Screen Doors and Sweet Tea

Last Wednesday I had the privilege of interviewing Martha Hall Foose, author of the delightful new cookbook, Screen Doors and Sweet Tea. We sat on her farmhouse porch, sipping sweet tea and fanning ourselves to keep cool (oh lordy, you know how obstreperous that Mississippi humidity can be don’t you?!?) . We enjoyed some Blueberry Muffins using blueberries from Old Mr. Ashcraft, and had some of Martha’s famous Sweet Tea Pie! Ah, such is the life of a food show host!!!
Oh, all right, I’ll fess up: I was in a hot and stuffy studio in Woonsocket, RI…. and Martha was calling from her Mississippi kitchen! jeez….a girl can dream can’t she? Have you ever read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil(a terrific mystery set in Savannah) or The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (A classic Southern tale of hilarity set in a sleepy Louisiana parish)? Well, although Screen Doors and Sweet Tea is a cookbook, Martha’s writing/storytelling brings alive the the characters, landscape and traditions of the South and it’s cuisine. While reading the book I felt as if knew the characters and could taste the food! Martha is currently the Executive Chef of the Viking Cooking School. I love the book, so much so, I can’t wait to try out every single recipe! Since the price of gas is so high now and folks are sticking close to home, why not head to your local bookstore (or click on the amazon link below) and pick up a copy or two of this wonderful book and “take a trip down south” and experience some Southern cuisine and hospitality for yourself! ENJOY!
Here are a couple of recipes from Screen Doors and Sweet Tea to enjoy:

Blueberry Muffins
makes 18
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 2 large eggs
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar 1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon baking powder 1/2 cup (i stick0 unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon grated lemon
1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Grating of nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries(do not thaw)

Preheat the oven to 350 F (in the book it says 475! Way too high, most of my muffins burned on the outside! but were so tasty inside ) Line 18 muffin cups with paper baking cups.
Ina large bowl with a whisk, combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. Toss the blueberries to coat with the flour and evenly distribute. Ina separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, butter, zest, and almond and vanilla extracts.
Using a rubber spatula, combine the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir just until everything is moistened. Divide the batter among the muffin cups, filling each two-thirds full.
Bake for 28-30 minutes, or until the tops spring back lightly when touched. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and then turn out of the pan onto a rack to cool.

Three Day Slaw
I made this Slaw on Saturday to take to a Graduation party. After marinating for about 6 hours it was tasty, but not half as good as it was on the second day!!!! Still crunchy, with the perfect TANG! Yummy, yummy…….
1 cup cider vinegar 1 small head green cabbage, shredded
1/4 cup sugar 1 small white onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon dry mustard 1 red bell pepper, sliced thinly
1 teaspoon celery seeds 1 cup shredded, peeled carrot
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup corn or vegetable oil
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine vinegar, sugar, mustard, celery seeds and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the oil. Cool until just warm to the touch, about 30 minutes.
In a large bowl or resealable food bag, combine cabbage, onion, bell pepper and carrot. Pour the warm dressing over the cabbage mixture. Cover and marinate for 8 hours, refrigerated, or up to three days.
Thank you Miss Martha!

Thanks Dad!

I have been hosting my radio show, Jen’s Dish for almost 2 years now and I often share personal food-related stories with my listeners. When sharing a food memory that involves my Mom or Dad, they always seem to be (pleasantly) surprised by the impact the memory has had on my life. Most of the time, they don’t even remember the event (ie; foraging for fiddleheads: my Mom doesn’t even remember my being there!). They may not realize it, but my parents had a huge influence on my “Culinary point of view”, for the better I might add!
So in honor of Father’s Day and my up-coming birthday, I thought I would publicly thank Dad for some of these cherished memories I have and food experiences he has shared with me over the years.

  • How to cook the perfect STEAK: Hotel Del Coronado style
  • Saturdays in Brattleboro: Dump runs, Grossman’s and a Quarter Pounder with cheese please!
  • Salami and provolone w/Dijon on an onion roll, perched on a rock while watching Kayak Races
  • Saturday lunches: Hot Pastrami Sandwiches
  • Burritos for 8 HUNGRY Firefighters
  • Doug’s TACOS
  • Sunday Omeletes without the EGG!
  • Cross-country FOOD Huntley style
  • Black-eyed Peas and Rice!
  • Please pass the Tabasco
  • Cheese Quesadillas
  • James Beard is the Man
  • Black Beans, Rice and Chard
  • Macaroni Salad
  • Aunt Amanda’s Fried Chicken

Thanks Dad, Keep Cooking,
I love you!
Bon Appetit!