What a blessing to have been raised in Memphis by a country cook who knew what she was doing. Good cooking was just a way of life in our household and among our extended family. My mother prepared the best fried chicken in Tipton County (We grew up in Memphis, but our reunions were in Tipton County.) according to my aunts, uncles, cousins, and great aunts & uncles; I have no reason to doubt their words of praise. I saw at every family reunion whose chicken was the first to go.

And my mother wasn’t the only good cook in our house. My daddy was a master at the grill and could throw together a variety of tasty snacks inside as well. He specialized in oyster chowder & Bleu Cheese Dressing; and sitting down with Daddy as we built snacks of smoked oysters, cheeses, crackers, olives, and anything else he could scrape together was a banquet in itself.

There’s more than just cooking going on here. The Stories dropdown in the header above leads to personal stories about things like baseball games, county dress codes, a bit of history and geography and more.

The blog entries below come from recipes we enjoy around our household; from recipes I’ve yet to try; from recipes given me by friends and family, and things I’ve read about on line or in real print. Yes, I do still subscribe to magazines that come in the mail. Also there are posts about cooking equipment, techniques, sources for more information, etc. I hope you find something of interest. By all means, feel free to write (rbyrd@rbyrd.net).

Shannon’s Baked Oatmeal

Shannon’s Baked Oatmeal

Ingredients:  1/3 cup vegetable oil ½ cup sugar 1 egg 2 cups oatmeal 1½ teaspoons baking powder ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon vanilla 1½ teaspoons cinnamon Raisins to taste (nuts optional) Directions: Mix ingredients together and pour into a greased 8-by-8-inch glass...

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Salmon with Dijon-Brown Sugar

Heat your oven to 400 degrees. Combine Dijon mustard and brown sugar. Adjust to the desired amount of sweetness-tanginess. Salt and pepper the fish. Line a cooking sheet with foil. Lightly oil the sheet; then add fish skin-side down. Spread the tops of the fillets...

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Roasted Cherries with Balsamic Vinegar

A friend of ours from church, Molly Quigley, shared this recipe she got from Serious Eats Ingredients 1/2 pound fresh cherries 1 baguette of French Bread 1 T balsamic vinegar 1 T canola or olive oil Goat Cheese for topping Directions Set oven on 350°F. On a baking...

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Spinach Huevos

Spinach Huevos

We do up something we call "Huevos Rancheros," but it's nothing like the dish you're familiar with. Ours is more like a chili-based casserole. Lots of cheese, tortillas torn into pieces; with several eggs added whole and allowed to sort of poach in the casserole....

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Smothered Chicken – Clairborne

Smothered Chicken – Clairborne

Start with the basic recipe; then modify as desired. Green peppers, onion, celery, and tomatoes for a Louisiana flair. Mushrooms & petite onons for a French twist. This is adapted from a Craig Claiborne recipe that appeared in the NYTIMES possibly as early as...

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Derby Pie

Barbara Hass from church brought this pie to a pot luck we had this evening. She graciously shared the recipe. Thanks, Barbara!   1/2 cup melted butter 1 cup sugar 1 tsp. vanilla 1/2 cup flour 2 eggs 3/4 cup walnuts 3/4 cup chocolate chips   Combine and pour...

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Banana Bread, Whole Wheat

 This is a whole wheat version I've tried. It's pretty good too. Go HERE for Sherry's Banana Bread; or HERE for Evelyn's Banana Bread.   ½ cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) unsalted butter ½ cup (3 ¾ ounces) packed light or dark brown sugar ¾ teaspoon baking soda ½...

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Evelyn’s Banana Bread

Evelyn’s Banana Bread

 Evelyn is one of my good friends from church. She baked me a loaf of delicious banana bread, and I asked her for the recipe. This is a copy of what she sent me. Go HERE for Whole Wheat Banana Bread; or HERE for Sherry's Banana Bread.   Ingredients 1 cup...

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Zucchini Bread

Ingredients Butter, for the pan 1 ½ cups grated zucchini ⅔ cups light brown sugar ⅓ cup olive oil (or other oil such as safflower or canola) ⅓ cup plain Greek yogurt 2 large eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon baking...

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What Happened to the Old Cook Book?

We are in the process of migrating the cook book from BLOGGER. In the mean time, you can still visit the old BLOGSPOT here.   What We're Doing   We had a problem over at blogger. I don't know for sure what happened, as Google will not discuss the matter. One...

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Shrimp Etouffee – Paula Deen

Ingredients 1/2 cup oil 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra flour, optional 1 cup chopped yellow onion 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper 1 cup chopped celery 3 cloves garlic, finely minced 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 1/2 teaspoon white pepper 1/2 teaspoon cayenne...

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Grilled Shrimp with Mexican Salsa (Global)

Grilled Shrimp with Mexican Salsa (Global)

  I saw this one here:http://www.weber.com/recipes/seafood/grilled-shrimp-with-mexican-salsa Ingredients 12 tomatillos, husked and rinsed 1 Hass avocado, cut into ¼-inch dice 1 medium tomato, cut into ¼-inch dice ¼ cup finely chopped white onion 2 tablespoons...

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Emeril’s Shrimp & Sausage Jambalaya

Emeril’s Shrimp & Sausage Jambalaya

 Ingredients 1 lb. smoked sausage, cut lengthwise in half, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices 1 lb. shrimp 2 tablespoons yellow onion, chopped 1/2 cup celery, chopped 1 cup green bell peppers, chopped 4 bay leaves 2 cups tomatoes (canned or fresh), peeled,...

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Fresh Apple Cake

Ingredients 1 cup salad oil 2 cup sugar 2 eggs 1 tsp salt 1 tsp soda 1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp vanilla 2 1/2 cups flour 1 cup pecans or walnuts (chopped) 3 cups apples, chopped Directions Mix together sugar and oil. Add eggs and beat until creamy. Add vanilla Combine...

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Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Ingredients 3/4 cup whole milk 1 cup coarse ground cornmeal 4 ounces unsalted butter 8 ounces dark brown sugar, approximately 1 cup 6 slices canned pineapple in heavy syrup 6 maraschino cherries 1/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted 3 tablespoons juice from canned pineapple...

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Vanilla Cake

Ingredients 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pans 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pans 1 tablespoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 cups sugar 4 large eggs, at room temperature 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 3/4 cup...

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Apple Puff Pancake

Apple Puff Pancake

 I got this recipe from a tub of Land O Lakes Butter.   Ingredients 4 T butter1/2 cup milk2 eggs1/4 cup maple-flavored syrup1 meium apple, peeled, quartered, and sliced (about 1 cup)2 T firmly packed brown sugar1/4 tsp ground cinnamonpowdered sugar  ...

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Shrimp Wrapped in Bacon, Dwayne’s

Dwayne served these at his house on Mother’s Day (May, 2016) at his house. They were superb!   Ingredients – 16 large shrimp, peeled and deveined – 8 slices bacon – barbeque seasoning, to taste Directions     Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Wrap...

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Dwayne’s Chess Pie

Dwayne sent me this recipe. He served it for Mother's Day.   Ingredients - 2 cups white sugar - 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour - 5 eggs - 2/3 cup buttermilk - 1/2 cup melted butter - 1 teaspoon vanilla extract - 1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust   Directions - Prep - 30...

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Soup, Stock, and Beans

Just about every week, I make up a big batch of stock; mainly for Sherry's lunches. (She usually takes a home-made turkey-vegetable soup with her to work every day.) I also use the stock for cooking beans and peas, etc.   A couple of days ago, I put on close to 7...

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Sweet Potato Crust and Quiche

Sherry loves this sort of thing!   Ingredients: 2 medium sweet potatoes 1 teaspoon canola oil 1 (5-ounce) bag baby spinach 1/2 cup 1% low-fat milk 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper 4 large eggs 2...

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Stock, Soup, Crock Pots

I found a 6 quart slow-cooker at Target for $24.99. With 6 quarts, I could make some pretty big batches of stock; eh? I gave it a try. To around 4 pounds of turkey neck bones I added onion, garlic, carrots, and celery, and 2 quarts of water. Yes, just 2 quarts. I...

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Alaska Cod Florentine

In looking for ways to cook fish from its frozen state, I came across this one. Also I did another post on cooking cod from frozen (with a video).  Interesting stuff.  What I wanted to take away from that recipe at Wild Alaskan Seafood is the way they say to cook the...

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Cooking Frozen Fish without Thawing

http://www.wildalaskaseafood.com/cook-it-frozen-cooking-techniques/ Steaming Bring about 1-inch of water/seasoned liquid to a boil. Line the steamer with lettuce, onion, herbs or citrus (without covering all the holes) to keep seafood from sticking Rinse seafood under...

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Strawberry Filled Butter Cookies

I just bought two new quarter-sheet pans; and this recipe was on the label. I haven't tried them yet. Ingredients 3/4 cups butter, room temperature 1/4 cup granulated sugar 1/4 cup brown sugar 1 egg 1 tsp. almond extract 1 3/4 cups flour 1/4 tsp. salt 1/4 cup...

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Pan Roasted Potatoes and Mushrooms

Sherry loves potatoes, and sometimes I cook her up some with onions. Last night, I added mushrooms, and they turned out nicely! Ingredients 3 medium red potatoes; quartered and sliced thinly 1 medium yellow onion; coarsely chopped 1/2 pound white mushrooms; sliced...

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Country Style Ribs with Chinese Five Spice

I heard this one on NPR.  Today, I used 4.77 pounds  country style ribs. Sprinkle with a generous amount of 5-spice. Place in the bottom of a cast iron dutch oven; cover with big jar of sour kraut. Then sprinkle with brown sugar. Cover and place in 350 oven.  ...

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Swai

Swai, or "basa" sauteed in a bit of butter and olive oil. This works very well. (2 minutes per side in a aluminum frying pay.) But I like this way too even BETTER! I preheated the ridged cast iron grill pan for a few minutes over medium-high heat. I dried the fillets...

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New Fry Pan

Just ordered a new Commercial Grade 12" Frying Pan. It's NSF rated and looks like the 10" pan I got from Mother. That 10" pan supposedly came from the kitchen at the International Harvester Plant in Memphis. I really like the 10" pan I have  now because it's durable,...

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Beets and Potatoes

I picked up a couple of "commercial grade" sheet pans (1/2 sheet) at Walmart for just under $7 each the other day; and I've begun using them for supper. Tonight, I peeled and diced a couple of beets; tossed them with olive oil; seasoned with salt and pepper and ...

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Brussels Sprouts Roasted with Sausage

Brussels Sprouts Roasted with Sausage

  I originally tried this recipe from "Italian Food Forever." It was very good just as she did it. But I with every bite, I kept thinking, this reminds me of pizza. So, I made some changes with the notion of making a topping for pizza....or perhaps a main dish...

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Tasso Making

I started with a boneless pork loin. This one was 4.85 lbs.   Then, I sliced it about 3/4 to 1" thick; and placed them on a rack. I put a fan on them to dry them out. Note:  I've done the same thing with a Boston Butt; I just had to bone it out and then cut it into...

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Final Exam for Sunday School

Final Exam for Sunday School 1) We hear what Jesus has to say in the : Old Testament, New Testament, or Apocrypha 2) Moses led his people out of Egypt in which part of the Bible? Old Testament, New Testament, or Apocrypha 3) Every Sunday, our priest (or our Deacon)...

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Shrimp with Mushrooms and Onions

I saw Giada do some onions low and slow on the stove top the other day, and they looked so good. She said she cooked hers for an hour and a half.  I've tried it with big Texas 1015 onions (our answer to the Vidalia), and we like it. So, I had a handful of shrimp on...

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God Overrules USSC Verdict!

Going through some old files, I came across this bit from my mother's former priest, Sherod Mallow. He sent this to us in an email shortly after the 2000 Florida debacle. God Speaks out on Election Theft Bush to be smitten later today In a rare public appearance God...

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Souvlakia – a Different Take

We've always loved to make up kabobs of pork, onions and peppers; seasoned with lemon juice, soy sauce, oregano, salt and pepper, and loads of garlic powder. Usually, I grill them up and then serve them with flour tortillas, rather than with Pita bread.   Tonight I...

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Mushroom Roll-ups

  Thirty years or so ago, I wrote this recipe into a spiral bound book Sherry's mom gave us when we got married. I served this once to then City Councilwoman Leffler; she loved them.  Mrs. Leffler was our assistant principal at Frayser High School when I was in...

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Shrimp with Peppers and Onions

I couldn't decide what to do with the wonderful shrimp I had on hand, so I went with a simple base of onions, and peppers; then added the shrimp at the end. Like a Chinese stir fry; but no Chinese seasonings; I used a low simmering heat for most of the process; and...

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Pan Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Shrimp

We visited my brother Dwayne's house for Christmas. While there, my lovely niece, Rebecca, and her good friend, Shelby, whipped up a Brussel sprouts side dish that hit the spot.  I didn't get Becky's recipe, but I did copy and steal where I could on the internet, and...

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Italian Sausage and Spinach

I made up some spaghetti sauce out of turkey Italian sausage. At the last minute, Sherry said it was okay with her if we decide not to serve it over pasta. So - I added a bag of pre-rinsed spinach right at the very end. Then I cooked it just long enough to wilt it....

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Turkey Italian Sausage

We like Johnsonville Italian Sausage, but we also need to watch the fat intake. Thus, experiments with ground turkey. Ingredients 1 pound lean ground turkey 2 teaspoons garlic powder 1-1/2 teaspoons fennel seed, crushed 1-1/2 teaspoons sugar 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon...

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Soy Chorizo and Turkey Chili

Our grocery stocks a Chorizo made from soy. It's really tasty, and reminds me of a chili mix we used to buy 40 years ago. This is pretty darned good. Ingredients 2 large yellow onions (or more), peeled and sliced into slivers 2 poblano chiles; roasted, seeded, and...

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Shrimp Etouffee

I used poblano peppers rather than green bell peppers, and I skipped the celery. I peeled and deveined the shrimp first and began my shrimp stock. In the meantime, I allowed the shrimp to sit in the fridge mixed with a blend of the salt, peppers, garlic powder, and...

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Giada’s BBQ Chicken

Ingredients:   1 cup Balsamic vinegar 3/4 cups catsup 1 T Worchestershire 1/3 cup brown sugar 1T Dijon mustard 1 clove garlic, minced pinch of salt and some black pepper Chicken thighs and breasts Directions: Combine all ingredients except chicken in a sauce pan....

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Strawberry Créme Pie

Ingredients 1 10 oz tub frozen sliced strawberries in sugar, thawed 1 3 oz package cream cheese, softened 3 cups frozen whipped topping, thawed 1 graham cracker pie crust Directions Drain the strawberries. Use an electric mixer to combine the strawberries and cream...

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Green Beans, Potatoes, and Sausage Casserole

Ingredients 12 oz pack of frozen cut green beans 1 lb smoked pork sausage (Kielbasa, etc.); sliced 1 medium  onion, peeled and diced 3 medium potatoes, diced 1/2 cup Parmesan or other similar cheese (I like Cotijo.), grated black pepper salt Worchestershire Sauce 1/2...

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My Sweet Emily

I had a GREAT day at church yesterday. A 2nd grader I'm TOTALLY in love with all of the sudden began paying attention to me. She has always been timid around me; but yesterday, she started talking to me, smiling, etc..... And after the service, when I played a...

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Macaroni & Cheese

I saw this recipe on a package of cheese from Walmart. I haven't tried it yet, but thought it was worth saving to do later. Ingredients 2 cups elbow macaroni (uncooked) 3 eggs beaten 10 ounces grated Cheddar cheese 2 1/4 cups milk 1 cup bread crumbs salt and pepper...

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Drum Fish

I love to shop at our Fiesta Mart near Reliant Stadium. The Seafood Department lady has taken a liking to me, and that suits me just fine. The seafood lady at Kroger in Memphis seemed to like me too. I'm not complaining. Yesterday, Blanca recommended the drum. She...

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Chicken Vegetable Soup

I usually buy a couple of family-packs of leg quarters, boil up the chicken; debone the chicken; then make a stock from the bones. Then, after all that is done, I get around to putting together the pot of soup. Yesterday, though, I decided to act quickly. So I found a...

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Music Links

Realizing that I'd had so much fun viewing so many different music items on the web, I began to wonder where all of those links were; and I hoped that I could preserve them. They are scattered all over a variety of book marks on several different browsers on several...

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Oatmeal Cookies

Sherry mentioned that  her boss is having a birthday tomorrow; so I'm thinking of a treat. I'm not much on desserts, but this looks easy. I saw the recipe on the inside of the lid of a box of Quaker Oats. Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies Does it matter whether I used...

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Collard Greens with Rutabaga

I went to the Foodarama today with the  thought of cooking up some chicken-vegetable soup for Sherry's lunches next week. I love to browse around the market; see what looks good; mull over my choices; then change my mind three or four times. So I started out thinking...

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Easter Dinner!

Sam had to work so we didn't make big plans for dinner; but then he called and said he'd "like to drop by for a while," and of course he suggested dinner would be nice. Fortunately the stores were still open (Foodarama had announced they would close at 6pm.) So I...

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“Among the acts of love we as humans do, feeding one another is one of the most intimate.”  – – R. Byrd