My Grandmother Burson (Nanny) was a hardworking woman who had the great pleasure in her later of life of owning the home of her dreams, Wakefield. She traveled with my Grandfather Burson who was a doctor in Wilcox county, Alabama. He was also the doctor for the railroad. Together they collected antiques to furnish the home in Savannah, Charleston, New Orleans, Montgomery, Memphis, etc. She particularly was fond of cut glass. She grew her own vegetables in the garden beside the house. But the service of those delicious foods is what I remember best. Her chicken soup was served in gold rimmed Limoges bowls. That chicken's neck was probably wrung first thing that morning but he went to his reward in elegant style. We drank sweet tea out of etched crystal goblets and ate with silver cutlery. The freshly picked turnips, beans, peas, potatoes, collards, cabbage, tomatoes, etc swam in grease from the fat back with which it was cooked. And it was always served with delicious cornbread. Homemade desserts always awaited in the pie safe in the breakfast room. Her recipes are listed under Wakefield Recipes.
My Grandmother Gillis (Muddin) served foods every bit as delicious, but in a humble home on mismatched dishes. My Grandfather (John Patrick Gillis) was killed in an accident when the chains on a log truck broke and he was instantly killed in the truck following. My mother was 13 with four younger siblings, the youngest being 6 months old. My Grandmother was 30. She took the insurance money and bought a house midway between the Presbyterian Church and the school house. She never remarried and she never forgot him. Seconds before she passed away, she looked past those gathered around her, reached out and whispered, "Pat?" Her recipes are listed under Downhome Recipes.
Mattie Martin (Mammy) came to work for us when I was five years old. She was my best friend and the best cook I ever knew. She cooked for Dr. Moody before coming to work for us and thought it her responsibility to make sure we lived up to their standards. She made sure I knew how to set a proper table..."The fork goes on the left of the plate with the napkin. The knife goes next to the plate on the right with the spoon next to it. Always put the meat on a platter in front of 'the Doctor'." Her apple pie had the most delicious crust with cheese cut into it. Her banana pudding, coconut pie, chocolate pie, egg custard, etc. have never been equaled. Her recipes are listed under Downhome Recipes.
Proper Table Setting At Rest
Hilda Ramsey was one of the best cooks I ever knew. Her recipes, along with her husband's Dowling mother's and relatives recipes are in the Ramseys and Recipes section. When Robert (Attorney in Dothan) owned the Houston Hotel, Hilda ran the restaurant. They were famous for their shrimp salad and lemon icebox pie. They were the best in-laws a girl could ask for.
Bishop, Lonelle Jackson, Hilda Ramsey, Evelyn Davis, Pauline Parkman, Jerri
Chancey, Mavis Gwaltney, Charlie Capps, and Merle Bottoms belonged
to a Lunch group that met each Thursday for 43 years in Dothan, Alabama.
As members passed away others were added, including Elizabeth Allen and Rosa
Thomas. The rules for the group were:
Gether yo pees ‘bout sun-down. The florin day, ‘bout leven o’clock, gowge out yo pees with yo tum nale, like gowgin out a man’s eye-ball at a kote house. Rense yo pees, parbile them, then fry ‘em with som several slices uv streekt middlin’ incouragin uv the gravy to seep out and intermarry with yo pees. When modritly brown, but not scorcht, empty into a dish. Mash’em gently with a spune, mix with raw tomaters sprinkled with a little brown shugar and the immortal dish ar quite ready. Eat a hepe. Eat mo and mo. It is good for yo general helth uv mind and body. It fattens you up, makes you sassy, goes throo and throo yo very soul. But whey don’t you eat" Eat on. By Jings. Eat. Stop? Never, whil thar is a pee in the dish.
There' s not much a Southern woman enjoys more than reading recipes and planning a beautiful event for family or friends. Presentation is as important as the dish itself. That's why we often have several sets of dishes and our prize possessions are those that belonged originally to "Mama." We love to trace the genealogy of the recipes also.
If you would like to Submit a recipe give us the story behind it as well. Show us how you serve it.
The recipes in the categories to the left are my family's recipes.
What is the genealogy of your recipe? How and when do you serve it? We Southern folks like to know the "who, what, when, where and how" of our foods. Share your special recipes (and pictures if you like) with us.
In serving Southern-style, presentation is nearly as important as taste. "As a man thinketh, so is he." Show your family you think of them as very special people. Make your table and your meals demonstrate this. Your family life will benefit when you make mealtimes family time.
recipes Your favorite Southern cooks deserve recognition. If
there is a dish you remember particularly well, please submit it to us with its
story and perhaps a picture of that very special cook.
Copyright 1996 These are my own working genealogy files that I share with you. The errors are my own. But, perhaps they will give you a starting point. All original writing is copyrighted. Webmaster