Where can you find old-fashioned grits?

There are small, local area mills all over the south that have a long history of grinding corn into grits, cornmeal and corn flour for making all the traditional southern dishes that so many of us grew up enjoying. But if you don’t live close to one of those mills, or have moved away from the south, you may not have easy access to a source for stone-ground or cold-milled grits. If that is the case, here’s a list of purveyors of traditional, whole kernel, stone-ground grits from a variety of southern sources. Bradley’s is the mill in Tallahassee where I grew up and I love their grits. I’ve also tried several of the others on this list. You won’t go wrong with any of them, though you may find differences in the taste of the grits due to the corn used (all of these I believe are using old-fashioned “dent corn”, or a non-GMO variety) or the particular type of grind that the mill produces. You want to make sure you buy grits where the germ has not be removed from the kernel before grinding. This will require you to keep the grits in the freezer or fridge to prevent them going rancid, unless you quickly eat your way through a small bag of grits (which isn’t hard to do, by the way).

Anson Mills (SC)

Old Mill of Guilford (NC)

Beaverdam Creek Mill (TN)

Carolina Plantation (SC)

Weisenberger Mill (KY)

Palmetto Farms (SC)

Geechie Boy Mill (SC)

Old School Mill (NC)

Bradley’s Country Store (FL)

Barkley’s Mill (NC)

Woodson’s Mill (VA)

The Old Mill (TN)

Atkinson Milling Company (NC)

Old-Fashioned Sour Cream Pound Cake

This was the cake I learned to make many, many years ago. The recipe was given to me by a great aunt and I wrote it down in the back of grandma’s steno pad where she wrote down recipes. I hope you like it. If you follow the directions exactly as given, it will turn out perfect.

Note: This cake recipe requires a particular type of tube pan, the kind where the bottom and center tube can be removed. You cannot substitute an angel food pan where the bottom is not removable. The recipe also does not work best in a normal bundt pan, but you can try it. Search for “Loose Bottom Angel Food Pan” or similar on Amazon if you don’t have one.

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature (using regular salted butter is fine)
2 ½ cups sugar
6 eggs, at room temperature
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
3 cups of cake flour
8 oz. (½ pint) sour cream (do not use reduced fat variety)
1 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. lemon or orange extract

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Generously grease (with Crisco) and flour a tube pan whose bottom is lined with wax paper. If you are using a bundt pan, make sure you get plenty of Crisco and flour into the ridges of the pan.
3. Sift the flour once to measure, then sift together the flour, baking powder and salt 3 times. This is important. Don’t skip this step. Set aside.
4. In a clean bowl, cream together the soft butter and the sugar for several minutes on high speed, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
5. Add eggs, one at a time, beating very well after each addition. Each egg should fully disappear before adding the next one.
6. Alternately add one third of the flour and one third of the sour cream, beating well, but on low to medium speed, after each addition until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
7. Add the extracts and mix well on load speed until fully incorporated.
8. Spoon or pour batter into cake pan and gently even out any unevenness in the batter. The cake batter will be very thick and won’t really pour.
9. Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the crack that forms during baking comes out clean. Do not open the oven door while cooking until the cake has “crowned” and the large crack has formed in a circle around the top of the cake.
10. Let cool for 15 minutes, then run a sharp knife alone outside of cake so you can lift up the tube and cake and allow to finish cooling completely. If using a bundt pan, invert onto a cooling rack to finish cooling. Don’t let it cool for too long in the bundt pan or it won’t want to come out at all.

My chili recipe

Here is my personal chili recipe, for those that requested it:

1 1/2 pd. ground beef – use 80/20 or 85/15, but no leaner 

1 large white onion, diced

4-5 large cloves of garlic, peeled and finely minced or put through a garlic crusher

1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes

1 28oz can diced tomatoes

1 14 oz can dark red kidney beans, drained

1 14 oz can light red kidney beans, drained

3-4 tablespoons McCormick chili powder

2-3 tsp salt

ground black pepper to taste 

1 Tbsp Lowry season salt

1 tsp ground cumin

Brown the beef over medium high heat for several minutes, breaking up as it cooks.  When no longer pink, add diced onion and minced garlic and sauté until fragrant and onion becomes soft.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  It should taste good to you.  Dump into the bottom of crock pot.

Add all of the remaining ingredients, stir well, cover and cook on low 6-8 hours.

If you use a different chili powder, you’re on your own figuring how much is enough, as various brands differ wildly in how hot they are and what other spices they contain.

You can substitute your own preference for beans.  Add more or less.  Try black beans, garbanzo beans or white kidney beans.  Or some other combo.

You can also add diced bell peppers, canned chipotle chilis, fresh minced chilis that you like, or juj it up however you like.  I usually don’t bother.

If you aren’t using a crock pot, simmer it on top of the stove for 2-3 hours.



Turkey Tetrazzini – my favorite recipe

I used to make this until I either lost or threw out the magazine that had the recipe.  Luckily, someone on the internet had re-typed it in response to someone’s question about best recipes for the disk.  This is my “go-to” recipe for this heavenly creation.

Source:  http://www.chowhound.com/post/turkey-tetrazzini-americas-test-kitchen-463386

I know this isn’t what you asked for, but I had to share.
This recipe ran in Saveur magazine in 1997. It is a staple in our house. I think we look forward to it more than the bird itself. it is rich delicious and has none of those green vegetable things.

“This creamy noodle dish, named for Italian coloratura Luisa Tetrazzini (1871-1940), is said to have originated in San Francisco. Whether it was first made with turkey or with chicken is debated, however. This is Anne Jaindl’s recipe.

1/2 pound wide egg noodles (like pappardelle, the name, appropriately, derives from the verb “pappare,” to gobble up.)
8 tablespoons butter (plus more for baking dish)
1/2 pound white mushrooms, sliced
6 tablespoons flour
salt, freshly ground pepper
3 cups turkey stock, warmed
1-1/3 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup dry sherry
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
3 cups coarsely chopped cooked turkey
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add noodles and cook until just tender. Drain and set aside
  2. Preheat oven to 375℉. Melt 2 tbs. butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add mushrooms and saute until lightly browned, 3-5 minutes. Add turkey and remove from pan, set aside.
  3. Melt remaining 6 tbs. better in same skillet over medium low heat. Sprinkle with flour, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Then gradually add stock, whisking constantly. Increase heat to medium and simmer until sauce thickens, about 7 minutes. Add cream, sherry and nutmeg, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
  4. Place noodles in a lightly buttered medium baking dish (about 9” X 12”). Spoon turkey and mushrooms over noodles, top with sauce and sprinkle with cheese. Bake in oven until sauce is bubbly, about 30 minutes. Heat broiler and brown for 3-5 minutes. Serve warm.”


Getting ready for Easter 2013

She has been full of excitement all day as in “You mean TOMORROW is Easter day, Papa!?”  So we had to dye some eggs, make some treats for dinner tomorrow – deviled eggs for uncle Johnny, Liptauer cheese for an appetizer, lemon cookies for dessert, and a gallon of sweet tea for me and anyone else who wants it.  And we had a ton of fun in the process too!

Her Easter dress and shoes are all ready to go, and now just to get our clothes ready so we aren’t in such a rush tomorrow morning.

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Geraldine’s Originals

For those of you in Tallahassee who want a good source of homemade canned goods, go visit Geraldine Rudd at Geraldine’s Originals on Capital Circle NE in Tallahassee and while you are there get something good to eat. If you are from out of town, call to order your figs right away – they are going quick! Full disclosure: she’s kinfolk.


Super Moon Buffet

For those of you in the Twin Cities, you may be interested in a new Asian buffet. It is on the south frontage road of 394 between Louisiana and Xenia. We have been watching the construction for several weeks, wondering when they would open for business. Apparently that happened last week. After reading several encouraging reviews on Yelp last night, we decided to try it for dinner tonight. The verdict? Delicious and surprising, in a good way!

We loved the decor, though just a tad on the bright side for me – but at least you can see what you are eating. I love the koi ponds at the front and it’s quite tastefully done for a buffet.

The roast duck alone is worth the price of admission in my opinion. I had three servings. The shrimp in coconut sauce was very good, and there were lots of various seafood dishes I did not try but really wanted to. The short ribs were tender and ginger-loaded, a nice twist. The fried cod was most surprising of all. Very lightly seasoned and perfectly cooked. I wanted to try several of the steamed or fried fish dishes, as well as the crab claws, the crawfish and more of the shrimp dishes. I enjoyed the dumplings and dim sum that I tried, though the hot and sour soup needed to be more of both. The sushi was plentiful, very fresh, and quite good for a buffet, though I have had better. But for the price, what can you honestly expect. Harald quite liked the Mongolian BBQ station, though you need to be patient on a busy night.

Actually, a busy night is probably the best night to go as the food is served and replenished frequently. The table service was courteous, attentive without any unnecessary hovering, and accommodating.

And best of all, kids under 3 eat free. We will definitely be going back soon. The fresh fruit selection was an attraction for Juliette as well.

I would highly recommend it. I haven’t been to a good Asian buffet since the last time I was in south Florida, and it is high time we got one here in Minneapolis. Actually, it’s in St. Louis Park, but close enough.

Cooking therapy

Cooking is almost always therapeutic for me. Today, I must have needed a lot of therapy, ’cause I did a load of cookin’. I started making bean soup first thing this morning. Then a big breakfast of cheese grits, scrambled eggs, sausage, and blueberry bread. Today I have also made:

A double recipe of chicken salad
A double recipe of chopped chicken livers (some from a neighbor)
A double recipe of homemade blue cheese dressing (with a great American blue from Costco)

And for dinner tonight, baked chicken, mushroom risotto, stir fried bok choy – crap, I forgot to bake something delicious for dessert. Maybe a trip to the Dairy Queen is in order.