Southern Loving

There's something about us Southern Women. Many of us love to cook. It's not just the preparing of food and satisfying hunger. Feeding people is a way of taking care of them. Food equals love. If we love you, we feed you, and we feed you well.
If you don't fall into this stereotype, don't get offended.
But many of us Southern women do. It's in our blood. There is not much in this world that compares to the comfort food prepared by a Southern woman. Chicken & dumplings, meatloaf and mashed potatoes, beef stew, chicken & yellow rice....potato salad, banana pudding...I could go on all day.
I am dead serious when I say that my cooking is one reason my husband fell in love with me. He wasn't used to it; his family is from England and their way of cooking is quite different. He got used to my cooking very quickly. His favorite is holidays, when several Southern women get together and cook. And dinner on the grounds at church is his idea of Heaven.
We feed our men, we feed our kids, we feed our sick, we feed our grieving. We eat to mourn and to celebrate.
Sometimes we keep recipes to ourselves as a sort of signature dish. I'm always the one who brings potato salad to our family gatherings.
Other times we happily share our recipes. If you ever want some fantastic Southern recipes, go visit my friend Rachel at A Southern Fairytale. My family even loves her because I try so many of her recipes and they are amazing!
Now the time has come that one of my daughters is interested in cooking. The little one is all about helping, but Shelbie can actually cook. A few weekends ago, she was at her dad's house flipping through a cookbook. She found a recipe for Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Bars, and her signature dish was created. They are delicious! She's made it a few times at her dad's house and now twice at home. I brought one dish to work, and now everyone on the unit, from clerks to neurosurgeons, think she's the bomb! And when I told her that, she was so pleased. She's learning already that feeding people good food is rewarding. It just feels good.
Another dish I love to bring to work is the Black Eyed Pea Dip. It may sound a little odd, but it is make-you-wanna-slap-your-mama good! I got that recipe from Melissa at Stretch Marks. Even my friend from Chicago, who thought it sounded horrible, ended up LOVING it, and now that she's moved back to Chicago, she's making it for her family there!
When you come to my house, you might trip over a dog or a cat. You might have to move some clean laundry over to have a seat on the couch. But you will be fed, and you will be fed well. It's love, on a plate.
And since, when I love you, I feed you....here are some Southern recipes for you. Enjoy!

Hot & Cheesy Black Eyed Pea Dip
1 (16-ounce) can black-eyed peas, drained, rinsed
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained, chopped
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 envelope buttermilk ranch salad dressing mix
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Spoon into a baking dish.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly.
Serve with crackers or tortilla chips. (I prefer crackers)

Shelbie's Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
2 cups confectioner's sugar
1 cup peanut butter (Shelbie says you should use a little over a cup)
6 tbsp stick butter, melted
2 cups graham crackers
1 twelve oz package of MILK chocolate chips

Stir all ingredients together except chocolate chips. Press into a 9x13 pan. Microwave chocolate chips for 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Pour chocolate over peanut butter mixture. Refrigerate for 30-45 minutes; serve.


melissa said...

i wanna marry a southern woman. or trade my mom in for a southern one!
recipes sound yummy! thanks for sharing.


Lisa said...

This reminds me of when I worked at a newspaper in Charleston, SC. We'd occassionally do potlucks for the holidays and such, and OH MY GAWD THE FOOD! All made from scratch, of course. Meanwhile I'd be standing there with my WalMart cookies like, "Sh*t!"

Kel said...

I LOVE cooking - friends, family, coworkers...it doesn't matter and often you can find me making something to share. I am totally with you - food is love and southern food is what I know how to do!

Thanks for sharing the recipies - I can't wait to try out the bean dip!!

Twisted Fencepost said...

Those peanut butter bars sound delicious.
And that black eyed pea dip....well....guess I'm like your Chicago friend. I'll have to taste it to believe it.

Semi-Slacker Mom said...

When you said black-eyed pea dip, I thought you meant redneck caviar, but this sounds like something I need to make for my next party!

And I just put some chicken on to boil for chic & dumplings - my signature dish. That & deviled eggs.

Tater Tot Mom said...

Us Midwest women love to feed everyone too! :) I agree that feeding people is so rewarding...putting love into what you make, picking just the perfect recipe or making one up and seeing the look of satisfaction on the faces of those eating what you created. That's the best!

Karen in Texas said...

Love the post Cyndy. Thanks for the recipes too. I'm definitely going to give both a try at Thanksgiving. I know the peanut butter bars will be a huge hit and I'll let you know how the dip goes over. My folks love black eye peas so I'm sure they'll love it too.

Aleta said...

I'm a Southern Gal... but... shhhhhhhhhhh.... I don't cook.

Mom never cooked and I didn't really learn. Thankfully I have a husband who is an excellent chef!

If I didn't work long days, I'd probably want to be creative and give it a try, but I'm so darn tired when I get home.

Hattie said...

You hit the nail on the head. Food is love. Being from Texas this is an understanding. When people make a comment about me being overweight, I just say, " I'm not fat. I'm just loved! That's what my Nannie told me anyways!"

Tiaras said...

love this - you know what - I used to be like that- breaking my neck cooking for everyone - but no more - my hubbies family won't eat it - they pick at it - it's mean and makes me mad. So I only cook simple - small stuff - I don't waste my time on them anymore.

Feener said...

i want to hang out with a southern woman NOW !!! asap

Huckdoll said...

Loved this post and those recipes sound divine. I'm the farthest from a Southern woman you get but I've recently found my way in cooking through whole foods and organics and now love serving up some healthy soul food to my family and friends; it feels good knowing exactly what's going into their tummies at every meal.

Brandy said...

I'm right there with you! I love to cook for other people. The only downside is now when I make a cake, I have to make more than one or keep it a secret. I made banana nut bread earlier this week & sent one into S's work. They are already begging for more.


BTW, those "southern dishes" sound like my weekly menus. Amen.

shortmama said...

Im a southwestern girl and love to cook! Love to feed big groups of people and get a rush from the sense of accomplishment and when someone tells me how good it is!

Allyson said...

where do i sign up? i wanna come over to eat some good food! i don't cook very well. at all. i burn waffles in the toaster. ha ha

my poor poor son. i hope when i get more time i can cook REAL meals for dinner! :)

Astaryth said...

This so reminds me of our family. I swear the first thing my Grams says when you walk in is, "Are you Hungry?". And if you say No, she'll -still- fix you a 'little something'. LOL!

My signature dish is Peanut-butter and chocolate fudge (separately, not together). I make it for Christmas, often using it for presents for people like co-workers. The peeps start asking if I'm going to make it in October and putting in their 'orders' ;p

hperry said...

GREAT! now you have me CRAVING your chick n dumplins. (sigh) haha!!! Well you know my bday is soon (hint, hint)

Rachel said...

Thanks for the shout out sweets and yes, Southern women and Southern Food :-)

The first night I met my husband, I cooked for him. Pretty certain that sealed the deal :-)

Jenners said...

I think I need a Southern woman! I'm salivating just thinking about all the yumminess you described. And I love that your daughter is learning to be a true Southern woman already. I love that she has a signature dish!

Kim said...

The peanut butter bars sounds amazing!!!!!! (I loathe cooking... but have to.ugh. hahaha)

Cheryl Lage said...

Seriously, when we have a church potluck, I make a point to wear a non-restrictive waist! ;)

Fun post!

Momisodes said...

Oh these sound delicious. Won't you be my neighbor?

Mommy of Many said...

From one Southern Lady to another, I can relate to feeding the ones you love. Actually, I'm off to feed my family right now. Tell Shelbie I'm gonna have to try her recipe. I think my peanut butter lovin' hubby will really enjoy them.

Adrian's Crazy Life said...

Oh I do love Southern food. My grandparents were from Oklahoma so I had my share of white bread and fried okra oh and chicken fried steak. I miss it. I would take that over a gourmet dinner any day.

Mrs4444 said...

Yummmm. My mouth is watering.

Enjoyed this post. Wish I could come for dinner...

Stefany said...

nom nom! I think I must move.

Mary said...

That does sound good!

Thanks for stopping by to visit my little southern corner of the world.