Clean Wild Blackberries: Southern Cooking for Company

Clean Wild Blackberries: Southern Cooking for Company

July was blackberry picking month at my granny’s farm. Our routine was this: long-sleeve shirt, jeans, loose socks, boots, hat, then a dousing of bug repellant. NO UNDERWEAR OR BRA, OR EVEN TIGHT SOCKS! (Chiggers crawl on your person until they can’t go any futher, like an underwear legband or a bra strap. Then they bite.) We’d pick gallons of berries for preserves, jam, freezing and eating fresh with cream. In England,...

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Voodoo Chile Potato Salad

Voodoo Chile Potato Salad

Oh heart, how fickle your affections. Voodooo Chile roasted potato and chile salad is ridiculously good, to quote a sweet friend, yet it’s been at least 10 years since I made it. It’s so enchanting, and safe at room temperature for hours. I don’t know how it dropped out of the repertory. I just got busy. I wrote a bunch of non-potato-related cookbooks. I spent two years rotating through hospitals at uncivil hours. I parent a...

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Watermelon Rind Bread and Butter Pickles

Watermelon Rind Bread and Butter Pickles

Bring up the subject of bread-and-butter pickles and it’s pretty certain everyone in earshot loves them. “I can eat a whole jar of them,” one friend says. It’s true: the sweet-sour base embellished with mustard seed, celery seed and ginger makes them “moreish.” Except when they’re mushy. Feh and double fed on mushy pickles. After a run of beginner’s luck, when every jar I canned turned out...

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My Writing Process Blog Tour

I’m pleased to be part of My Writing Process Blog Tour–writing is such a solitary profession, so it’s nice to feel like part of a group. I’m doing this for the same reason I attend food conferences: food people are the most fun people! What am I working on? I ask this question of every writer I meet, because the answer is always interesting. In my case, it’s Southern Cooking for Company, the largest cookbook...

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Fig Cake from Carolina, Plus Magic Buttermilk Icing: Southern Cooking for Company

Fig Cake from Carolina, Plus Magic Buttermilk Icing: Southern Cooking for Company

Considering how many Southern homes have a fig tree, you’d think we’d all have a stash of fig recipes. But it’s not so. Most years, I can’t even use up the abundance of figs from my brother’s tree. They go into the freezer, then surprise me mid-winter when I’m digging around in the back bins.  I’ve experimented with fig ice cream (delicious with a swirl of caramel), fig jam (no one but me would eat...

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Hello, I’m Nicki

I've written about food for a living since The Silver Palate was new. Discovering a new cookbook or technique is my idea of fun. And kitchen gear--I'm helpless to resist. Like kitchen projects, the posts here are occasional and open-ended, so please subscribe. You can read more about me here

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