Mammie’s Cornbread Dressing

One of the best things out of the kitchen on Thanksgiving day was Mammie’s hot cornbread dressing complete with her perfect turkey gravy.  Though a little time consuming, it’s worth every second.

4 c. bread crumbs (leftover biscuits or loaf bread)

4 c. egg cornbread (use several eggs to make, use white cornmeal)

1/2 c. chopped onion

1 c. chopped celery

salt & pepper to taste

1 t sage (optional)

3 c. chicken or turkey broth

1/3 c. butter

1 c. milk

Crumble the biscuits and cornbread in a large bowl.  Add onion, celery, and seasonings.  Melt butter in milk and broth until warm.  Add warm broth to cornbread/biscuits until the mixture is soft.  It should allow for loss of moisture during baking.  Add more broth if necessary.  Pour into a greased9 x 13 baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for about an hour or until well browned.

Lemon Meringue Pie

There is a gathering of the West family on a Sunday afternoon in May each year in South Carolina.  My mother (Mammie) would always make and take Lemon Meringue Tarts to this reunion to add to the long table of desserts.  As her daughter, I never chose to eat her tarts at the reunion because I took them for granted.  She made them often for our after church Sunday dinners.  But they never lasted long as they were always in great demand on those Sunday afternoons in May.  Everyone raved about them.  I think I’ll make them again soon.  Here is the recipe written for a pie, instead of individual tarts.

4 eggs separated                       1/3 cup lemon juice

1 1/2 cup sugar                          2 cups boiling water

1/2 cup cornstarch                    1 Tablespoon butter

grated rind of 2 lemons            1/8 teaspoon salt

Combine sugar, cornstarch and lemon rind.  Add boiling water.  Cook on stove until mixture begins to thicken.  Turn off and cook, stirring constantly for 5 minutes.  Add egg yolks, lemon juice and butter.  Cook on low for 5 minutes.  Turn into a baked pie shell.  Cover with meringue made of the 4 egg whites and 1/2 cup of sugar.  Bake at 325 for 15 minutes.

Mammie’s Blondies (or Pecan Sticks)

I only learned the recipe book name for these maple-y brown sugar pecan-filled light brownies once the recipe was passed down from my mom to me while in my twenties. Mammie always had a tin of these cookies around, and I will never forget the amazing aroma from her kitchen when she baked them.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c shortening, melted (I use butter)
  • 2 c brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c pecan nuts, broken into pieces
  • 2 t vanilla
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2 c flour
  • 2 t baking powder

Directions

Grease a 9×13″ pan. Set aside.

Pre-heat oven to 350ºF.

Beat eggs, sugar, and vanilla for 10 minutes.

Beat in melted butter.

Add the rest.

Pour into pan. Bake for 30 minutes.

Cool completely before slicing into small squares.

Mammie’s Spaghetti Sauce

Every June we vacationed at Mammie and Papa’s beach house in Litchfield, South Carolina. After a 10 hour drive from Birmingham, AL, we would arrive and a pot of Mammie’s Spaghetti would be on the stove. Though not particularly Southern, it was always a comfort food because it reminded me of Mammie. (serves 4-6)

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 large can of tomatoes
  • 1 can of tomato sauce
  • 1 jar of chili sauce, such as Heinz
  • Spiced: oregano, basil, thyme, etc.

Directions

Brown beef, pepper, and onion together in a large pot. Drain the fat, if you wish. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili sauce, and spices to taste. Simmer with the top off until done.

Lovey’s Hot Milk Caramel Cake

To this day I am still not certain who Lovey is, but Caramel Cake is in my opinion one of the best desserts to come out of the South. This is the easier way to make Caramel Cake – in a 9×13 pan – which avoids icing disasters, but the taste is the same.

I got this recipe from my Mom, who got it from Mammie.

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 stick butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Icing:

  • 1 cup well-packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

Directions

Cake

Grease a 9×13″ pan. Set aside.

Beat 4 eggs well; then mix flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Add eggs & mix well.

Heat the milk and butter together until butter is melted and mixture is hot. Beat into flour & egg mixture. Mix well. Add vanilla.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes.

Cool completely.

Icing

Melt brown sugar, milk, and butter, stirring over medium high until bubbly. Remove from heat & beat in powdered sugar. Pour over cooled cake.