Gut Rumbles

August 09, 2003

southern food

I love Southern food. I'm a skinny little shit, but I still like to eat the good stuff I find around me all the time. Here are MY TOP TEN SOUTHERN FOODS

1) Southern Fried Chicken. I have a recipe that'll blow your drawers off.

2) Fried Okra. Good? Just damn!

3) Blackeyed peas and rice. Good with all of the above.

4) Fried green tomatoes. If you've never tried them, you've never lived.

5) Pinto beans and cornbread. Food of the Gods.

6) Fresh watermelon, bought at a roadside stand from a farmer that you can dicker with. He's selling them for $2.00 each, but you can get three for $5.00 if you flash some green. A Southern watermelon in the summer is as sweet as you mama's kiss.

7) Grits. ALL HAIL GRITS!!! I don't give a shit what the group captain thinks about this matter. Grits are GOOD, with over-easy eggs in the morning, or with fish and shrimp at night. Anybody who doesn't eat grits should be dragged off and shot.

8) Low Country Boil. If you don't know what that is, you are pathetic.

9) Barbecued pork ribs. I'm taking about falling off the bone tender, with lots of hot sauce. Come South and taste mine. You'll never go north again.

10) Fresh fried, skillet-made creamed corn. That'll make you kiss the cook.

I could go on, but I am finished now.


Southern food IS excellent. I particularly enjoy the tradition of Black-eyed peas on New Year's. (Is this just a Texas thing or is it common throughout the South?) I like grits, either plain w/butter or in the variations prepared with cheese and garlic and jalapenos that you see in central Texas.

Posted by: dragonfly jenny on August 9, 2003 10:19 AM

Pinto beans and cornbread - damned straight. And not that sweet, cake-like crap served most places, but good medium-grind yellow corn meal, just enough flour to get it to hold together well, baking powder, salt, and bacon grease in a hot, greased cast iron skillet, baked until the crust is golden on top and brown on the bottom.

Damn. Now I've got to go to the store.

Posted by: Kevin Baker on August 9, 2003 10:37 AM

Okay, I'm pathetic. But you probably knew that. ;>

Is it something like the Cajun boil thing I saw them doing on PBS one time?

I love fried chicken. My sister never really made that until after she lived in the south. She also makes good chicken fried steak, which she picked up down there.

Never had okra, least not fried, far as I can recall. Fried eggplant. Fried zucchini. No okra.

Never had fried green tomatoes, but green tomato jelly is great stuff. My grandmother made that a few times; gives something to do with all the green tomatoes you gotta pick before they get hit with frost.

Used to grow watermelon, and I like it, but am not crazy about it like some people. Never liked having to deal with the seeds. Fun to grow though, but tough here because it needs a long season.

I love ribs. May never have had them the way you make them, but I'd sure be happy to try them.

I have never had homemade creamed corn. Only the stuff from a can, which is good, but I always figured what's the point; corn is awesome all by itself, on or off the cob. Bet it's way better made fresh than it is canned.

You should post recipes for some of this stuff!

Posted by: Jay Solo on August 9, 2003 10:41 AM

One thing I never tried while living in the Lowcountry was the Boil. I always wished I had.

I can not get past the Cream of Wheat texture of grits, so I never tried them either.

A recipe for the fried chicken would be fantabulous!

Posted by: langus on August 9, 2003 10:46 AM

Don't forget to put tabasco sauce on your black-eyed peas and rice...good ol' "hopping johns."

I LOVE to mix my "over easy" eggs and grits together and then use my white bread toast to scoop it up...I know it looks disgusting, but yummy. My daddy used to say, "if you're gonna eat like a nigger...go to the kitchen."
I did.

Acidman...I make wonderful fried chicken!!!!

Don't forget shrimp gumbo or jambalaya!

or....lordy, am I getting hungry!!!

Posted by: Laura on August 9, 2003 11:12 AM

Before any readers get offended...that was my father's quote...not mine.

Just covering my ass.

Posted by: Laura on August 9, 2003 11:13 AM

For those of us from the deep, deep south. There are a couple of other things. One of them is Hot Boiled peanuts. I could eat bags of em. Stopping at a Waffle house and eating one of there fine waffles. Grits, ooh how I can't say enough about a big bowl of grits. And for us old rednecks. Ketchup in Grits! But you got the grits. Speaking of beans, Butter Beans with a big ole hamhock thats been cooking in a slow cooker all day. I'll take with my cornbread!

Posted by: julian on August 9, 2003 11:25 AM

Fried Catfish, hushpuppies, boiled peanuts (got some going right now), big, no huge GA peaches from a stand, crawfish, pecan pie, home-made macaroni and cheese (like granma use to make), sweet potatoes with pecans on top, oyster dressing, etc....


Posted by: Laura on August 9, 2003 11:28 AM

I love pecan pie! And peaches. And sweet potatoes.

Posted by: Jay Solo on August 9, 2003 11:50 AM

Most of this stuff makes my mouth water, but the peaches down here, that I was so looking forward to when i moved to FL, suck! My step-son is coming from CA next month. I'm begging him to bring peaches. Big, sweet, juicy peaches vs. these damned GA imitation peaches- small, hard, bitter, half pit....yecchhh!

Posted by: Larry on August 9, 2003 11:57 AM

Oh, and drag me off and shoot me cause I just don't get grits. Sorry.

Posted by: Larry on August 9, 2003 11:59 AM

You guys forgot:
1) tomato gravy
2)fried apples
3)bread pudding with whiskey sauce

And...of course, here in Virginia, everything goes well with a Mint Julep!

Posted by: Barbara on August 9, 2003 12:31 PM

I am from the Pacific NW but grew up in the midwest with southern aunts and uncles. I do miss grits and eggs with gravy wasn't able to master making it when I became the adult. I have searched for any type of recipe for skillet-made cream corn. I remember watching my Aunt make it when I was a kid. Never had that I know of Low Country Boil what is it? OK I'm pathetic don't have a clue what it is. The closet thing we have here to any type of southern cooking would be Popeys I love the cajun rice and fried chicken but nothing can beat the real thing like my Aunt use to make. Makes me long for the good old days in her kitchen.

Posted by: Lady on August 9, 2003 12:31 PM

The only thing that would put MB off grits would be if they were runny, which, she suspects, might be a wee bit of a problem. Any grain HAS to be cooked long enough to drive off the excess moisture. There are probably 93 different ways to decorate them, too.

Fried Green Tomatoes, either skillet or deep-fat, are to die for; MB is a damn Yankee that loves okra, but haven't had it fried. Cornbread recipes NEVER have the balance right between the ground corn and the flour, so MB just throws in extra corn.

All the rest of those things sound as though they have real potential; maybe some day !! As suggested above, some recipes sure would go fine!

Posted by: MommaBear on August 9, 2003 12:32 PM

Fried chicken is greasy, fried okra is just too bizarre to contemplate (though I like fried zucchini if Carl's Jr. still has it next time I can get to one), and I don't even like red tomatoes, except in a sauce or condiment.

I'd like to try low country boil sometime, maybe our next vacation at Jekyll (A-man, did you get to the place at the marina that features that?), but most of the stuff on that list I'd just as soon only have once in a great while.

Nothing beats good old Western cuisine -- a thick juicy steak, whether made from domestic cow or buffalo; ranch-style beans; corn on the cob (creamed is for horse wranglers who've had all their teeth kicked out), and either biscuits or sourdough bread.

That's eatin'!

Posted by: McGehee on August 9, 2003 12:53 PM

That does it. I'm moving in with Kevin. Clear out the spare bedroom. I'll be there by sundown! When's dinner? I'm starved. And it better be steak!

(And rare steak at that. My motto: Knock its horns off, wipe its ass, and put it on my plate!)

J ;-P

Posted by: Joni on August 9, 2003 01:24 PM

Low country boil is what I thought it was. Saw them making it on one of those cooking shows. Search low country boil on Google and you'll get some hits that have a variety of recipes. Some with shrimp, some without, etc.

Posted by: Jay Solo on August 9, 2003 01:34 PM

Wow.. this sounds like a Southern Cooking show.. Gut Rumbles sound like a good name for your cookbook.. lol
Y'all making me hungry.. my additions:
Banana Pudding (just made some)
Blackberry Cobbler
Chicken and Rice
Sweet Potato Pie
oh as can't forget sausage gravy!
.. one of the G.R.I.T.S ~> Girls Raised In The South.. ;-)

Posted by: TexasGal on August 9, 2003 01:48 PM

I say let's get to sharin' some recipes.....
And don't forget homemade ice cream!

Posted by: Ruby on August 9, 2003 02:05 PM

I am shocked, *shocked* that no one here has even mentioned the crown of Southern cuisine...

Chicken fried steak.

How could you list this much Southern food and leave out chicken fried steak?

Posted by: Chantria on August 9, 2003 02:11 PM

I'll pass on the grits, but I second Barbara's suggestion about bread pudding. I have a kick ass recipe for the pudding, but I need one for a Jack Daniels sauce.

Posted by: Buffy on August 9, 2003 02:40 PM

Mmmmm. Fried Chicken. Damn this post makes me hungry.

And, there's no excuse for not liking grits. Even yankees like 'em, fer chrissakes. ;)

I think my stomach was imported from the south.

Posted by: Mr. Lion on August 9, 2003 03:12 PM

Grits are great...if you have a small hole in your wall that wants patching, since it has the exact colour, consistency, and flavour of spackling compound.

A Florida native (and there's a rarity in and of itself) spent the better part of a slow morning at work trying to convince me to eat grits. "You've just never had GOOD grits, with some butter, sausage gravy, maybe some cheese..." My reply: "why not just put all that on something that tastes good to start with?" That was the end of that.

OTOH, I have to agree with the chicken, pork ribs, and creamed corn. And you can also get good barbecue in general in the South, and really good potato salad (New York potato salad's actually blander than grits, believe it or not.)

At least you didn't mention boiled peanuts - I actually saw a tourist throw up after trying one of those at a roadside stand.

Posted by: Craig on August 9, 2003 03:36 PM

People who don't like grits just haven't eaten good grits. That's because they don't know how to make them at Denny's, and those packets of instant grits they sell in Publix are an abomination unto the Lord. (Well, they would be if I believed in the Lord.)

Posted by: Andrea Harris on August 9, 2003 04:16 PM

Amen! (If I believed, too.)

Instant grits? Oxymoron.

Posted by: Kevin Baker on August 9, 2003 05:10 PM

10. Barbeque trotters: God only put them on pigs so we could eat'em.

9. Beans: And i'm talking dried, sorted, washed and dumped in the pot with the fat, scrapings, and big old bone out of the ham that's been giving up it's morsels for the last several days just so's you'd have that bone for beans. And I don't soak my beans overnight, either. I think that ruins them. After they're done, cut a big slice of yellow onion over the top and have at it.

8. Cornbread: It gets it's own entry because it can almost be a meal on it's own. I mean "hot iron skillet, old bacon drippings, drop that batter in and rush it to the oven" cornbread. And if you have a few little crumbles of cracklin's to mix in the batter, all the better.

7. Fried apples: Love them with porkchops.

6. Fresh greenbeans cooked about all day with onions, ham bits, and potatoes. Mmmmm..

5. Jowl bacon: Side meat's fine if that's all you can find. Give me a thick old slice of jowl bacon with the rind still on it, fried out nice and crisp, with the rind still a little chewy.... Use it to dip in your egg yolks at breakfast...

4. Fried potatoes with onions. Another use for bacon fat. Heat it up, drop in your onions, follow it with your sliced potatoes, and cook'em up with some salt and lots of black pepper.

3. Real fried chicken. Don't use Crisco or Wesson, or any of that stuf. Fried chicken is why we make lard. And if your mama taught you right, you have an old glass dish in the bottom of the refridgerator with the drippings from the last time fried chicken. You start with that and top it off with the lard.

2. Fresh sausage gravy and home made biscuits. 'Nuff said.

1. Fried Pork chops. Dragged through a little flour and salt and pepper, and cooked in a little lard... cook them slow enough to keep them moist and fast enough to crisp the flour. Serve them up with the fried potatoes and the greenbeans, and if you're really talented, make some gravy from the brown crispy bits at the bottom of your cast iron fryer. Scoop a few of those fried apples up to go with it. Sunday never looked so good!

Hard to imagine I never lived south of Indianapolis except when I was in LA as a child, and that doesn't count. See, my mom is a farm raised, southern Indiana farm girl, and they all cook like that. And so do their daughters.

Posted by: Mamamontezz on August 9, 2003 05:14 PM

Oh, how could we forget...RED VELVET CAKE, and Coconut Cream Pie


Posted by: Laura on August 9, 2003 06:17 PM

you are so fucking WRONG! I'm a damn Yankee that's been eating friend green tomatoes all my life! Don't try to tell me that that's a southern food. Oh, and by the way, Chantria's right, how could you list 10 southern foods without listing chicken fried steak? Remember, I did live in Texas for a time.

Posted by: Marcl on August 9, 2003 06:35 PM

Sadly, this highly-effective dietary thingy I've been doing for a while discourages cornbread, biscuits, and grits, among other things. I save those delectables for the weekends.


Posted by: suli on August 9, 2003 07:22 PM

I shoukld start my own food thread. It work with condiments, after all. Maybe on things I like that lots of people don't, like lima beans, brocolli, and spinach.

What do you mean by butter beans? Never heard any called that name.

Posted by: Jay Solo on August 9, 2003 10:00 PM

Obviously I need sleep, with typos like that.

Posted by: Jay Solo on August 9, 2003 10:01 PM

Here's the Jack Daniel's sauce recipe...Hope you enjoy...
p.s....I use a bit more Jack than 2 oz.

Breadpudding with jack daniels sauce

Yield: 24 Servings

3 (1 lb) loaves stale bread
4 c Milk
8 Eggs
1 cn (12-oz.) evaporated milk
1/2 c Water
3/4 c Butter
2 c Sugar
2 tb Vanilla
1/2 ts Nutmeg
1 1/2 ts Cinnamon
1 c Butter (cut into pieces) Sauce MMMMM-

--------------------JACK DANIELSSAUCE--------------------

1/2 c Sugar
1/2 c Water
1/2 c Butter
2 oz Jack Daniels (Black Label)

Pudding ~----- Cube bread. Set aside in a large mixing bowl.
Combine all ingredients except 1 cup butter. Mix well and
pour over bread. Soak bread in milk mixture for 15 minutes.
Pour into a 13x9-inch buttered pan. Top bread mixture with
cut up butter. Bake at 325 degrees for 60 to 90 minutes or
until bread pudding mixture has risen 1-inch. Serve warm
sauce over bread pudding.

Jack Daniels Sauce:
~----------------- Mix sugar and water until dissolved.
Add butter and simmer until melted. Cook over high heat
for 2 minutes. Add JackDaniels and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes.

Posted by: Barbara on August 10, 2003 08:31 AM

You missed this one:
"chocolate gravy and biscuits."

Posted by: Bill Dennis on August 10, 2003 04:26 PM

Key Lime pie, bourbon pecan pie, okra and tomatoes, rice and tomatoes, and smoked or sugared cured ham.

Posted by: D2D on August 10, 2003 05:42 PM

Oh, I almost forgot. Pound cake, both kinds.

Posted by: D2D on August 10, 2003 05:43 PM

Craig: The crap tourists get at delis is not New York potato salad. The real stuff is pretty damn good, you just have to know where to find it.

Posted by: Mr. Lion on August 10, 2003 06:09 PM

Anybody downing Georgia peaches has obviously never had an Elberta. Oh and don't forget Red-Eye Gravy for yo biscuits and grits...

Posted by: GT_RULES on August 10, 2003 08:26 PM

Dammit Acid.. you're making me hungry (and there ain't nuttin' open around here at 2 in the mornin'...).

But... you put the Cornbread with the pinto beans, but NOT with the blackeyed peas and rice???? Ain't that sacriligious or something?

And yep, Sweet Potato Pie oughtta be in the top 10 Acid!

Posted by: Mark S. on August 11, 2003 01:55 AM

Posted by: sjd on August 12, 2003 02:39 PM

Since most folks think New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Lafayette and all of South Louisiana (anything north of Alexandria is considered Yankee territory) is anoth planet and not part of the South . . .

Let's face it, when you live 15 miles away from the Gulf of Mexico, it's hard to get more "Southern", we just prefer to do it with a Cajun Twist.

My favorites include :
> crawfish / crab / shrimp boil -- sorry, a Low Country boil just doesn't cut it if you're not using Zatairan's seasoning
> red beans and rice with good smoked sausage
> fried oyster Po-boy ***DRESSED***
> chicken & andouille gumbo

. . . and since being transplanted to Atlanta a few years back, I must say that fried green tomatoes and pulled pork have also become favorites that will last a lifetime.

Posted by: gumbo123 on August 14, 2003 10:11 AM

Send a damn Yankee back up north!

Posted by: Rudy on August 31, 2003 11:34 AM

got a recipe for Hopping Johns???
thx mucho!
love this site!

Posted by: Paula in Ft. Worth on January 1, 2004 07:33 PM

got a recipe for Hopping Johns???
thx mucho!
love this site!

Posted by: Paula in Ft. Worth on January 1, 2004 07:33 PM

got a recipe for Hopping Johns???
thx mucho!
love this site!

Posted by: Paula in Ft. Worth on January 1, 2004 07:33 PM

Study without thinking, and you are blind; think without studying, and you are in danger.

Posted by: Rice Sonja on May 3, 2004 03:43 PM
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