Recipes from My Journey
Momma's Cornbread Dressing
You have to buy 2 packs of Martha White's Cotton Country Cornbread Mix. This is vital. I don't know why. Mix the cornbread mix with 3 eggs, 2 tablespoons of mayo, and enough milk (I would use buttermilk) to make it look like it is supposed to. Cook the cornbread per the instructions on the mix. Let the cornbread cool. Mix together crumbled cornbread, 1 grated onion, 1 1/2 sticks of margarine, black pepper to taste, 1 teaspoon of sage, 2 cans of cream of chicken soup, and 1 can of chicken broth. You can also boil 4 chicken breast and use that broth instead of the canned chicken broth. You can also add in pieces of chicken. At Thanksgiving, my mom uses juice from the turkey either to replace the chicken broth or to use instead of the chicken broth (depends on amount available). Pour the mixture into a greased 8 x 10 or 8 x 12 pan and then bake for 30 minutes at 450 degrees. Then be cautious, because you will want to eat the whole thing.
This one is really easy. Drain a can of mixed fruit. Mix it with around 8 ounces of cottage cheese, 1 small pack of strawberry Jello, and 1 small bowl of Cool Whip. Refrigerate it for a couple of hours, and then prepare to pick out the fruit that disgusts you.
Momma doesn't measure when she cooks cornbread, so we estimated. Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Mix together somewhere near 2 cups of Martha White self-rising white cornmeal, a little more than 1 1/2 cups of buttermilk, one egg, and a little Canola oil (maybe an 1/8 of a cup). Cover the bottom of an 8 or 9 inch iron skillet with Canola oil. Heat on top of the stove until around a 1/2 teaspoon of flour sizzles on the bottom of the pan. Pour the cornbread mix into the hot skillet and then put into the oven for 25 to 30 minutes.
My Friend's Fried Chicken
There are a couple of keys to country-frying. First is the batter. I prefer to wash and pat dry the chicken. Then dip in buttermilk, shaking off the excess. Roll in self-rising flour seasoned with Morton's "Nature Season" until all of the buttermilk is absorbed. Second is the grease (a critical step). Think about how you see French fries cooking at McDonald's. When the fries hit the grease, those babies are rolling in hot, boiling grease. Country-frying is much like that. Use about a half-inch vegetable (canola, whatever) in your skillet. If you're pure country, it will be a cast iron chicken fryer with a half inch of lard. Make sure the grease is HOT BEFORE you put the meat in. You want it to sizzle but not burn the batter. I cook the first side until it is golden brown, then cover for a few minutes to help cook the chicken throughout. Chicken must be well done. Then I uncover, cook a few minutes more, then carefully turn. It should still be sizzling. I brown the second side, then cover again for a few minutes. Lou (the best cook ever) told me to turn the heat UP just before removing the chicken. If you turn the heat DOWN, the meat will absorb the grease. I try to turn the meat only once. Sometimes with chicken, because it is thicker, I may break that rule and turn more than once.
Grandma Leona's Fried Chicken
Remove the skin and soak the chicken overnight in salt water. This is my sister's advice that I think is very good. Cover in flour and pepper and put into hot grease. I suspected that Grandma Leona used lard. My aunt says that my Grandma used Crisco, but that she uses vegetable oil with some olive oil. Turn the heat to medium and cover. Cook chicken until almost done. Remove the cover and turn to high heat to brown. The key is to use an iron skillet and a whole fryer. Enjoy.