Tag Archives: garden

Roots- A Brief History Lesson on Southern Cuisine

I’m kind of a nerd. I start thinking about things and wonder how they started, where they came from, who made it, why, why is it called what it is– and then I study. Not because I have a project due or a deadline, but because I’m a curious person that likes to learn.

A couple of years ago someone asked me what my favorite kind of food was. I jokingly responded, “The kind you eat.” The thing is, I’m not a picky eater by any stretch of the imagination. I’m very adventurous when it comes to trying new foods. After I giggled at my smart aleck remark, I answered seriously with, “home-style southern food”. If you put a five-star restaurant plate with something exotic and beautiful next to a plate with collard greens ‘n ham hocks, fried fat back, corn bread, and black-eyed peas, then told me to pick a plate–I’d go for the latter.

Sweet Tea- SouthernGalsCook.com

Click for recipe

I got to wondering about why Southern cooking is different from other places in the country and where our southern food traditions come from. So, being the nerd I am, I got to reading up on a little Southern Cuisine history.

As I figured, influences stemmed from the multicultural population, crops, livestock, wild game, and necessity. After all, necessity is the mother of invention. Is it not?

The influential multicultural groups included African, English, Scottish, Irish, and Native American, just to name a few.  Not only did their style of cooking form our roots of southern cuisine, but also the ingredients that they brought with them from their native homes largely affected the culinary style we know today. The BIGGEST influences of Southern food, in my opinion, were the Africans. I’ll get more into this in a minute.

Because the growing season weather is hot and humid, and because most of the dirt in the south is clay, some crops thrived in the south while others had to be imported from surrounding regions.

Southern Cornbread

Click for the recipe

Now, the part that I found to be the most interesting was the huge influences that the slaves had on the foods that I love so much. One of the things that I read told how the slave owners would give the slaves the parts of the butchered pigs that they found inedible, such as pig ears, pig’s feet, ham hocks, etc. The Africans would use those piggie parts to season their cooking. That is why, still to this day, we cook down a mess of greens with a pork product. They also breaded some vegetables and fish in cornmeal, such as squash, okra, and catfish, then deep-fried them in pork grease. {Yum!} They introduced okra, black-eyed peas, and many other things to the Southern table.

Roots- A Brief History Lesson on Southern Cuisine

Greens- A Southern Staple

Barbecue is a Southern tradition that can be traced to our Native American ancestors. Barbecue varies in every region and every region “has the best and only way to eat bbq!” HAHA! I’m not kidding! People get crazy competitive {and snobby!} with it! Everything from the wood used to smoke it, the sauce to baste it, the rub to massage it, and the way to cut it is up for debate! Don’t even get me started on the different sauces!

Our love of pies and cobblers go back to our European ancestors that showed us amazing things that can be done with flour, butter, sugar, eggs, fruit, and imported vanilla and cocoa.

Peach Cobbler- SouthernGalsCook.com

Click for the recipe

I enjoy knowing my Southern heritage. I like knowing why we do the things we do. I love being Southern. I’ve enjoyed sharing with you. And, as the southern comedienne, Minnie Pearl, would say “I’m just so proud to be here”.

Garden Planning 101

Proverbs 31:16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. Garden Planning 101- SouthernGalsCook.com

This weekend, South Central Kentucky was beautiful! With the threat of a late frost behind us {hopefully}, we took advantage of the 75 degree weather and planted our garden.

I LOVE to garden and am always eager to teach others what I have learned in my short time as a gardener.

Over the last few years I have made it a goal to learn and apply something new each season. This garden season, I wanted to learn as much as I could about companion planting. I want my family’s food to be chemical free so I want to do everything I can to prevent pests and diseases as naturally as possible. With the knowledge that I acquired over the winter, I set about planning out my garden.

Here are a few tips!

1- Decide what you would like to grow. After reviewing last year’s gardening notes, my husband and I decided that we definitely wanted to grow more this year. Not only did we want to grow more corn than last year, but we also wanted to grow other veggies that we didn’t before. I also knew that I wanted to companion plant by incorporating pest-deterring flowers, as well as careful plant placement. If you are new to gardening, start by choosing a few things that you and your family like to eat and go from there.

2- Consider your garden space. Once you know what you want to grow and how much space you have to work with, you can start to put a plan together. Remember that plants have different real estate needs. Some plants need to be trellised while some don’t. Squash plants need about a 2-3 ft circumference, while a bush bean plant may only need a foot of space to thrive. You can find out that information on the back of a seed packet. But y’all, even if you have 50 acres, if this is your first garden, start small. Take time and learn as you go. Gardens are hard work. If you invest too much time and money into something you don’t know a lot about, you could easily become discouraged and give up. Even a small garden can produce a lot of food!

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My Family’s Garden Spot

3- Educate yourself on what plants work well together. I scoured the internet  for hours learning as much as I could about what garden plants are beneficial to each other. I found many companion planting graphs and charts on Pinterest, but some of them were missing things I wanted to grow, like okra and radishes. So I ended up doing a search online that looked like this– “okra+companion+planting”. I used the information that I got to map out my garden.

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I’m kind of a geek and loved making this map.

Some of you that are more experienced, may see some ways that I could have done this better, and if you do please let me know! I am a sponge when it comes to learning about this stuff. I did take a lot of time carefully deciding the best way to utilize the space and grouping “companions” together. Bonus: I’ve always heard that to detract rabbits, you needed something shiny and moving in the garden. Some people string up pie tins around the perimeter of their garden. I decided to make row markers with wooden stakes and shiny duct tape. I’ll let you know if it works. We have A LOT of rabbits.

GardenPlanning7SGC 4- Get to work! A dear, sweet friend {cough cough Dana’s hubby cough cough} broke up our garden for us with his big tractor. Since we didn’t plant for a couple of weeks, we had to go back over it with our new-to-us tiller. My little lady was sick with strep throat and had to stay in the air conditioning while my husband, son, and I got to work.  Bo, our Bagel {beagle-basset mix}, supervised close by. Since my hubby is recovering from a medical ordeal that I don’t care to get into, he only did what his energy would allow. My son is eight– need I say more? Otherwise, this would have been a major family involved effort. I pray that as the weeks pass by, everyone will be recovered and can help with the upkeep, harvest, and preservation of the garden.

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Hoeing crooked-but-mostly-straightish rows

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My two favorite guys planting corn.

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PJ carefully placing corn seeds a hand-width apart.

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Bo is making sure I stay on task and that the rabbits stay away.

I know this was brief, but it really isn’t that complicated. It just takes some homework and planning. We welcome any questions you all may have about gardening. We don’t know everything, but together we know a lot! HAHA! Happy Planting!

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We linked up with:

DRUM ROLL PLEASE………… AND THE WINNER OF THE KENTUCKY DERBY HAT CONTEST IS ………………..

2 Corinthians 9:15 Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift. 

2 Corinthians 1:11 Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf.

WE HAVE A WINNER, WINNER, CHICKEN DINNER!!

CONGRATULATIONS CHERYL CASTEEL YOU ARE OUR WINNER!  You will receive a 1-years subscription to TASTE OF HOME magazine

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Thanks to Cheryl and all those who subscribe to our blog, like us on Facebook, follows us on Twitter and pins us on Pinterest, we are forever grateful.  Without our peeps we could not do this!

Cheryl, please e-mail your address to southerngalscook@yahoo.com to receive your subscription.  Don’t worry, we will NOT share your information with anyone else.

This was fun!!!!!  Can’t wait to do it again, and we will.

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Shop Taste of Home

Matthew 13:16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.

Psalms 115:15 Ye are blessed of the LORD which made heaven and earth.

 AWESOME NEWS ……….

We at Southern Gals Cook are so EXCITED to announce that we are now affiliates with TASTE OF HOME magazine and you can shop TASTE OF HOME right from our site.

HOW COOL IS THIS?????

So, get your fav bev in hand, sit back, relax and follow the link below to shop, shop, shop!

And the best part, you don’t have to worry about dropping, your already sitting down!

(that’s a knee slapper joke right there)

Love y’all.  Happy Shopping!

Shop Taste of Home. Cookbooks, gadgets, magazines and much more. Shop now.

 

Don’t forget to order your subscription to TASTE OF HOME magazine.

Lots and lots of wonderful ideas, recipes and more!

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Cookbooks galore, order yours today!

cookbookThanks and God Bless,

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Hands

John 13:35  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Have you ever studied your hands?

The lines and colors. The freckles and veins. The length of your fingers and the shape of your nails. I like to sew and was pondering a few projects that I would like to begin when Proverbs 31:13 came to mind:

13 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.

That thought was followed with these verses from the same book and chapter:

19 She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. 20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.

In fact, that whole chapter mentions the work and the fruit of a virtuous woman’s hands. Another Proverb says:

14:1 Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.

It seems like such a trivial thing, but what a gift and a responsibility the Lord has afforded us with these extensions of our bodies.

Bodies?

No.

The more I think about it, the more I realize that our hands are really extensions of our hearts.

As a wife, a mom, and a Child of the King, I want my hands to be used for sharing the love that God put in my heart the moment He saved my soul, and not for selfishness.Yet, I seem to use it more for the latter.

My hands have dug in the dirt of our garden. They have kneaded and rolled out dough. They have sewn and cut and mended… but more than that…

With my hands I have comforted my children during broken hearts, skinned knees, and fevers. With the same love, I have used my hands to correct their behavior.

My left hand bears the symbol of a promise I made to my husband and to God.

I have scars that prove my clumsiness.

My lack of manicure tattles of both my love for working and my laziness in grooming.

I have folded my hands to thank God for provision.

I have folded my hands to beg for forgiveness.

I have done many things with my hands. Not always good. Not always charitable.

You see, my heart isn’t perfect; therefore, my hands aren’t perfect.

But there is a pair of hands that are perfect in their imperfection.

They aren’t pretty, but they are glorious.

They are scarred, but not because of clumsiness like mine. They are scarred from nails being driven into them.         Passion_Jesus_Hand

The nails tore into the flesh of a man and attached Him to a cross. They didn’t keep Him on the cross. His love for me… and for you… that’s what kept Him there.

I don’t know that I could ever love humanity so much that I would die for it, but I don’t have to. Someone already did that.

When I get to heaven, my hands won’t be scarred anymore. They won’t be clumsy. They won’t be selfish. They won’t be ugly. They will be part of my new, glorified body– a body free of sin and death. My new hands will be lifted up, praising the one who bears the scars of His love for me in His precious hands.

What a day that will be.

 

By: Tangi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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