Monday, February 28, 2005

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Mississippi Piney Woods Country

Hey, Ya'll! When I read this article, I cried! I'm still crying as I send it to you. My tears are from the joy of knowing that there are still people over there in Mississippi who know how the world looks and tastes in the Piney Woods Country, and there are tears of helplessness because suddenly I'm more than just a little homesick. This article captures the essence of what I've been telling y'all about in Flavored with Love.

Great Tastes - Hattiesburg American -

How Many Crawfish Do I Need to Buy?

In response to an article Shane Bryan included in his blog, I stated that there are two reasons why people are able to eat so many crawfish.

Chef Shane on Seafood Blog - How Much Fish Do I Need To Buy?

We all know that the real reason we can eat so many crawfish is that they are so good that we can't stop until we collapse. Anyway, here are the two essential factors for assuming a huge mound of crawfish fast. First, there is an acquired skill of peeling them. Chef Brian Smith explained this technic.

Please refer to the article entitled "How to Eat Crawfish" listed on February 4 in The Collard Patch Blog for a lesson in eating crawfish.

The second important factor in eating crawfish is the practice of placing the heat inside the crawfish instead of on the outside. Some restaurants have a policy of sprinkling crawfish boil and extra cayenne pepper on the outside of the cooked crawfish. As a result, people cannot eat enough to fill their bellies because the pepper burns lips, chins, and fingers.

JR Slocum, who cooks some of the best crawfish I've ever eaten, does not sprinkle seasoning on the outside. Instead, he cooks the crawfish with the seasoning in the water. It costs him more to prepare them this way because it takes three times as much seasoning, but he would not do it any other way.

To experience JR's glorious crawfish, go to JR's Place in Simsboro, LA. Kathy and JR will be glad to serve you any Thursday, Friday, or Saturday evening.

Recipe: Andy's Pancakes from FLAVORED WITH LOVE


Recipe: Andy's Pancakes

One of my favorite pages in
FLAVORED WITH LOVE is the source of the pancake recipe below.

Andy’s Pancakes
1 egg, well beaten
1 cup flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 cup buttermilk (but I always put a little more)
Mix the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients. Pour the batter for a cake onto a hot greased griddle. Cook until the cake bubbles and then flip it. 12 medium size pancakes.

Andy Hurst is the Associate Pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church. In his sermon Face to Face with Faith (Luke 18:35-43) he discussed his culinary skills:

I do a little bit of cooking. Mostly I do breakfast stuff.

On Mondays I make breakfast burritos; on Tuesdays we have pancakes and we even make our own syrup: 2 cups sugar, 1 cup water, 1 teaspoon mapeline;
Wednesdays Power Breakfast; Thursdays Banana Muffins: ½ cup Crisco®, 1 cup sugar, 1 egg, 1 ½ cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda with 2
tablespoons warm water, 3 bananas, 1 teaspoon nutmeg, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons of vanilla.

Now I'm not the smartest cook in the world, but I have been noticing that several of the things that I cook have four common ingredients: Most of my recipes have eggs, sugar, flour and baking soda. My hunch is that if those four ingredients are used over and over again, they will make for a fullness of my waist.

Four ingredients, if they are used over and over again, will lead not to a fullness of waist but to a fullness of life.

All of these ingredients are found in the life of the blind beggar who cried out to Jesus. When these ingredients are all mixed together, added together, it is a guaranteed recipe for a transformed life.

The first ingredient of a transformed life is our need. The second ingredient of this man's transforming faith was the object of his faith.

The third ingredient of the man's faith is perseverance. The fourth ingredient to a transformed life is risk.

"Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" When the blind man took the risk of faith he received a priceless gift, an awesome purpose and a life of praise and the same thing will happen to you and me.

This morning, I want to ask you to make that prayer your prayer. Get in touch with your need, turn to Jesus and take the risk of faith and open your life up to His mercy.

Remember mercy is kindness and empathy toward you and His mercy is found in His willingness, His desire to act, to work in your life.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Recipe: Collard Wraps. Order Your Collard Seeds!

If you have flower beds around your house--any place with good sun--you can plant collards. Their dusty blue-green beauty enhances any landscape. You can go out and pick a collard leaf, rinse it, wilt it in the microwave 15-20 seconds, roll it in a flour tortilla with a sausage link or slice of lunch meat and chili or cheese, and roll up for a delicious wrap. Here is a great place to order your seeds: Collards

The Basics of Growing Collards in the Garden

Easy Gardening...Collards

Here is a garden tool set you may find useful:
Garden Tool Set

Recipe: Collard Green Custard

Collard Green Custard: Imagine that! Click on this link and read about it.

Plant Answers

Collard Questions and Answers


Collard History

Greeks and Romans Grew Kale and Collards

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Recipe: Buddy's Steak

Buddy and Carole Gregg, owners of Buddy Gregg Motor Homes, are expert barbecuing cooks. Buddy shared his method of cooking steak and told me I could pass the recipe around to all my friends. Click on the link below to find the newsletter that contains it.

While you are grilling in your back yard, you need to sit in beautiful, luxurious, comfortable, durable, and classy furniture, such as the Cedar Pergola Swing found here: Tailgating and Picnicking Essentials for Sports Fans, Campers, RVers, Lovers, and Families

Recipe: Green Chili Cheeseburgers; Tailgating and Picnicking Essentials

Christie and Mike grill often. They have tailgated at the LSU home games for several years. Here is one of their favorite recipes. More of their irresistible tailgating food can be found in Flavored with Love.

Here is an easy but unusual recipe for burgers with a Southwestern flavor:
Green Chili Cheeseburgers

Chop green chilies and add to the hamburger meat. Mix in some seasoned breadcrumbs, an egg, some tomato sauce, and Paul Prudhomme’s Meat Magic®. Grill the patties; add cheese.

Notes: If you want more green chili taste, lay a big piece of chili on top of the meat before adding the cheese.


We want to tell you about some exquisite tailgating and picnicking gear we found. If you are a sports fan or if you like to take your family picnicking and camping, you will find some of the Apple-Creek accessories irresistible.

I need the Freedom Grill™, and I think you will, too. Just imagine the smell of that wonderful grilled meat and veggies, now!
Tailgating and Picnicking Essentials for Sports Fans, Campers, RVers, Lovers, and Families

The beauty of this item is that it will fit into some commonly used trailer hitch receptacles found on SUVs, vans, and pickups. Simply attach it, and off you go to the fun!

Apple Creek provides gift wrapping in four styles: wedding, seasonal, masculine, and feminine themes. The cost is $6.00, which is reasonable for large items.

Apple-Creek began in 2003 at the foothills of the Smokey Mountains, in Tennessee, and is founded on the idea that outdoor living should be relaxing and enjoyable. Stemming from years of design and research, Apple-Creek picnic products are truly innovative, and fun.
Tailgating and Picnicking Essentials for Sports Fans, Campers, RVers, Lovers, and Families

Featured Recipes by Ruth Ishee, Laurel, MS, Cook of the Week

The Laurel Leader Call featured Ruth as the Cook of the Week September 18, 2003.

Cook of the Week: Remembers cooking all her life

Ruth Gregg Ishee, retired daycare operator, now resides in Shady Grove. She and her family attend Trinity Baptist Church; where she helps with the Wednesday night suppers provided by the Circle of Friends. She also serves on the Church Food Ministry Committee.

Ruth enjoys cooking and entering cooking contests with her family. Bill, her husband of fifty years, and Eddy, their son, have enjoyed the excitement of competition. They have placed in contests, including the annual Main Street Festival Low-Fat Cooking Contest and Pie Baking Contest sponsored by the Heart Care Center, the Girl Scout Cookie Contest at Sawmill Square Mall, Rudy's Farm Sausage Contest at South Mississippi Fair; and the Spam Cooking Contest also at the fair. They have won ribbons for food preservation and vegetable exhibits at the fair. They are still involved in gardening, freezing, and home canning much of their food.

Where I learned to cook

When she was asked where she learned to cooks Ruth said: I can't remember a time in my life when I was not a part of the cooking and food preservation process. I grew up on a farm in Smith County. My parents grew and processed all the family's food on the farm.

We seldom had store-bought food other than the basic staples such as sugar,flour, salt, oatmeal, rice, and Jello. In my early childhood before we had a refrigerator, we had an ice man, who delivered blocks of ice used to make ice cream and to keep the food cool in an icebox.

Mother bought flavors, spices, coffee, and tea from traveling salesmen. My father had a smokehouse where he preserved bacon, ham and sausage. He also operated a small dairy, which provided plenty of milk and butter. There were hens that provided fresh eggs and chickens for all kinds of recipes. I cannot remember when I was too little to help pluck the chickens.

Daddy grew large fields of corn. Mother cooked all kinds of fresh corn dishes. We canned corn in jars at home and also we took pickup loads of fresh corn to the Taylorsville High School Agriculture Department, where a cannery was provided for the public's use. When the dry mature corn was harvested, Daddy took it to the grist mill to be ground into cornmeal. Mother taught me to cook various types of cornbread. One of the family favorites is cracklin' bread, which is made by adding a cup of cracklins to any basic cornbread recipe.

In order to feed her family, my mother developed many unique recipes. The recipe for butterbeans with dumplings, a favorite of many generations, was created to stretch food.

Butterbeans with dumplings

Select young tender butterbeans (lima beans: fresh or frozen). Season them with salt and butter. Cook them in water until they are done. Make sure you have enough water to accommodate the dumplings.

Add dumplings while the beans are in a rolling boil. Sprinkle a generous amount of black pepper. Cook until the dumplings are done.


Stir 11/2 cups plain flour, 1 tablespoon shortening, and approximately 1 cup of milk together. Roll the dough thin on a floured surface and cut the dumplings. (Frozen dumplings may be used.)

As the middle child of five children, I was always in the middle of everything. We processed everything. I've always enjoyed being competitive. In school I competed in 4-H Club contests and Future Homemakers of America contests. One of my greatest joys has been teaching my children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren to cook.

My latest cooking project has been working with Mary Lou Gregg Cheatham, my sister, who uses the pen name Jane Riley, to compile and write a cookbook entitled Flavored With Love, mary Lou's Family and Friends Can Cook. We spent one year compiling over 240 recipes, along with stories about and by the cooks. To make the cookbook user friendly, Mary Lou chose large print and a type of binding that allows the cook to lay the book flat on the counter. It is a large book with over 300 letter-sized pages.

Ruth's Prize-Winning Broccoli Salad

4 cups broccoli, chopped
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup nuts
1/2 cup onion, chopped (preferably purple onion)
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup real bacon bits
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup vinegar (apple cider or white)

Mix the first six ingredients. Make a sauce out of the mayonnaise, sugar, and vinegar. Pour the sauce over the salad. Toss and chill.

Ruth's squash dressing


4 cups sliced raw yellow squash and zucchini
1 chopped medium onion

Boil in water until tender. Drain. Mash with potato masher.


1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 stick butter
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 cups cornbread crumbs
seasoning salt to taste

Mix. Bake at 350 degrees until heated through and through.

Venison hash

Cook 2 pounds venison in salted water until tender. Drain all but small amount of liquid.

Add 1 chopped onion. Season to taste with seasoning salt. Cook until tender and liquid is absorbed.

Tomato Gravy

2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons self-rising flour
1 cup fresh tomatoes, peeled and sliced
1 quart chicken broth
seasoning salt to taste
2 teaspoons sugar

Brown the flour in the oil. When the flour mixture reaches a dark brown, add the chicken broth, tomatoes, and sugar. Cook and stir constantly until the mixture reaches the desired thickness.

When Bill and I first married; we ran out of money and ate cornmeal cooked in water for three weeks. We enjoy a sentimental devotion to it. In more prosperous times, I developed the following recipe.

Cornmeal soup

Cook any leftover meat-chicken, turkey, ham-in enough water for broth. Season with seasoning salt. Pick the bones and chop the meat. Mix 1/2 cup cornmeal in 1 cup water and add to boiling broth along with the chopped meat.

Peanut butter pie

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon margarine,softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup whipped topping
1 (9") chocolate graham cracker crust
1/3 cup chocolate cookie crumbs

Combine cream cheese, peanut butter, sugar, margarine and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Fold in whipped topping. Gently spoon into crust. Sprinkle cookie crumbs over the filling. Store in refrigerator.

All of the above recipes, along with many more of favorites by Ruth, her family, and friends can be found in Flavored with Love. Cookbooks can be purchased from Ruth for $14.95. She can be reached at 601-649-5258.

Recipe: Myrtle’s Caramel Pie

The Challenging Art of Arguing with Paul Elliott

Almost two years ago my path of life crossed that of Paul Elliott. Since he is a retired doctor and I am a retired nurse, we have plenty to argue about. To make matters worse, he is the son of an English teacher. I can hold my own though, because I was an English teacher before I became an R. N. Having been raised, excuse me, reared in the piney hill country of south Mississippi--I grew up between Sullivan's Hollow, Soso, and Hot Coffee--I inherited a rich legacy of language, both unique and wonderful.

Before Paul and I ever met in person, I sent him a copy of the first edition of Flavored with Love, Mary Lou's Family and Friends Can Cook. He read it. Then when I saw him, he gently and tactfully explained to me that I should say, "Catch fire," not "Catch on fire." He was referring to a cookbook colloquialism that vexed him.

Here is the excerpt from the second edition of the cookbook with the error still intact. As you read the recipe and comments, you will find my admonition about making meringue that offended this scholarly man:

Myrtle's Caramel Pie


⅛teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
⅓ cup shortening (The butter-flavored kind adds extra flavor.)
2 or 3 tablespoons cold water (The amount will vary.)

Combine flour and salt. Cut the shortening into the flour mixture with 2 knives. (Myrtle used her hands.) The mixture will be in little balls like peas. Add a small amount of cold water. Mix with a fork until the pieces cling together. Make the pastry into a ball. Throw a clean wet cloth over the bowl and let it rest while you drink a glass of tea. Roll out the mixture to a thin crust. (Myrtle always used a big smooth glass. She put the ball on flour on a board. I have used a rolling pin and rolled the pastry between 2 sheets of waxed paper. More recently I have purchased graham cracker crusts!)

Fit the crust into 9" pie pan. Prick holes all over it with a fork, and flute the edges with your fingers. Bake your masterpiece in a hot oven (425°) for 12 to 15 minutes. Cool before adding the filling.


2 cups milk
1¼ cups light brown sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
¼ cup flour
⅛ teaspoon salt
3 eggs separated (Save the whites for the meringue.)
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla flavor

Mix together dry ingredients. Beat egg yolks slightly, mix with milk and melted butter.

Then mix with dry ingredients. Cook in double boiler over low heat to desired thickness stirring constantly to keep smooth. Allow the filling to cool while the meringue is being prepared.


3 egg whites
6 tablespoons sugar (granulated)
2 teaspoons vanilla flavoring

Beat eggs until foamy. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until the meringue stands in stiff peaks. Pour the filling into the crust, pile the meringue on top, and spread the meringue to the edges. Bake in hot oven (425°) until it is delicately brown.

Notes about Myrtle's Pie Making:

Myrtle always enjoyed cooking for the preachers, especially when there was a revival (or protracted meeting as Robert called it) and people had to sign for every night of the week to feed them. She said that as long as the pie tasted good it didn't really matter how it looked. If it looked perfect, the preachers would eat it and talk about something else. If, on the other hand, it fell apart, the preachers would rave about how delicious it tasted so she wouldn't feel bad.

Most of her recipes were in her head. The caramel pie recipe is the only one she ever wrote for me.

Actually Myrtle usually made the filling by caramelizing white sugar and then adding the milk to it. Most of the time she used flour instead of cornstarch.

Mrs. Gregg's egg custard pie was Bobby's all-time favorite food. She would whittle slivers of whole nutmeg to season it.

(Myrtle and Robert were my parents. Bobby was my deceased husband.)

Now you will finally have the opportunity to have your sensibilities offended by my
inappropriate usage of the language:

Don't go write e-mail while you brown the meringue. It could turn black easily or catch on fire.

Northern Boys Need to Eat More Collards

Since Shane wrote me this letter, he has promised to try collards. Keep reading for the entire story:

Us Northern boys......collards -- FWL Cookbook Friends

Monday, February 21, 2005

Recipes: Three Prize-Winning Ways to Cook Venison

My sister Ruth, who is a prize-winning cook, has been under the weather. I thought I'd take this opportunity to introduce her to you.
If you go to this site, you will see a picture of her, along with her son Eddy and our cousin Calvin. They took the top three prizes in the 2004 Wild Game cooking contest at the Laurel, Mississippi, fair. If you click on the box above their pictures, you can get a copy of their recipes for Hawaiian Venison, Mississippi Tenderloin, and Cajun Smothered Venison Steak.


Sunday, February 20, 2005

Recipes: Crawfish

Another Great Recipe from Flavored with Love
(Cookbook is available at

Peter’s Crawfish Quesadillas

1 pound crawfish tails, cooked
1 can Rotel® tomatoes
1 package large flour tortilla shells
1 package shredded cheddar (as much as you like)
non-stick spray

Sauté the crawfish in the Rotel®.

In a separate pan heat 1 flour tortilla for 1 minute. Add ⅛ of the crawfish mixture and as much cheese as you
like. Fold the tortilla in half and continue to heat it. Flip it. Heat it until the cheese is completely
This recipe makes 8 quesadillas prepared 1 at a time.

Here's a site that tells all we need to know about crawfish.

Louisiana Crawfish Seafood and Food Products:
Phone (985) 226-6444 or (985) 537-6444 ? Fax (985) 537-4658

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Recipe: Larry's Fish; Help with Catching Large Fish

Recipe: Larry’s Fish

Larry and Patsy Bond fry the kind of fish that draws people back to the buffet line for third helpings. He shared some of their fish-frying secrets and his recipe for his hush puppies in the Flavored with Love cookbook. Here is what Larry said:

I mix Martha White® cornmeal mix--it has just enough flour--with salt, black pepper, and red pepper. I taste it but I don't measure it. I don't use much salt. If I get too much salt or pepper I add more meal. And that's all I put on my fish before I fry it.

Larry fries his fish fast outdoors in deep fat.

If you use Larry's method, you are going to need plenty of fish because people will come back for third helpings. They won't be able to stop eating.

We have found some fishing products that give you an unfair advantage over the fish.

NorCross Marine Products is proud to introduce the latest in portable
fish finder technology - the FF3355P. This new unit arrives With dozens of
new features, including a mountable, side-scanable, and adaptable sonar
sensor, 4 sensitivity settings, and WeedID.

The new sonar sensor lets you troll, mount, or float the sensor. It
attaches to a broomstick handle to scan under weeds, lily pads, ice, or
docks to find trophy lunkers. It also comes with mounting tabs for hull
mounting of your portable fish finder to canoes, kayaks, and jon
boats. Simply power on, toss the sonar sensor from the shoreline,
bridge, or boat and receive instant depth from 1.5 to 99.9 feet, fish, weed,
and bottom structure readings in the palm of your hand.

This portable fish finder has a palm-sized design that fits into your
tackle box, gear bag, or pocket. Take your portable fish finder with
you anywhere you fish, no matter how remote or secluded. Fish finding
technology is now available to you where it wasn't before with or without
using a boat. The FF3355P is guaranteed to produce even bigger fish

Best Quality Fishing, Boating, & Sailing, Installed & Portable, Depth & Fish Finding Equipment

Order Flavored with Love

If you have not ordered your copy of Flavored with Love yet, here's the link:

Flavored with Love, Mary Lou's Family and Friends Can Cook, Cookbook of Southern Recipes and Stories, Order Cookbook

Advice to Collard Queens

Important Advice to Collard Queens
(If you are an eligible man, do not dare read this advice. It contains information that could cause you permanent damage.)

My friends, family members, and I are sharing with you some lovely ways to cook collards that no one has ever thought of before. These recipes are incredibly delicious. To go along with them, I find it imperative to extend a few words of caution.

Do not dare cook collards for a man until he tells you he is in love with you. Why?
If you cook collards for a man too early in the relationship, both of you will never know whether he loves you for who you are or if he loves you for your collard cooking.

He should tell you he is in love with you and also give you some presents that indicate he is in love with you. Both the presents and the words will be required. Presents without words are meaningless. Words without presents are also meaningless. And you will require many man-initiated tender kisses along with the gifts and words. You want to be sure. You must be sure before you serve him special meals.

“In-love” presents are candy, jewelry, red roses, and love poems. These do not need to cost large amounts of money. The feelings behind them matter more than the material value.

No other food but candy is acceptable, and it should be chocolate. Jewelry can be as cheap as the bubble-gum machine kind. The jewelry must be either new or heirloom. Never consider anything he has given another woman with whom he was romantically involved acceptable. If he gives you something that has belonged to his mother, however, treasure it.

Dozens of roses any color except red are less valuable than one red rose, even if he picked it from a yard. The poems are important, too, but not essential. If a man cannot write a poem and if he tries, you can be sure he is in love with you because he has let down his guard, allowing himself to be vulnerable.

The presents that count must be included in the above list. You can consider any two of these presents a sign of his devotion to you only if he tells you he is in love with you. It is possible for a man to give you chocolate, jewelry, red roses, and sweet kisses and to tell you he loves you while he is not in love with you. It is also possible for a man to deceive you in this way and not to realize that he has deceived you or that you should have a problem with his actions. Or the man may be a simple fool who is too confused to know he is deceiving himself. If that is the case, there is only one appropriate word—next.

Remember that the only food that indicates amour is candy. Filet mignon, caviar, and shrimp do not count. Remember that material gifts other than the ones mentioned above are not indications of amour. Jogging shoes, appliances, candlelit dinners, and automobiles are lovely presents but they are not “in love” presents.

The most important advice I can give you is this: never under any circumstances should you give him any help with these matters. Don’t even dare ever hint. If he cannot figure out these things on his own, dump him!

You may be thinking, “What is a reasonable period of time?” I’m sorry to say that I do not know the answer. I have seen some good women waste as much as seven years on this project. Since I am the impatient type, I think you should not wait too long. You could be cooking collards for someone else who will appreciate you and your collards.

Remember do not cook collards too soon. Actually, you should not cook anything for a man until he has committed himself to being exclusive. You should not be a jealous woman, but you should be practical. If he is incapable of exclusivity, he is not the kind of man you should be cooking food for because he has not reached the level of social sophistication required for monogamy. Instead, he is locked in a time trap out there somewhere. You do not want to follow him there.

If you cook for him too soon, he will fail to appreciate your beauty. My mother used to say, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” By doing intense and prolonged research, I have discovered that Mother was wrong. Upon further investigation I have found that she did not use the method she recommended. She should have said, “The way to keep a man is to feed him well.” It is unlikely that feeding him well will attract him, but it can help ensnare him. If his heart is not right, then what will you do?

You do not want a man to fall into a collard trap too prematurely for another reason: give yourself time to decide whether the man measures up to your standards. Remember: you are a collard queen—a woman like no other, a woman with a beautiful exterior and a regal soul.

More about Baked Coon

The collards in our Collard Patch are beautiful and tender this year. It's too bad I have not been able to find a coon to cook and serve with them.

Thanks to Tom Jackson of the the Lawton Constitution for this story:

On The Web

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Junior and Kathy Slocum's Restaurant in Simsboro, LA

Here is the place where you can get a whopping big, slapping good meal. Junior has developed some recipes for some dishes that will make you want to return every week.

Jr's is a place where everyone knows your sister's name.


Chef Shane's Cooking Blog

Shane Bryan's blog is loaded with helpful and interesting information.

Chef Shane's Cooking Blog

Friday, February 11, 2005

Recipe: Fox's Pimento Cheese Spread

Fox, an incurable romantic, was philosophizing about Valentine’s Day and how much he loves Chenille. Since he is a restaurateur, his thoughts often turn to food. He wrote:

February is the month to celebrate love by
Remembering that you have fallen in love
Or falling in love now,
Remembering when you fell in love and
Treating the one you love like royalty,
Cooking something special for the one you love or
Cooking something special for someone you could love,
Cooking with the one you love, and
Falling in love all over again.

He plans to make some of his special Pimento Cheese Spread the day before Valentine’s Day because he wants to give Chenille an extra special day. They will grab a sandwich for lunch because he is planning to do other things with her.

Fox’s Pimento Cheese Spread

1 medium jar chopped pimentos
8 ounces grated sharp cheddar
2 grated boiled eggs
A sprinkle of paprika
A big dash of ground red pepper
A dash of black pepper
A sprinkle of salt
A few drops of Tabasco®
2 teaspoons Lea & Perrins® Worcestershire sauce
Enough Miracle Whip® salad dressing to moisten the mixture

Mix the ingredients. Chill the mixture several hours.

To learn more about Fox and Chenille, go to and purchase Flavored with Love.

Dole 5 A Day

Dole has a web site designed to teach very young people about nutrition. The following link will take you to meet the Collards--Kurt and Casey.

Dole 5 A Day - We make 5 A Day fun!

Diseases of Leafy Crucifer Vegetables (collards, kale, mustard, turnips)

F-7666, Diseases of Leafy Crucifer Vegetables (collards, kale, mustard, turnips)

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Growing Collards in Cold Weather

Collards can be grown in a variety of temperatures. Collards benefit from some freezing, but excessive cold can damage them.

Low Temps Put The Freeze On Collards

Recipe: Hot Link Sausage Sandwiches

(Fox is married to Mary Lou’s cousin Chenille.)

Fox has decided to give Chenille some extra attention for Valentine’s Day because she does not want candy and he has already given her so many baubles that she is running out of space to store them. Of course, he will give her some roses, but he does that every few days anyway. Since those two are always giving each other plenty of attention, he has to think out of the box to find a way to pamper her. It occurred to him that she is always cooking for him; therefore he has decided to help with all the meals on Valentine’s Day.

Here’s his supper menu:
Hot Link Sausage Sandwiches
Root Beer

Hot Link Sausage Sandwiches
Split some Earl Campbell’s® Hot Links lengthwise.
Heat them in the microwave. Blot excessive grease.
Heat some hotdog buns in the microwave.
Provide some bread and butter stackers and an assortment of spicy mustards.

Root Beer in Chilled Mugs
Chill the root beer in the fridge.
Place damp mugs in the freezer.
The mugs will frost when the root beer is poured into them.

Question about White Chocolate Bread Pudding

M---- asked:
Is something wrong with the recipe
for White Chocolate Bread Pudding ...the first one
listed on your site? Seems the ingredients are not
proportionate, and I don't want to try it if it is
not correct. Thanks.


Dear M----,

Thank you for your question. That recipe is actually correct in its proportions. It is from a well known restaurant in south Louisiana. You can read about it by going to
Right now a movie starring Jude Law and Sean Penn is being made there. Wow!

They actually use all those egg yolks and it tastes wonderful! I made it before I published it. I fixed it in small pans and froze them. What a coincidence that I thawed one of those little pans today! It's still delicious.

The restaurant makes pies with meringue piled high. I suppose they must save the egg yolks from all that and make bread pudding.

Just before Christmas, I cut the recipe ingredients into fourths and cooked one fourth of it. Instead of using all those egg yolks, I used a whole egg to replace two egg yolks. It was delicious.

I want to thank you for joining my newsletter list. I'm sorry that lately I've been posting mostly to the sites listed below:

Please visit these web addresses:
(If you cannot click on them, highlight them and copy paste them into your address bar.)
Places Where We Like to Eat--
Extra Special Restaurants,
Collard Patch Blog--

Almost every day I put something on some of these blogs, and I would love to add your name to the Yahoo food group, which is the place I've been sending most of my newsletters if that is all right.

Recipe: Fish Couvillion

Please refer to Mildred and Terry’s recipes before looking at mine.

After taking the advice of Mildred and Terry, who are skilled cooks, I decided to try making some Fish Couvillion. One should follow the instructions of the cook, i. e., the recipe as stated verbatim, the first time. I failed to do so for several reasons.

First, I was too busy to chop vegetables, even though I love doing so. Instead I decided to use 2 packages (10-11 ounces each) frozen seasoning blend of onions, celery, green bell peppers, red bell peppers, and parsley.

Next, I read online last night that someone in Lafayette made Couvillion with mushroom soup. I decided to add a can.

Third, my friend searched for fish firmer than catfish and selected ocean perch. Deciding that we needed more fish, I added some previously purchased catfish. Using firm and soft fish in the dish gave it a pleasing effect.

Not having any Tony’s® on hand, I turned to my dry seasoning recipes in Flavored with Love (which you can obtain by going to and selected seasonings from there. You see, Miss Mildred told me she puts a spoonful of whatever she likes in her food, and Terry has one of the biggest personal spice collections in Louisiana. Finally, I had been wanting to try some Texmati® long grain American basmati brown rice. Since Couvillion is a soft dish, I wanted the rice to have extra texture. Also the aroma, followed by the exotic flavor of basmati rice ensnares people, especially men.

I am not sorry for making any of these changes. The couvillion was an exotic Zydeco concert of Cajun flavors orchestrated to make any man who smelled it and tasted it my loyal subject forever.

We finished our meal with some white chocolate bread pudding—the kind you can find at the Grapevine Restaurant in Donaldsonville, LA. (Please go to to read more about the Grapevine and the movie Jude Law and Sean Penn have been filming there! Go to to obtain Cynthia Breaux’s original white chocolate bread pudding recipe.)

Don’t get upset about the list of ingredients, and don’t worry about careful measurements. If you don’t have these seasonings on your shelf, buy them! You will need them often. If it’s too much trouble to measure all these spices, eyeball them as you shake them into the food. This recipe is very easy, and your man will go wild over the way it tastes!

Fish Couvillion
1 tablespoon cooking oil
2 bags frozen seasoning blend (See note above.)
1 pound catfish fillets
1 pound ocean perch fillets
1½ cups all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons salt substitute
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon ground red pepper
½ teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon rosemary
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon powder
2 teaspoons curry powder
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 tablespoon dry parsley flakes
½ teaspoon thyme
2 teaspoons Splenda®
1 small can cream of mushroom soup
1 small can chopped tomatoes and green chilies (Rotel® or other brand)
1 small can tomato sauce
1 cup (uncooked measurement) Texmati® long grain American basmati brown rice prepared according to directions

Toss the oil and seasoning blend into the pot to sauté while you prepare the fish.

Now prepare the fish. You may need to remove the skin. To make that job easy, microwave the fish about 30 seconds and then scrape the skin away.

Mix the flour in a bowl with a secure top. Or if you prefer, place the flour in a sealable freezer bag. Add all those dry seasonings, close the container, and shake them. Coat the fish thoroughly.

Open the 3 canned ingredients and place them near the cooking pot. Remove about ¾ of the seasoning blend, which has cooked down by now.

Assemble the couvillion in layers. The bottom layer will be the seasoning blend remaining in the pot. Continue with layers of fish, followed by a third of each of the canned ingredients. When you reach the top layer, which should be the onion mix, sprinkle the remaining flour mixture. Cover the top.

Add enough water to cover the couvillion. Cover and simmer over very low heat until the ingredients have caressed each other, the liquid has turned light brown and thick, the fish is flaky, and the flour tastes cooked. If your pot is not thick enough, you may need to lift the ingredients off the bottom to prevent sticking. Do not stir it!

Serve the dish over rice.
4 generous servings

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Recipes: Catfish Couvillion, Gasper Goo Couvillon, or Drum Fish Couvillion

Miss Mildred said:
You will need a big black iron pot. That’s what the Cajuns use.

4 or 5 onions, cut up in little pieces
Several pods fresh garlic, cut up
1 small can tomato paste (never any more)

You can use catfish. I like gasper goo (also known as drum fish) because it does not cook apart as much as catfish. Gasper goo has a lot of white meat like bass. I suppose you can use whatever kind of fish you have. The amount depends on the amount of people you need to feed.

Mix the onions and garlic together.
Spray the pot with Pam®.
Flour the fish.
Place the fish on the bottom.
Layer with the onion-garlic mixture.
Sprinkle some Tony’s on top.
Place 2 or 3 teaspoons tomato paste on each layer.
Keep repeating the layers.
End up with onions and garlic and a little flour on top.
Take it to the hydrant and run water on top.
Cook over low heat till the fish fall apart and the onions are all done.
You’re not supposed to stir it, but I have to keep it from sticking.
Let it simmer.
Serve over rice.

Terry said:
Use a thick, deep cast iron cooking put; but if you don’t have one you can use a Dutch oven.

Oil (Wesson® or olive oil)
Catfish fillets
4 or 5 onions, cut up in little pieces
Lots of garlic, cut up
Bell pepper
Small can tomato sauce
Can Rotel®

Miss Mildred uses whole fish, but I like to use fillets. That way we don’t have to worry about picking out bones.
Place the oil in the bottom of the pan. (I usually use Wesson®, but olive oil will do fine.)
Sauté the onions, garlic, and bell pepper.
Roll fish in flour, salt, and pepper.
Remove some of the vegetables.
Lay fish on top of the onions, garlic, and bell pepper.
Add half a can tomato sauce and half the Rotel®.
Continue with the layers—more onions, pepper, bell peppers; fish; and then the rest of the tomato sauce and tomatoes. Season to taste. I add cayenne.
Cover with water.
Simmer until the fish is crumbly.
Serve over rice.


Today Miss Mildred and Terry told me two different ways to make couvillion using two different types of fish--catfish and gasper goo, also known as drum fish. While looking for information about gasper goo, I found a delightful story. Click on the link below to learn more.

Then come back and find Miss Mildred and Terry's recipes.


Please remember to go to for more free recipes and stories. If you haven't ordered Flavored with Love yet, you can do so while you are at my website.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Recipe: Myrtle's Deviled Eggs

Jane Riley is sharing the following information with the Collard Patch:

Hello. I’m Jane Riley, Mary Lou’s cousin. Although we think differently, we have managed to collaborate on two books—Solomon’s Porch, a novel, and Flavored with Love, our cookbook. Go to to buy these books.

When I was reading Elizabeth Halley’s testimonial, which Mary Lou placed at the bottom of the home page, I noticed that she mentioned the story about scrambled eggs. I’ll share it with you. Here it is, along with the recipe that accompanies it in Flavored with Love.

Myrtle Hathorn Gregg Jordan, who was once a sickly child, matured into a beautiful healthy woman. Seeing her as an adult, no one would have believed she almost died from malaria. While two of her older sisters, Katie and Rosa, worked in the field, Myrtle had the job of taking them a fruit jar of cool water. On the way to the field she would stop to play or rest, and eventually she would need a nap before she could finish the short trip. Katie and Rosa remained thirsty. Because of her overwhelming fatigue, they would find their frail sister asleep beside the road and once in the road on the way to the field when they went home for lunch.

One Saturday Mary Jane and Bud Hathorn left the two of the older girls in charge of the younger siblings while the parents rode the wagon into town to barter produce for staples. Tired of Myrtle’s puniness, Rosa and Katie devised a plan to improve her health. “Myrtle, what would you like to eat to fatten you up? Just name anything you want and we’ll cook all you can eat while Mama’s gone.”

“Scrambled eggs,” Myrtle said.

Rosa cooked while Katie watched the road. Immediately after Rosa set a plate of six buttered, salted, and peppered scrambled eggs in front of Myrtle, Katie yelled, “Mama and Papa are coming up the road!”

Myrtle had to eat fast.

“I ain’t hungry.”

“You have to eat them eggs,” Rosas insisted.

“No, I ain’t hungry! I can’t.”

“Mama and Papa’ll whip me for wasting,” Rosa said. “Eat ’em, Myrtle, eat ’em.” She shoveled them into Myrtle’s mouth. “Eeeat’ em, Myrtle, Eat ’em.”

Myrtle gained a new respect for eggs that day, and when she matured she became an excellent egg cook. She could make light meringue that never collapsed, she understood how to cook an omelet, and she could make unique deviled eggs.

Although some of the dishes she prepared had their own unique taste and style, all of her food was delectable. For example, her deviled eggs were different from anybody else’s because she added a secret ingredient; but at all-day singing and dinner on the grounds, folks ate hers first. The mischievous children Buddy and Mary Lou would filch a few on the way to church because they knew those eggs would be gone by the time they made it down the long line of tables covered with bed sheets.

Each farmwoman stood behind her food proudly and served the saints. Most stations had identical food: fried chicken, ham, creamed potatoes, gravy, biscuits, cornbread, fried corn, lima beans, fried okra, batter-fried eggplant, fried summer squash, sliced tomatoes, pickles, banana pudding, yellow-layer cake with chocolate icing, and gallons of sugar-sweet iced tea.

Nobody in the row of picnic tables behind Fellowship Baptist Church had any food better than Myrtle Gregg’s deviled eggs.

Myrtle’s Deviled Eggs
18 medium eggs
2 tablespoons chopped sweet pickles
2 teaspoons prepared yellow mustard
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 can (3 ounces) potted meat
3 shakes of salt
1 shake of black pepper

Boil and peel the eggs. (Start the eggs in a saucepan ⅔ full of cool water. Bring them to a boil slowly and let boil 5 minutes. Leave them cooling until they can be handled easily. Peel them in cool water.) Cut them in halves. Remove the yolks and mash them along with the other ingredients. Fill the whites.

As a resident of Louisiana, Mary Lou stirs in a shake of cayenne.
Since she is a kitchen klutz, she usually plans to demolish at least 3 eggs. Final results count.
After piling the mixture high into the egg whites, she garnishes the eggs with a tiny shake of paprika. Too much paprika will make the eggs taste bitter.
If you want to need some fancy deviled eggs, run the mix through the food processor, and put it in a pastry bag. Squirt it through a star tip into the egg whites. You may need to add more mayonnaise.

Mary Lou Posted by Hello

Friday, February 04, 2005

Recipe: Elizabeth's Crawfish and Shrimp Dip

E. B. shared this recipe with all of us at the Collard Patch. Typing it makes my mouth water. As you can see, it makes a huge amount. When I make this dip, I’ll need plenty to feed everybody. Mary Lou

Elizabeth’s Crawfish and Shrimp Dip

3 packages frozen crawfish tails, thawed and chopped
2 pounds salad shrimp
Powdered crawfish boil
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 stick butter
1 can (4 ounces) mushrooms, drained and chopped
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 boxes frozen broccoli, thawed and drained
1 large box Velveeta® cheese

Sprinkle a little crawfish boil over shrimp and tails in a bowl. Set aside.
Sauté pepper and onion in butter until limp.
Add mushrooms and soups.
Cube the Velveeta®.
Place the ingredients in a Crock-Pot®, or microwave them until the cheese is melted.
After the cheese is melted, add the shrimp and tails.
If it is not hot enough, add more crawfish boil until you get the flavor you like.

Recipe: Ann Webb's Sweet Potato Cake

T. C. is sharing her family heirloom with everyone visiting the Collard Patch. She told me, “We eat Sweet Potato Cake at Christmas instead of fruitcake. It’s just not Christmas without Mom’s Sweet Potato Cake. Just ask my husband Jeff!”

Sweet Potato Cake
4 eggs (beaten separately—the yolks in one bowl and the whites in another)
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour (self rising)
⅔ cup butter or margarine
1 cup mashed sweet potatoes, fresh baked
1 cup pecans
½ pound raisins (half a box)
2 tablespoons Hershey's® cocoa
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix all but egg whites.
Beat egg whites and add last.
Bake at 350° 1 hour in a grease and floured bundt pan.

If using all-purpose flour add 1 teaspoon baking soda and 1 teaspoon baking powder.
If you substitute canned sweet potatoes, drain them well.

Recipe: Sugar Cookies

Visit this link for a children's poem and a foolproof sugar cookie recipe:

Flavored With Love - Jane Riley

How to Eat Crawfish

Jane Riley � how to eat crawfish

Recipe: Old-Fashioned Pan Fried Fish

Frying fish - Jane Riley

Recipes: Collards, Hot Pepper Sauce

Cooking Collards - Jane Riley

Collards: One of the World's Healthiest Foods

Visit this link to discover how wonderful collards are for your health. Then come back to the Collard Patch for some great collard recipes.

The World's Healthiest Foods: Feeling Great

88 Marketing Tips That Will Change Your LIfe!

For a limited time, Paul Elliott, who is a most talented and knowledgeable marketer, is giving away "88 Marketing Tips That Will Change Your Life!™" To obtain your copy of this excellent publication, go to his web site:

Fractal I-Marketing: Scientific Internet Guerrilla Marketing with Guarantees

You'll be amazed at the help you will receive with your business.

Sweet Potato Information

Sweet potatoes

Recipe: Paul's Strawberry Upside Down Cake

The Ultimate Valentine Cake: Paul's Strawberry Upside Down Cake

Paul Elliott's cake is the perfect Valentine for your sweetie. He invented it last year for his lovely daughter, who said, "Daddy, cook me a cake with strawberries."

This unique cake combines fresh strawberries, with caramel and a
hint of rum. Click here to obtain your copy:

Flavored with Love, Mary Lou's Family and Friends Can Cook, Cookbook of Southern Recipes and Stories

Recipe: Shane's Salmon Fettuccine

Chef Shane on Seafood Blog - Salmon Fettuccine

A Redneck Love Poem

This poem begins with collards, works through a series of clever similes, and ends in logical redneck fashion.


Glyconutrients Health: What are Antioxidants? Benefits of Antioxidants

Here is an article about the antioxidant benefits of collards. Check it out.

Glyconutrients Health: What are Antioxidants? Benefits of Antioxidants

Recipe: Taco Soup

Here is the recipe the Louisiana Tech football players love. Terry obtained the recipe from her friend Peggy and added to it. Go to and scroll down the home page to Terry's testimonial for the rest of the story.

Taco Soup

1 can Rotel® tomatoes
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cans Ranch Style beans®
2 cans hominy
1 package ranch style dressing mix
1 package taco mix
1 onion, chopped
1 pound hamburger meat
Seasoning as desired: salt, pepper, garlic, Cajun seasonings, paprika, chili powder, etc.
Grated cheese
Sour cream

1. Brown meat and onion. Drain fat.
2. Add all cans of ingredients listed above.
3. Sprinkle taco seasoning and ranch dressing mix.
4. Stir. Add salt, pepper, garlic, Cajun seasonings, paprika, and shake of chili powder.
5. Simmer 30 minutes.
6. Serve with grated cheese and sour cream.

Whole kernel corn can be substituted for hominy.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Recipes: Creamed Taco and Guacamole Dip

Warning to any single woman reading the Collard Patch blog: If you have a new man in your life, don't cook this incredibly delicious (and easy-to-prepare) dish for him to watch the Super Bowl! What a mistake you would make!

Here's the reason: Creamed Taco is perfect food. If you cook something this good, he will think something terrible is wrong with you because he will wonder why some woman who can cook something this delicious is hanging around him. He will conclude that he has failed to see your imperfections that have prevented some other guy from pinning you down with a rock so big you cannot lift your ring finger. Otherwise, why would you be available?

For more outrageously delicious food, visit

Cousin Mary’s Creamed Taco
1 pound ground beef, browned and drained
2 cans Ranch Style® beans (original seasoned ones)
1 can chili without beans
1 can Ro*Tel® tomatoes
1 can diced tomatoes
½ pound regular Velveeta® cheese product, cubed
½ pound Mexican Velveeta® cheese product, cubed
½ pint whipping cream
1 large bag regular Fritos® corn chips

Place the meat in the bottom of a four-quart pan or crockery cooker. Dump all the other ingredients (except the chips, of course) on top. Cook at very low heat until the cheese melts.

Serve over the corn chips in bowls.

Mary serves guacamole with creamed taco.

Cousin Mary’s Guacamole Dip
4 very ripe avocados
1 small can diced green chilies
1 whole tomato, freshly chopped
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 sprinkle Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons finely grated onion
salt to taste
a shake of red pepper
a little garlic powder, optional

Mash the avocados and combine the above ingredients.