a good southern meal.

i love going home to see my family. it is so relaxing to sit on the couch with my dad while he watches golf or some old movie i can get into….or sit down to a big glass of wine with my mom while having endless conversation. i love being with my parents, much more now than when i was young, now that we can relate to one another and i’m not fighting for my independence. if anything, i am fighting to have them take care of me on occasion again. well, one of the absolute best things about being at their house is that my mom cooks dinner for us. and i LOVE my mom’s cooking. sometimes she does things from scratch, but other times she makes something semi-homemade that rocks my socks off. my mom is from Portland, Tennessee and grew up on scratch-made biscuits, fried chicken, bacon galore, and a constant stream of home-cooked meals. being a working woman herself who raised 2 daughters that kept her on the run with sports, music, and school events, she learned how to make these meals a reality for a busier lifestyle. i thought i might share dinner with you…

what would dinner be without adam decorating all the food?

meet ozzy, my parents’ pug.

ozzy will be here to demonstrate drooling.

let’s start with baked beans. i could eat so many of these things i would make myself sick, but i just love the combination of bbq sauce and brown sugar. basically, this is all to taste. you add a bit of worcestershire sauce, a bit of yellow mustard, a big bit of brown sugar, some nature’s seasoning (which i’m pretty sure my mother would use on everything), our family’s-secret homemade bbq sauce and then you bake it in the oven for about 30 minutes on 350.

after you put the beans in, you can whip together some oh-so-unhealthy potato casserole that will make you oh-so-happy. this one is basically putting several ingredients together, so it is very simple.

2 lbs. frozen potatoes, 2 cups shredded monterey jack cheese, 1and 1/2 cups sour cream, 1 can cream of chicken soup, 1/2 cup chopped onion (optional), 1 whole stick of butter, and salt and pepper to taste

start with a casserole dish of frozen potatoes.

my mom usually uses the shredded ones, but we tried cubed this time. you can always make this with real potatoes if you have the extra time.

melt the butter in a pot over medium heat, then add the onion. cook down for a bit. then add the cream of chicken, sour cream, and shredded cheese. stir well until all is melted together like a sauce.
poor the melted sauce over the potatoes. be sure it covers everything.
add some of the shredded cheese on top of the casserole before baking

my mom happens to make mashed potatoes that are the best, but they take quite a bit more care, and we wanted to go simple. these potatoes are so deliciously simple. bake 30-40 minutes on 350.

let’s take a short break to meet all the characters my mother likes to surround herself with.
first, there is the pig that holds utensils….

then we have the chef that informs us of dinner plans…

and don’t forget james, our family butler…

james has been around for atleast 10 years, maybe more. such a loyal butler

….ok, back to the food…

ribs time!!! every year for mine and my sister’s birthdays, our family comes together to go out to eat, and we get to pick our restaurant. when i was younger, i always insisted on going to Tony Roma’s to eat ribs. they eventually closed it to make way for a Hooters (c’mon), but it lives on in memory. so, for dinner, my mom asked me what i would like her to grill, and, of course, i requested ribs. my mom has a dry rub that she puts on them first, and it literally is called “Butt Rub”. i said, “what brand is it”, to which she replied again, “Butt Rub”. so, i guess look for “Butt Rub” at the grocery store. we also add the family bbq sauce. if your family doesn’t have a secret sauce, i recommend “Sticky Fingers” bbq. i think it is delicious. you can order it online if you can’t find it in your grocery store. be sure to turn down your beans and potatoes when it has been 30 minutes. now, go outside and grill.

begin grilling with just the dry rub on.
wonder woman all the way
take time to relax and play with your phone and drink some wine while you cook
don’t forget to treat ozzy as well. (we didn’t really give him any wine)
when the meat begins to separate from the bones, brush on your bbq sauce

now it is time to eat!!!

give ozzy some bread for all his hard work.
lucky old man (my dad)

honestly, i would love to hear about some staples of culinary delights in your own families. i am always looking for new recipes.


4 thoughts on “a good southern meal.

  1. I really like the finished bowl of baked beans that has the sauce dripping down the side because I know you turned it that way when you were taking the picture. We like the same things.


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