Spring, cool mornings looking back

I love this time of year when it seems everything is new and bursting out in bloom. I feel young again, the earth feels new again to me. Its really just the circle of life on the good earth or the spiral. I had a Art Professor in college, David Bigelow, that said that life is not a circle… it is a spiral. That seems right to me. Since then I’ve seen that image in my mind, a spiral ever ascending upwards toward the final turn in life until you are gone from this earth. A bit simple I guess, but why must everything be complex. The best life I have ever know was simple. As I have probably mentioned before, I did the most important part of my growing up in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains. All the strength that my life required, at times it has been considerable, has come from my first five years there on my Granny’s farm. Growing good food, listening to stories in the front yard on Saturday night, drinking sweet tea and eating homemade cake, catching lightnin’ bugs… simple pleasures, that fed my soul. Those first years, I was surrounded by strong, kind, beautiful, intelligent women, who, as far as I knew, ran the world. Men were around and they were also kind and good looking… but not essential, necessarily, to the ongoing day to day life decisions. It would be an understatement to say I came from a matriarchal family, back when that was not common at all, especially in the south, in the late 50’s. So from a young age independence was a part of who I knew myself to be, simple as that. Decisions I can make, asking for help making them… that’s a foreign concept to me. It has caused me considerable “issues” with the various men in my life, some of whom I married. But now 3/4 of the way up my spiral, looking back down at all the springs and summers and falls and winters of my life with the decisions I have made and the consequences, good or bad, that came because of them, I know, I would not change a thing. I would never hit the reset button. I have love and honesty and truth in my life, some of it hard won and harder still to bear, but truth none the less. I have people who share the truth with me, good friends, my son (who is my very breath) and a good husband that can’t quiet believe this life he signed up for. I asked him once why was he attracted to me in the first place, he said you were so different from anyone in my family, such a strong personality I couldn’t help myself. Have I mentioned he is a brave man? Some would say reckless, but that ring of the spiral is 18 years gone, that decision made and tempered in fire, it is unbreakable.

Of course, he also mentioned my cooking as being one of the things that drew him to me, but on our first date he cooked for me, one of the sweetest things he has ever done. I pretty much was a goner by then and he hadn’t even kissed me yet. But way back then he was a skinny man, almost 6 feet and about 145 pounds, skinny, SKINNY man. After hanging out with me for about a year he was closer to 185. I’d like to think that was love but it was probably just my cooking. There were lots of things he did not like, having not really grown up as a southerner. Cornbread being one of those things, if you can imagine, fried green tomatoes being another, because he didn’t like tomatoes. I’ll have to say that Indiana has some of the BEST sweet corn I have ever had, but a good tomato from a southern woman’s back yard garden is hard to beat. Here lately, because spring is in my head, my stomach has been growling for some fresh vegetables that even this far below the Mason-Dixon are not even sprouts yet, I have been hankering for some fried sweet corn and sliced fresh tomatoes and wilted lettuce salad with biscuits and cantaloupe for desert. One of my favorite meals as a child. And the first time my sweet husband had my fried corn I thought he was going to fall over his mouth was so happy. I guess some would think this was a vegetarian meal, it kinda is… except for the POUND or TWO of bacon that you have to fry off first just to make the corn and the hot dressing for the salad.

Make you some biscuits and get them ready to stick in the oven.

Slice some fresh Tomatoes and lightly salt.

Slice up a cantaloupe or 2 and put that out on a platter lightly salted.

The very first thing to do is shuck a lot of fresh picked sweet corn, about 2 to 3 dozen ears, now here is the thing, this is a big production so make a lot… so you have leftovers. And it freezes well after you cook it. Corn fresh picked is one of the best things on earth, but it needs to be shucked right before you cook it and it needs to be cooked within 12 hours of picking it. Once you have all that shucked,  cut it off the cob with a sharp knife and make sure you scrape the milk out of the cobs into the bowl. You will end up with about 7 to 9 cups of corn.

First step, fry off some bacon, thick sliced and a good brand. I have actually broiled it off in the oven on a broiler pan so the drippings collect underneath, whichever way you choose, brown it until it is crispy. Set aside on paper towels. Now the best part, pour off about 1/3 cup of bacon grease for the hot dressing for the wilted lettuce. My friend Jennifer McCarter, her Mama called it killed lettuce, but she was from the Sevierville, Tn. mountain area, which is the Appalachians, my family was from the Blue Ridge so they spoke a different dialect of Southern Mountain.

Take the rest of the bacon grease (at least a half cup, I know but its a lot of corn) and put it in a very large skillet, you might have to do this in batches, but just split up the bacon grease as needed. Add 1/2 stick of salted butter and let that melt over med heat until the grease start to sizzle. Pour in the fresh cut corn and let it fry turning and stirring a lot to keep the sugars in the corn from burning. Fry it for 3 to 4 minutes, adding salt and a little bit of white pepper(I don’t really like pepper too much it seems to take over any dish you put it in) I also add red pepper flakes 1/2 teaspoon to add a bit of heat. All you are trying to do is to bring out the sweetness of the corn and let it brown just a little, if you overcook it you will lose the fresh flavor and it will turn to  mush. Dump the corn back in your big bowl, and in the same skillet add another 3 or 4 tablespoons of bacon grease and the other half of the stick of butter once it melts on med-low temp add 1/2 cup of flour (this is the gravy part) let that cook until it is a light tan color and gradually add whole milk (3 cups or so) while stirring like the devil with your good arm scraping the bottom to get all that good stuff and let it thicken to a gravy like consistency. Pour the fried corn back in and mix well. Take about half the fried bacon and put it in a food processor and grind it up to a very fine consistency and put it in with the fried corn. If you just crumble the bacon in it gets soggy. Adjust for seasoning, adding more salt if needed (probably won’t need it). I learned that last step when I was going to make this for a pot luck and sent my husband to the store to get bacon and he bought low fat bacon when what I needed was full fat bacon. Needless to say grinding up bacon and putting it in with the corn has turned out to be one of the best changes I have ever made in a recipe.

Stick your biscuits in the oven to cook while making the dressing for the wilted lettuce.

Back where I come from we generally had just iceberg lettuce and spinach in our salads but you could go wild and use almost any kind of greens. Thin sliced spring onions are a must also and a few mushrooms but keep it fairly simple. Crumble leftover bacon on top.

Hot Bacon Dressing

1/3 cup of hot bacon grease in a little skillet                                                                                    1/3 cup of olive oil                                                                                                                               2 tablespoons of minced sweet onion or shallot                                                                               2/3 cup of rice vinegar                                                                                                                 1 teaspoon  Dijon mustard                                                                                                                    1 to 2 teaspoons of sugar                                                                                                            fresh herbs (handfull) parsley, basil are good

Heat grease and olive oil in skillet add onions and cook slightly, stir in Dijon and vinegar with a whisk add sugar and melt that in, take off heat add salt and white pepper to taste and lastly add fresh chopped herbs, pour hot over salad greens and serve immediately.

Serve the main course of fried corn along with the tomatoes and cantaloupe and hot buttered biscuits. Some people cut the tomatoes up and put them in their fried corn and it is yum!

I wish I could have this right now! But it is only the 1st day of spring and I’m wanting it too soon.
veg and schooch 218

Pink corn we got last summer at the farmers market!

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