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Southern Girl Recipes

Many of us learn how to cook authentic southern foods by working along side our mothers and grandmothers in the kitchen.

Here are some of our favorite recipes and tips on putting a truly southern meal on the table...enjoy!

1 lb. dried apples
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
dash of cinnamon or nutmeg

Place all in a saucepan and cook until tender.

Use basic biscuit dough (or canned biscuits). Pinch off dough as for a biscuit. Roll out each piece, not too thin, and place apple mixture on half of dough, fold over other side and seal. Press edges with a fork. Fry in iron skillet in fat until golden brown. Turning to brown both sides. Drain on paper towel. Can sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon, if desired.


Wash and scrub ham well, using a brush if necessary to remove all outside salt. Soak ham in a large amount of water at least 15 hours, skin side up. Changing water at least once.

Pour off water and cover with fresh water and boil about 20 minutes per pound, turning ham during cooking.

Allow to cool in same water (reserve water in which greens, collards or beans may be cooked.)

Skin ham, rub with brown sugar and dry mustard. Bake at 325 degrees for about 30 minutes, basting occasionally with drippings from pan.


2 cups* Buttermilk Biscuit Mix
2/3 cup** water or milk

Preheat oven to 425°F. Combine Buttermilk Biscuit Mix and milk or water in a bowl, mixing until just combined. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead 5-6 times. Roll dough to 1/2-inch thickness and cut out with biscuit cutter. Place on a cookie sheet. Bake 8-11 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 9 or 10 biscuits.


*Do not sift this product as it contains shortening flakes that dissolve during baking.
**One cup of buttermilk may be used instead of water or milk.

1 big fat hen or rooster, cut up
Salt and pepper
Aktinson's Frozen Pastry Strips

In a big pot, place a cut up chicken and cover with water. Add salt to taste. Let boil until tender and a golden fat rises to the top of the water, making a rich broth. Remove chicken and allow to cool, so the skin can be removed and the meat deboned. Place chicken back in broth. Place frozen pastry strips over the top of cooked chicken in gentle rolling broth. Allow each layer to cook 2-3 minutes and stir down in the broth with a wooden spoon before adding the next layer.


Don't add to much pastry for the amount of broth in the pot. If needed, add additional boiling water to the broth, and if the broth is not rich enough with chicken fat, add chicken bullion cubes. (It is best to have too little pastry than to have too much.) After the last layer has cooked at least 5 minutes, stir down in the broth and allow the whole pot to cook another 6-8 minutes longer. It will thicken some more when it sits awhile after removing from burner. You don't want it be too dry.

2 cups Buttermilk Biscuit Mix
2/3 cup water
3 tbsp butter or margarine - melted
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp raisins - optional
1 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
6 tsp milk



Preheat oven to 450°F. Mix House-Autry Buttermilk Biscuit Mix and water in a bowl; stir until combined. Roll the dough into a 12-inch x 8-inch rectangle. Brush with butter or margarine. Mix sugar and cinnamon in a cup. Sprinkle about 2/3 of the mixture evenly over the margarine. Sprinkle with raisins. Starting from a long side, roll dough up tightly. Seal seams, slice roll into 1-inch pieces. Place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with remaining cinnamon sugar. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until done. Makes approximately 12 rolls.

For Icing: Combine confectioner's sugar, vanilla extract and milk; mix well. Drizzle over rolls.

Collards are a year-round favorite in Carolina Tobacco Country. Each season produces a different flavor and texture. They are not a boring vegetable for they do not always taste the same.

Summer collards are tougher and require more cooking time. Though they may be put in at the same time as the meat, and cooked just as long, the are still a bit crunchy when served.

On the other hand, winter collards are tender after they are kissed by frost and require only 30 minutes of cooking. They are naturally sweet and certain to appear on the table at Thanksgiving and Christmas along with baked sweet potatoes.


They withstand all but the very hardest freezes, and even the stalks where the winter collards were cut off sprout again in the spring giving yet a different flavor. They are tender and are served with sliced green onions and vinegar. Summer collards are good with fresh, hot green pepper chopped in them, sliced tomatoes, stew fried corn made from corn just out of the corn patch.

Collards are cooked very much like rutabagas and other vegetables but require more meat to season them and must not be crowded in the pot. Tender collards are put in the pot when the meat is almost done, while though ones are put in with meat.

There is just a bit of "know-how" required in cooking a good "mess" of collards. Some people like to add a little sugar to them while others do not. Corn dumplings are good with them no matter what the season. Even though dumplings may be cooked with the collards, fried corn bread usually accompanies the meal also.

2 lbs. collards1 to 2 lbs meat, (smoked or unsmoked) depending on the fatness
Salt to taste (may not require salt if your meat is very salty)
Water to cover collards well after they are wilted

Look collards well for vermin and bad spots to remove. Wash in several waters, if needed. Put summer collards in with the meat, accouding to their tenderness. Winter collards are put in after the meat tenders. Use your won judgement. Cook until done. Peeled potatoes and corn meal dumplings may be added abut 30 minutes before collards are done.

When done, take up potaotes and dumplings and lift collards out of pot liquor. Drain collards well and put in a bowl. Chop with hand chopper, or with a knife in each hand, cut through collards simultaneously until collards are chopped well. Drain again. Then, with a big spoon, scoop some of the fat off the top of the pot liquor and mix in with the collards.

Note: Collards are good warmed over for breakfast. Serve with hot biscuits.

1 2/3 cups Buttermilk Biscuit Mix
1/2 cup water
8 ounces thinly sliced country ham
3/4 cup coffee

Preheat oven to 425°F. In a medium bowl, combine biscuit mix and water; stir until blended. Drop 5 equal portions onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake until tops are crispy and golden brown, about 11 minutes.


Meanwhile, place ham in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until both sides are browned, about 8 minutes. Pour coffee into skillet to deglaze pan, stirring to make sure any particles that have stuck to the skillet are loosened. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 5 minutes.

Split biscuits in half and place a slice of country ham between halves. Dip in the red eye gravy.

Fig Filling:

12 oz moist dried figs - used black mission from Trader Joes
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs water
1/2 cup orange juice

Finely chop the figs and place in a sauce pan with remaining ingredients. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until softened. Don't let them cook dry. At this point I used an immersion blender to make it spreadable. Let cool to room temp before spreading it on the cookie base. If it gets too thick stir in a little water or orange juice.

Cookie Base
1 yellow cake mix (dry)
3 cups oatmeal (uncooked)
3/4 cup chopped nuts
3/4 cup butter, melted (I used real butter)
2 eggs

Combine all ingredients and blend well. Press about 2/3 of the mix into a greased or sprayed 13 x 9 inch pan. Spread the filling over the base and sprinkle remaining mix over filling. Press down lightly. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cut after cooled. If you use a glass or corning pan reduce heat to 325 degrees.

Mix together:

6 cups okra, sliced about 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/2 tsp.salt
1/2 cup corn meal

Heat oil in frying pan. Place okra into hot grease. Brown on one side and gently turn to brown other side. When crisp and tender, remove from skillet, drain on paper towels and serve.


1 cup Atkinson's Mill Plain Yellow or White Corn meal
3/4 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of water

Mix corn meal and salt. Stir in water until well mixed. Put 2 to 3 teaspoons of mixture on a hot greased griddle. Pat into cakes 1/2 inch thick and let cook. When one side is done, turn over and brown the other. Serve very hot. Good with fish or vegetables. Extra finely ground corn meal or Atkinson's self-rising corn meal are not recommended for this recipe.


Sweet potatoes are delicious cooked whole. When baked, their thin skin puffs to a crisp finish and inside you’ll discover a sweet, pillowy flesh. While baking is the most traditional way to cook sweet potatoes, there are countless ways to prepare them and cash in on their heavenly sweetness.

  • When cooking whole sweet potatoes, wash and place on a foil covered baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 40-50 minutes or until fork tender.
  • Sauté sliced or diced sweet potatoes in oil for about 10 minutes.
  • Quick boil by adding 1-inch thick slices to a skillet with 2 inches of boiling water; cook for about 12 minutes or boil with skins on for 25-30 minutes, drain, peel off skin.
  • Steam 1-inch slices over simmering water.
  • Microwave whole sweet potatoes for 5 to 8 minutes rotating halfway through.


  • Micro-bake whole sweet potatoes: microwave 4 minutes, then bake at 450 degrees for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Grill or broil 1-inch thick slices for 10 minutes or cut sweet potato in half lengthwise and grill 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Grate raw into slaws and salads.

Muscadine Grape JamMakes 8 (8-ounce) jars.


6-quart heavy bottom pot with lid
4-quart heavy bottom pot
large bowl
sieve or food mill
potato masher
8 (8-ounce) jelly jars with lids and bands
canning pot with lid
wide mouth funnel
jar lifter


1 gallon muscadine grapes
4-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 package pectin, dry


1. Rinse the grapes well and remove the stems. Pierce each grape with a sharp· knife and put them in 6-quart pot. Add water just until the grapes start to float. Cover with the lid and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook until the grapes are soft, about 30 to 40 minutes. Mash the grapes using the potato masher.

2. Press the mixture through a sieve or use a food mill to separate the pulp from the skins and seeds. Use a spatula to scrape excess pulp from underneath the sieve into the bowl. You should end up with about 6 cups of juice. Transfer the pulp and juice into the 4-quart pot.

3. Mix together the pectin and 1/4 cup of the sugar, then add to the grape pulp and bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. Add the remaining sugar and bring back to a full boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. The mixture should have small bubbles constantly breaking the surface. Continue cooking for 10 minutes, then test the mixture by spooning a little out onto a plate. Wait a few minutes and check the jam, it should start to set as it cools. If it’s too runny, continue cooking and checking every 5 minutes.

4. While the mixture cooks, place the jars in the canning pot and add water until it’s 1 inch over the top of the jars. Bring to a boil and then turn off the heat, leaving the jars in for at least 10 minutes. In the small pot, heat water to 180° F. Add the lids and leave them in for at least 10 minutes to soften the sealing compound and sterilize them. Do not boil the lids to avoid seal failure.

5. When the mixture is ready, drain and remove the jars from the pot. Turn on the heat for the canning pot and bring the water temperature up to 180° F. Ladle the jam mixture into the jars using the wide mouth funnel, leaving about 1/4-inch headspace. Run a thin spatula around the inside edge of the jar to remove bubbles. Wipe the top of the jars clean with a clean damp cloth and place the hot lids on top. Add the bands and tighten just until finger tight.

6. Use the jar lifter to gently lower the jars into the hot water. Cover with the lid and bring back to a rolling boil. Process for 10 minutes, then use the jar lifter to remove the jars from the pot. Place hot jars on a wooden board and leave them for 12 to 24 hours, until they cool completely. Check for a seal after they have cooled. Store sealed jars in a cool dark place for up to 12 months. Store any unsealed jars in the refrigerator.

Barbecue in most parts contain ketchup or tomatoes in some form. NC Barbecue contains no tomatoes, but is basted with hot sauce made of selected peppers and vinegar, as it cooks.

1 100-125 lb pig, cleaned and split so it will lay flat and soaked in lightly salted water for 2 or more hours
A sauce made of crushed home-grown peppers, chili powder, salt and lots of black pepper, in a base of hot pepper vinegar


Dig a 4 x 6 ft. pit about 2 ft. deep. Put coals from a fire made of hickory, oak or apple wood, in the bottom of the pit. Stretch a piece of fencing wire over the pit to hold the pig.

Let the pig cook slowly, adding coals as needed, about 6-8 hours. Put the split side of the pig on first. Turning occasionally, letting the skin get very crips. Keep basting with the vinegar pepper sauce.

It is served at a "Pig Picking" where everyone does just that. They pick off the part they want to eat. There is usually more wast when it is served that way. Another way is to have one ore more person chop up the meat and add additional sauce as they mix it together. It is then served on plates with slaw and corn bread.

Today, there are special built grills for pig barbecues; and there are some good commercial sauces.

1 1/3 cups sugar
1/2 cup self rising flour
2 2/3 cups milk
2-4 eggs (2 if you top pudding with wafers, 4 if you top with meringue)
1 tbsp butter or margine
2 tsp vanilla
1 box Vanilla wafers
4-5 ripe bananas


In a medium sauce pan mix all ingredients (2 whole eggs or 4 egg yolks) stir it really well with a whisk. Continue to stir with large spoon, making sure to not let mixture stick or scorch. Cook until it reaches pudding consistency.

Layer vanilla wafers in bottom of dish, top with sliced bananas and half the pudding. Repeat layers. Then top with meringue.

4 egg whites, at room temperature
5 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat the egg whites at high speed until they form soft peaks. Add the cream of tartar. At high speed, gradually add the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold the vanilla into the meringue, and spread the meringue over the pudding, sealing it at the sides of the dish.

Bake in a preheated 375°F oven until meringue browns, 12 to 15 minutes, depending upon your oven.

3 Eggs
1/2 Cup heavy cream
1/2 Cup dark corn syrup
1/4 Teaspoon salt
1 Cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 Stick Butter, melted
1 1/2 Cups chopped pecans

Preheat oven 350 degrees. Beat eggs, then blend in all ingredients. Pour into unbaked 9” deep pie shell. Bake about 45 minutes or until crust is brown and filling is puffed and set. Cool.


8 medium potatoes, cooked in salted water and diced
4 boiled eggs, chopped
2 heaping Tbsp. mayonaise (may need more)
2/3 cup sweet pickles, cut up
1 teas. prepared mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
1 medium onion, diced (onion optional)

Mix all ingredients in a large bow; then put in a smaller bowl for serving.



235-A East Market Street
Smithfield, North Carolina 27577

tel 919.989.8687  |  fax 919.989.6295
toll free 1.800.441.7829

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