Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Cookin' it up

So, my resolutions are only going so-so. I didn't get to bed as early as I had intended, and didn't exactly jump out of bed with a smile this morning, but yesterday I cooked dinner (another mini-resolution since I've been relying a little too heavily on Trader Joe's convenience foods as of late) AND put on clothes that looked like what a normal person would wear (no gym clothes) AND didn't drink any wine. Whew!
One thing I had in the freezer was a package of a whole chicken cut-up, and what's the best way to cook a whole darn chicken? Fry it of course! I went straight to my favorite southern cookbook: The Bible of Southern Cooking.
It has every fabulous southern recipe you'd ever want (including fried squirrel) and it also has little messages from the author of each recipe included in the notes. One fried chicken recipe says something under it like: "If you serve this chicken to the man you're trying to catch and he doesn't take the bait, then he ain't worth it!"
So I fried and fried and fried....something I'm a little worried about since the big burn of 2009, but I used long tongs and wore long sleeves, so it worked out.
Now, I grew up in Kansas, where we certainly know how to fry chicken, but what I'd never had before I moved here was collard greens. "Greens are God's gift to the south" according to my cookbook, and I couldn't agree more.
The are simple enough to make, but they take a long time if you want them to be really good. The trick is to just boil a bunch of collard greens with salt and pepper and some kind of smoked meat (I used smoked turkey neck...don't be upset) for a couple hours. I have tried to eat them before they were really "done" before and you can't do that. The meat will not have made the broth smokey and fabulous enough yet...you gotta be willing to wait.
*Side note: I learned this the hard way. Grandma Goldie, down the street, who taught me a lot about southern cooking, used to yell at me when I'd bring her a sample of the greens I had made: "These ain't DONE!" Then, her great grandson (10 y/o) would say to me: "I like 'em Susan!" And then Goldie would say "BOY...that's because you HUNGRY!" Hahaha.
Matt likes them best with hot sauce on top, which is fine, but then they just taste like hot sauce to me, so I don't do that....
I dip corn bread in it, which is the proper way to do it, I think. Claire made some corn bread muffins from a box for me yesterday because I didn't want to take the time to make actual corn bread. But, you know what, I've tried several boxed kinds now and they aren't any good...so if you're going to bother to fry chicken and make the greens, then go ahead and make some actual corn bread...but not a sweet kind...you don't want sugary corn bread for this.
And, last, but not least, we made a strawberry cake. It's incredible if you like strawberry. And the frosting is so good because it's basically butter (my favorite food, right?) with some frozen strawberries and powdered sugar. Sammy ate so much of hit he was twitching from sugar.
Here was the final product. But now I have a big ol' cake in my house and I'm trying not to eat it....maybe that should be resolution #6: Don't eat the cake!!
Alright, it's 11am and I'm not dressed yet. Aaaaaahh! Gotta go.

1 comment:

Robin said...

We have a can of bacon grease I can send to you when you're ready to make cornbread : )
We miss you guys.