Southern Sunday Lunch

Submitted by Christi


I remember Sunday lunches when I was growing up fondly. When we got home from church we would set the table with the good china and all gather round the table. Often, we would have company and spend 2 or 3 hours at the table visiting.

I remember one occasion when my mother had put a roast in the oven before church. When we got home, she had a migraine headache so we were going to just have a low key lunch so she could rest. As it happened, there was a mix up in dates and one of the ministers from the church and his wife thought they were invited for lunch that Sunday and, of course, showed up ready to eat. My poor mother, got us to set the table and she went ahead and presented a lovely meal with a smile (even though she felt terrible).

I’m not sure how my mother managed. She often didn’t know how many would actually show up but there was always plenty of food for everyone served with grace and beautiful Southern hospitality. I always appreciated how everyone always felt welcome in our home. I hope people feel as welcome in my own home as my mother made them feel in hers.

Todays Lagniappe: Mama’s Sunday Roast

Place a 3 to 5 lb. roast in a roasting pan and season with salt and pepper.

Mix together cream of mushroom soup, 1 pkg. of Campbell’s beefy onion soup mix and a can of beef consumme.  Pour over roast.

Put roast in 325 degree F. oven and roast for 2 to 3 hours.

Place potatoes that have been quartered or cut into 8ths and carrot chunks into pan around the roast after the roast has cooked for 2 hours or so.

Raise oven temperature to 35o degrees F. and cook for an additional 30 to 40 minutes until vegetables are soft.

Remove roast and vegetables from pan and make a gravy with the pan drippings. Serve roast and vegetables with hot rolls, a green vegetable and a smile.

photo from mc-q via flickr

More Southern Manners and Jail House Chili

Submitted by Christi

Did you know that being nice is good for you? Your niceness inspires others to be nice which benefits all of us! Here is an idea from Bottom Line:

Put 10 pennies in your left pocket. During the day, stop by, phone or e-mail people just to tell them how much you appreciate them or that you were thinking of them. Move one of the pennies from your left pocket to the right each time you do, and do not stop until your left pocket is empty.

I like that idea. I would allow pennies to be moved for opening a door for someone or for performing any small act of kindness. This would be nice for everyone no matter where you live or where you are from.

One of the kindest people I have ever known was Norvelle Turner. She helped raise my husband. She was his mother’s housekeeper and lived with her for 50 years before she died. She was famous for baking cakes for people she appreciated and dropping them by for no reason. She was always thinking of ways to make others happy. What a wonderful Southern lady she was. I’ll never forget her teaching me to make “Jail House Chili”. I think I’ll make it tonight in her honor. Thanks Norvelle.

Jail House Chili

This recipe is from A Cooks Tour of Shreveport from the Junior League of Shreveport, Louisiana, 1964. Norvelle’s version is quite a bit spicier than the original. The recipe here has the measurements that she used. She made her changes in pencil in the cookbook. She made this often and it is great for a cold winter’s day.

3 lb. diced lean beef or hamburger
1/4 cup liquid shortening (I use a couple of tablespoons – Christi)
1 quart water
8 tablespoons chili powder
5 teaspoons salt
8 cloves finely chopped garlic
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons marjoram
1 teaspoon red pepper (can use 1/2)
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons paprika

To thicken:
3 tablespoons flour
6 tablespoons corn meal
1 cup water

Heat oil in a large pot, add meat and sear over high heat, stir constantly until meat is gray but not brown. Add water and cover, cooking over low fire for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Add remaining ingredients, except thinckening, and cook at a bubbling simmer for 30 minutes. Mix together thickening ingredients and add to chili. Cook about 5 more minutes and stir to prevent sticking. More water may be added for desired consistency. If meat is very fat, skim off fat before adding thickening. This is rather hot chili. For milder flavor, cut the chili powder and red pepper in half but add more paprika for color.

Mind Your Southern Manners!

Submitted by Christi

I recently read an article stating that 2008 saw an increased amount of rudeness. Surely, they can’t be talking about Southerners. I’m sure you could find rude Southerners around, bless their hearts, but, hopefully, they are not the rule. Maybe in 2009, we should strive to promote Southern hospitality and manners. Even if you aren’t Southern, you can at least act like it. Here are the rules (adapted from the Facebook group “Ain’t Nothin’ Like Southern Hospitality”).

The Rules

  1. “Sir” and “Ma’am” are not just for occasional usage.
  2. Men hold doors for women/ seniors.
  3. If someone else needs a seat, you give them your seat, and you don’t complain.
  4. “Being a good Samaritan” is not just a saying, its an understood way of life.
  5. “Darling”, “Sweetheart”, “Honey”, and “Dear” are used, for the most part, as endearing expressions.
  6. You can dislike someone as much as you want, but when you see them you act cordially.
  7. When you bump into someone you say “pardon” or “excuse me.”
  8. Waving at people you don’t know or asking how they’re doing is not to be looked down upon.
  9. You can take time to slow down. Slower paced lives are happier lives.
  10. Say “God bless you” when someone sneezes.
  11. When in doubt, be as polite as possible. Only confront others when confronted.
  12. People hug one another, its OK.
  13. If you disagree with something, be polite. “Oh….I see,” or “Oh…thats nice, Darlin” will suffice.
  14. Saying grace at the table, even to yourself, should not be looked upon with disdain.
  15. The only place where cars still stop (even on the highway) for funerals.
  16. ALL people have the ability to behave like Southerners, though not necessarily recreate the accent.