Yes, I am southern.  I have to say that because growing up in Miami, Florida, a place many people do not consider the south, I don’t have a southern drawl.  But trust me, honey child, I am southern through and through.  Most of my family is from Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and Louisiana.  So, as far as I am concerned, that’s the South.

I love to cook and come from a long line of fine women cooks.  We don’t just cook southern, but that’s the main underlying theme (think bacon fat). I keep finding myself posting recipes and how I did stuff out on Facebook and it occurred to me that maybe a blog would be a good place to write about one of my dearest passions – cooking.

A teacher of a class we once took said there are cooks and there are bakers.  If you are a good baker, you can’t be a good cook.  I sorta don’t agree with that statement because I love to bake and can make a darn good loaf of bread.  But, absolutely, I am a cook.  I use a recipe as a “guide” not a rule.  Bakers use rules – absolute rules – which is why some of my baking efforts have been, hm, less than stellar.  Not bad, just not wonderful.  But when I get to create’n things based on recipes I’ve read, the cook comes out.  Now, can I remember what I did later – probably not.

I’m trying to put together a cookbook for my family so the recipes that have been passed down to me live on.  But how do you write up a recipe that says “until it looks right.”  I make a Syrian Lamb dressing for turkey that is a long time family tradition.  It is lamb, rice, mint and cinnamon.  It’s the cinnamon part that’s tricky.  How much do you use? Well, until it looks right.  Just the right sort of brown that’s not too much and not too little.  How much you use depends on how much rice you use.  Oh and that varies by the number in the crowd at Thanksgiving.  See, it’s tough.  Saying “just a smidgen” doesn’t fly either.  But we’ll figure it out because I will make this happen.

So, this is my starting post.  I’m going to post another one later tonight.  It’s apple time (well, it is now so I can race the raccoons to the tree) and that means it’s time for my apple butter.  I have friends that walk in the door, say hi, and then say “do you have anymore apple butter.”  I want to post how I make my apple butter and my favorite tools to do so – most of the time you see people making it a church affairs in giant cast iron kettles.  Mine is much simpler and I thought I’d share what I do.  Even if you don’t have a “tilting way over and will probably die this year” apple tree, you can make it with apple sauce just fine.

That’s it for now.  My mission is to try to post something here every so often so’s you keep coming back.  Bye now.

Pat Patterson Egen

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