Cooking Up Memories

My wife and I love to buy old cookbooks. I find most of them at estate sales.
The families who are selling them are indifferent and I’m sure they have never looked for or seen the notes that their mom, grandmother, or great grandmother, scribbled in the margins.

So, for 25¢ or 50¢, I take home the guidebook for so many of their memorable family meals.

But, some of the best recipes are not found in a cookbook. They were found in ...

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Gardens And Grandma

As a kid, I hated the vegetable garden. If you stood on our back porch, it was to your left. It took up the entire corner of our large yard.

To me, gardens were work and nothing more. From planting, to weeding, to harvesting, to canning, it was a waste of valuable play time. It also took away the area of the yard that the neighborhood kids and I liked using for a baseball diamond.

I would watch television and see advertisements ...

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When You’re Hot, You’re Hot

As tears ran down my face, in a raspy voice I mumbled, “You owe me a dollar.”

Ms. Bettie was one of the senior checkers at the Piggly Wiggly. She had bet me a dollar that I couldn’t eat a whole, raw jalapeño.

She was right. But with all of our coworkers watching, I was not about to admit defeat.

I was 17 and had never eaten a hot pepper. But, like most guys that age, I was all gas pedal, and no ...

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Churning Makes The World A Butter Place

This week, for the first time in my life, I made my own butter.

But to get to the beginning of this tasty story, we have to go back a few years.

In 2013, I was sitting in the waiting room at my sleep doctor’s office when I became tired of the talking heads on the news network arguing with each other, so I struck up a conversation with an older gentleman and his wife. Turns out, they were also sick of ...

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Tastee Freez and A&W Root Beer

I miss Tastee Freez and A&W Root Beer stands.

My earliest recollection of hamburgers were ground beef patties that my mom fried in a cast iron skillet and placed between two pieces of white bread that were coated in Miracle Whip.

I’m sure that the burgers were fried in bacon drippings that had been saved from breakfast, because virtually everything we ate back then was fried in bacon drippings that had been saved from breakfast.

As I got older, and my parents felt ...

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Bringin’ Home The Bakin’

Biscuit making is a lost art.

There have been many great advancements in civilization, but I have to say that canned biscuits isn’t one of them.

Pillsbury Grands, the flaky variety of course, are about as close to homemade biscuits as you can get, but they’re still nowhere near as good as biscuits made by the hands of an experienced biscuit maker.

This came to mind at Thanksgiving after eating my brother-in-law’s famous yeast rolls. It’s not his recipe (it came from one ...

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Spam Me

If you like bologna sandwiches, you’re alright by me.

If you grew up with a dad who worked, a mom who stayed home, one car, no air conditioning, and bologna in the fridge, then it’s likely you also are familiar with this particular lunch meat and other budget-conscious grocery items.

When I was a kid, you ate what they put in front of you or you didn’t eat at all. Matter of fact, I can remember many an hour sitting at a ...

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Howdy Is Just Being Nice

The nicest people live in the South.

Anyone who was born and raised in the South and has done any traveling has probably noticed the same thing that I have: We’re friendlier.

Now, I’m not saying that people who live in the north, east, or western part of the United States aren’t nice folks. I’m simply saying we’re friendlier in the South.

I’ll give you an example. Only folks in the South can strike up a conversation with a complete stranger in a ...

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Are You Gravy Trained?

Anyone who grew up in the South knows all of the major food groups. There’s dairy, meat, fruit, vegetables, and gravy.

Once you get outside of the South, there are other substances in existence that are called gravy, but they aren’t anything close to real gravy.

What is real gravy? I call it cream gravy, but real gravy is called by many names. Whether you call it cream, sawmill, country, white, milk or sausage gravy, real gravy is the gravy that’s poured ...

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Blue Bell Returns

(photo credit:

I wish I’d bought stock in Blue Bell.

Products come and go from American supermarket shelves, but none in recent years has been lamented more than the loss of Blue Bell Ice Cream.

Blue Bell isn’t the only company that makes ice cream, but you’d have sure thought that they were.

Wikipedia, that bastion of Internet accuracy, lists 158 major brands of ice cream.

Without cheating, I encourage you to quickly name five ice cream brands, other than Blue Bell.

Tick. Tick. Tick.

Yeah, ...

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