Blogging from A to Z: April – 2016: P

Blogging from A to Z: April – 2016: P

The Blogging from A to Z challenge is to post everyday during the month of April 2016, except Sunday. I will start with the letter A and hopefully make it all  the way to Z. I hope you enjoy the read!

Come sit a spell with me and learn about the foods and memories of my Southern heritage, and enjoy a little Southern talk along the way… I grew up in the heart of Georgia, married a  Yankee in Connecticut and suddenly became displaced from my roots. But one thing is true – You can take the girl out of the South – But you can’t take the South out of the  girl! I’ve learned to eat differently over the years, but I’ve never given up the foods I grew up on. When I left Georgia, at the young age of nineteen, I knew how to cook nothing! I pretty much learned to cook by asking mama over the phone, how do you do make this, and how do you make that; thank heavens for my Southern mama! Even though mama doesn’t cook too much today, she still remembers the recipes and she’s been my go-to person every night in chatting about my Southern foods and many of her memories.

Southern Food and Memories

POk, here comes another favorite letter. Let’s start with Pecan Pie for “P” – and it’s best made with mama’s Georgia pecans. Did you guess pecan pie? I don’t remember if I ate pecan pie as a child, but I know it was never made in my house, but it sure is definitely a favorite of mine now!

My favorite recipe comes from Miss Mildred Warren’s cookbook; she wrote a cooking section in the Perry Houston Home Journal newspaper called The Cook’s Nook. Later she published a cookbook with many of those recipes published over the years. I found many favorites In her cookbook – and that’s where my pecan pie recipe is from. I have tried other recipes, but I always return to my old favorite. Maybe it’s because of the light corn syrup the recipe calls for – some call for dark corn syrup.


Perry Pecan Pie

Peanuts in Georgia are a big deal – I discussed my boiled peanuts earlier, but did you know that peanuts grow under the earth on the roots of the plants? It was fun picking them off the roots after the plants were pulled up – they were raw and green. I can still see a big heap of plants and roots all piled in a big heap under granddaddy Bryan’s car shed; they needed to dry before picking off the roots. And never eat green peanuts – unless you enjoy a bellyache! The raw dried  ones are  best to use for boiled peanuts or pop them on a baking dish and enjoy some roasted peanuts. Roasting them in the oven, and enjoying a Coke to wash them down – now that’s a good ol’ Southern treat. Hey did you ever pour salted peanuts, usually the ones out of a bag, in the bottle of a Coke? Well did ya? Now that we generally don’t have bottles anymore, I guess there’s many of you who will never be able to experience that little treat, but it’s still in my memory

peach painting (1024x768)

A peach I found painted on a wall!

Peaches are a big crop in my state of Georgia and there were a couple of peach packing plants near where I grew up. Many of my classmates worked in those peach plants during the summer  – it was so hot working there! In thinking about peaches, I can close my eyes and see the most perfect peach – and if I could turn on the smellovision here – well you’d know what I’m talking about. I’ve often been referred to as a Georgia Peach when people  learn where I’m from – I might not always be that sweet, but…

My grandmother made peach pie, but my favorite is peach cobbler – it’s so easy and so so good. It’s one of my favorites to order when we eat out – especially in Georgia. I love finding a good buffet down there so I can taste all my favorite desserts at one time. But it’s terrible afterward as you end up feeling more like a stuffed turkey.

Irish Potatoes and sweet potatoes were always plentiful around our house – both grandparents grew them and had hills where they buried them after being harvested. Granddaddy McKinley also had a root cellar where he stored his vegetables for the winter. I can never correct my mama on the name, but she still says Iced  Potatoes instead of Irish – I just laugh!

Did you ever hear of Pear Preserves? Grandmama McKinley had a pear tree in the field , out by those horse apple trees, and they were only used to make the preserves. Mama said it was their candy and grandmamma kept them in a crock on the kitchen counter. I’m told the pears were cut in slices, layered in a pan and covered with lots and lots of sugar. They sat overnight in the cooking pot and she began the cooking process the next day; they cooked down in a thick syrup and were really sweet. I loved to lay them on my toast. Why have I not tried making them?

Well I think I’ll call it a night as my peepers are closing. Do come again and please leave me a word or two on your likes or dislikes.

But first, I think I’ll amble on in the kitchen and grab a Coke to pour my salted peanuts  in…. anyone wanna join me… Come on…. I’ve got an extra Coke!

Need More A to Z -then  you know what to do…2016: Blogging from A to Z Challenge

 © 2016 Jeanne Bryan Insalaco

About Jeanne Bryan Insalaco

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13 Responses to Blogging from A to Z: April – 2016: P

  1. Lyn Smith says:

    Pecan Pie, Salted Peanuts in a Coke, Sweet Potatoes, Peaches, Pear Preserves. Yes, you covered most all of the P’s. Preserves is the only way I will eat a pear.
    But I must admit I can’t recall Irish potatoes. I’ll have to ask my sister about those.
    A couple of my personal favorites are Pecan Pralines, a sweet candy. And I do mean sweet. It is made with butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cream, vanilla and, of course, Pecans. My recipe comes from my 1971 American Family Cookbook. Mother made them every year but I don’t know where her recipe came from.
    Pumpkin Pie, another of my favorites. My husband prefers Sweet Potato Pie but I’ll take Pumpkin any day.
    A summer favorite of mine is a good Pineapple sandwich. When I don’t buy the Pineapple, I prefer the Dole brand. Remove the Pineapple for the sandwich and don’t forget to drink the juice. Good.
    Another good Southern dish – Pigs ‘n a Blanket. I don’t make those as often as I once did, because they are addictive. I love them. You can make your own biscuit dough, roll it very thin and cut the strips enough to cover those little Smokies. Or you can use canned biscuits. Roll them out very thin, cut to cover the Smokie and bake in a 375 oven for about 12 to 15 minutes. You can brush them with a smidgeon of bacon grease if you like. Not much, though. Some people make a dipping sauce for them but, I prefer mine without any sauce.
    Peppermint Brittle or Bark as some people call it, is another. So simple to make, just like Peanut Brittle and so good.
    I might ought to get off here before I gain ten pounds, which I surely don’t need. I wish there was a way to cut the calories in these all-time favorites but then they wouldn’t be favorites, would they?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do enjoy reading your memories back to me. I may have to add an after thought in the letter P! How did I forget my upside down Pineapple cake from Miss Mildreds cookbook and made in my cast iron pan. I never did eat a pineapple sandwich.


  2. Wendy says:

    Oh yes, I’ve put salty peanuts in a coke but not in a LONG time. We have wonderful peach orchards here in Virginia, but when my daughter brought me a basket of Georgia peaches, I knew Virginia took second place.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Wendy, at present I’m traveling through your beautiful state of Virginia!! I love looking at the mountains and the hills and valleys of rolling green meadows. We always spend the night in Lexington on the way home to Ct; it’s so warm out today at 81 degrees! Stopped in Roanoke also to visit Black Dog Salvage – love the show! Ever seen it? The black dog was walking around inside there, but he kinda snubbed me – the poor thing was showing his age so I did forgive him – Bless his heart!.


  3. Peaches is the P I remember from growing up in Perry (another great P). My uncle had an orchard so we would pick a bushel or two every summer. Peaches are fuzzy when they come off the tree. The ones you buy in the store have been defuzzed. As a teenager, I remember sitting in the kitchen peeling peaches with fuzzy juice running down my arms. I am “fuzzy” about what we made with them but I think it was peach preserves and then some for freezing.
    Even though Miss Mildred’s cookbook, The Art of Southern Cooking is 35 years old and is yellowing on my shelf many of it’s recipes are applicable today. I still have a bag of newspaper clippings from The Cook’s Nook. I am glad I was able to send you a copy of the pie recipe. I like your blog and good luck making it through the alphabet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Brenda it was so nice for you to help me out with the recipe as I’m on the road and couldn’t get to my book. Yes I just love Miss Mildred’s cookbook – my daddy got me my copy many years ago. I graduated from Perry high in 1970, married in 1971 and was whisked away to CT. Are you still in Perry? I visited there last year, actually went to the Georgia Fair – awesome to see how Perry has grown! Hope you’ll check back to watch me complete the alphabet!!


    • Thanks again. Those clippings have me drooling! I wish I could access old copies to read them again.


  4. Gayl Wright says:

    Pecan pie is one of my favorites. I sometimes make it using honey or maple syrup in place of the corn syrup and it is also tasty. My grandmother from Alabama made delicious pear preserves. Practically everything she made was delicious! Thanks for sharing about so many foods that begin with P. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. slfinnell says:

    Peach Butter was the last thing I canned using peaches. Smooth as apple butter but better. Enjoyed your mouthwatering post!

    Stephanie Finnell
    @randallbychance from
    Katy Trail Creations
    Stephanies Stuff

    Liked by 1 person

  6. mike spain says:

    You re even sharing recipes

    Liked by 1 person

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