Sunday, August 9, 2020

Celebrating Southern

As someone who grew up in the South, I cherish my Southern roots even in this day and age when saying you are "Southern" is likely politically incorrect.   I learned to sew, to decorate, to entertain, to dress, to stand up when adults entered the room, to respect my elders, to get an education and to cook. Everyone's path in life is different but I am thankful for what I was taught and exposed to growing up in the South.

My Southern roots go straight to the kitchen and I love to cook "gourmet Southern" and can't wait for this book to arrive.  I'd love to visit Vivian Howard's restaurant in Kinston, NC (it's on the way to the beach in eastern North Carolina, smack dab in the middle of what once was "tobacco country.")  We both attended the same high school in North Carolina.

The Chef and the Farmer is currently closed but hopefully one day I'll get to make the trip to Kinston and encounter what is considered to be one of the best dining spots in the country. 

My grandmother taught me and my sisters to sew at an early age.  We started with cross-stitch and moved into needlepoint and my treasure trove of needlepoint pillows made while I was in high school still exist.  So while companies like Lycette have been introducing the masses to stitching some of us have been doing it most of our lives.

And the South was the creator of some of these products that are the foundation of many Southern diets:

Duke's Mayonnaise - the only mayonnaise you'll find in my pantry

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts - The Rudolph Family secret recipe is said to remain hidden in a vault somewhere.  There was only one source when I was growing up, in my hometown, long before these became a household name. We'd get them off the conveyar belt, hot, and eat them by the dozen.

Texas Pete Hot Sauce - the only hot sauce in my house, made near my hometown.  

Mt. Olive Pickles - Eastern North Carolina's finest.

And a good Southern upbringing brings with it a vocabulary all your own, and you'll need a real Southern to interpret, trust me....  You can get a primer here.

Did you feel the earthquake around 8 am EDT this morning?  I was on a horse so I did not feel it but it hit North Carolina and was felt several states away.  Pandemics, hurricanes and now earthquakes.  Mother Nature is mad, very mad.


  1. If you get the chance, I highly recommend watching Somewhere South. It’s Vivian Howard’s show she did with PBS. It’s available for purchase on Amazon. Episode 1 was meh, but the further they progressed, they were wonderful. They pulled at your heart strings in good ways, and made you aware of our beloved South’s tainted past as well. I think you’ll love it, if you love the food, and Vivian Howard.

  2. Thank you so much! I will try to find it.

  3. Don't ever apologize for being raised in the South. . I spent 10 years in Virginia. The only thing I didn't like was the hot weather.. Virginia is a beautiful state, full of history, wonderful scenery; many, many vineyards (great wine, I miss it!) and wonderful traditions. I loved traveling the state; there was always something different and new to discover. I loved the Waterford Fair in October; Garden Week in April throughout the state and the historical re-enactments...Wonderful Southern traditions!

  4. love your blog although I don't post a comment often. Glad to know about Vivian Howard. I had gotten away from Dukes and switched to Wickles (from AL) relish but I may go back and buy Dukes again. I'm fiercely proud, raised in the deep south and for many generations back. Always love your "finds" and am an avid needlepointer, rug hooker etc. Cheers Mel

  5. I am from Kinston, where Vivian Howard was born. I understand that she attended a different high school, otherwise we would have attended the same small school out in the county. I have not dined at C&F, but we loved her oyster bar. Vivian is from a food animal agriculture family, raising pork. She has done a tremendous job of highlighting old southern food traditions and advocating for farmers, who work so hard to raise our food.


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