A Food Civil War - SoGirl Blog at Allrecipes.com - 285802

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A Food Civil War 
 
Oct. 7, 2012 9:27 am 
Updated: Oct. 19, 2012 6:06 pm
Food civil wars:  I'm not entirely sure it's always so civil in these wars.  In reading reviews, from time to time I run across comments that go something like this... "this is NOT authentic (insert your dish name here)!  It never contains (insert ingredient name here)!"  So what does authentic really mean and who gets to decide what version is really authentic?  Last I checked, there was no governing foodie board who decreed a certain version the truly authentic one.  

My mother-in-law (whose parents immigrated from Hungary) was aghast when we made two versions of Chicken Paprikash for a birthday dinner;  one the "traditional" way with only paprika and sour cream for the sauce and one with tomatoes in the sauce along with paprika (and--gasp!-SMOKED paprika at that!) and sour cream.  And my husband, who had grown up with the traditional version,  decided that the tomato version was far more flavorful.  Now, granted, I didn't grow up with the traditional version and had it for the first time when I prepared the dish (from a recipe on AR--delish!).  

I am somewhat as adamant about chicken and dumplings.  My great-grandmother--a wonderful Southern cook--prepared this dish very bascially;  bone-in chicken cooked in water to make a stock, which was then strained and the boned chicken meat added back along with dumplings (drop only--no rolled here!) made much like biscuits (i.e. with buttermilk).  It was one of my favorite dishes she made, and I still love it to this day.  My only change is that I add onions to the stock for flavor.  But I still make drop dumplings the same as she did and season the dish with lots of pepper and a little salt.  Perfection for me.  But my grandmother, who was taught to cook by this same woman and is herself a wonderful Southern cook, makes hers with cream of chicken soup and butter in the broth.  So which is authentic?  Those who never had my great-grandmother's dish love my grandmother's version.  I had what I consider to be the authentic one, and that's that.  When I moved to Wisconsin a few years ago, I was excited to see chicken and dumpling soup (ok soup?  Well, I guess it could be considered a soup, so I'll try it) and ordered it.  It was hard little pieces of noodle-like dough in a thin broth with carrots and celery.  WTH?!?  This was NOT chicken and dumplings!  But to the people here, it apparently is as I've come to discover since this version is always the one served when it's on a menu.  

And biscuits and gravy?  Well, for me that means a milk gravy with cooked bulk sausage served over a split buttermilk biscuit.  Order it on a menu here, and you'll get milk gravy but with pieces of link sausage over a whole (not split) biscuit.  Breakfast sausage on any menu here is link sausage.  Not in the South...sausage is bulk sausage...period.  And not splitting the biscuit?  Unheard of in the South, at least my South.  Expose all those wonderful little pockets in the biscuit to the gravy.  Whole means it just slides off.  

And on to biscuits.  My great-grandmother and grandmother never made biscuits without buttermilk nor would I ever consider making biscuits with anything but buttermilk.  It's unthinkable.  Here, more often it's milk.  It's just not the same.  And sugar in biscuits?  No way!

My husband thought I was crazy the first time we had chili dogs, and I put mustard on mine.  Not done here, apparently, but it's how I always had mine.  Every diner, drive-in, restaurant, etc, that served them where I grew up added mustard.  

Grits?  Always served with butter, salt, and pepper.  The first time my now-husband came to visit me in Alabama, and I took him to Waffle House (miss those--not one to be found here), he added syrup to his.  No sweet grits for me!  Having them "my" way, he has conceded they are meant to be served savory not sweet.  You can't find grits on a menu here.  Sigh....

Cornbread?  More like cake in many parts of the country.  Southern cornbread in my little area of the world was made with little to no sugar, no eggs, and buttermilk...and with stone-ground cornmeal.  White cornmeal, not yellow.  I don't like flour in my cornbread, either.  I do concede that an egg does add some nice structure, and I may add a tablespoon or two of sugar sometimes, but never anything but buttermilk.  And I use stone-ground cornmeal that I either order or have my parents ship to me.  

I won't really get started on barbecue as I know that's a debate that will also never be settled.  I will just say (no offense) that you can keep your Kansas City-style, sweet sauce and your South Carolina mustard sauce.  I like the North Carolina vinegar style and the vinegary, peppery, very slightly sweet style I have yet to see anywhere but at Dreamland Ribs in Tuscaloosa, AL.  The North Alabama white barbecue sauce is pretty good served with smoked chicken, but I don't want it anywhere near my pork.  And speaking of pork...if you say barbecue where I grew up (Mississippi) and where I lived for 20 years (Alabama) before moving to Wisconsin, you get pork.  Period.  And barbecue is a noun not a verb.  We "grill" in the South, we don't "barbecue".  
A few last observations...if you fry green tomatoes or okra, they are dredged in cornmeal.  No flour in sight.  The pie at Thanksgiving or  Christmas is sweet potato, never pumpkin.  Greens are cooked with pork of some kind for flavor and served with pepper vinegar.  Red velvet cake reigns supreme, has very little chocolate in it, and always has buttermilk and vinegar in it.  There is no such thing as stuffing in my family;  it's dressing, and it's cooked separately from any bird, and it contains cornbread.  In times of sorrow or in times of recuperation from a serious illness, food is cooked and delivered for the family.  The recipe may not always be the same as your family, but it's from the heart, and that's what  matters.  These are the things that I grew up with.  

So, in closing, I will put forward these truths that I hold to be self evident.  
1.  No one will ever make a dish as good as your granny or mom or aunt, etc,(or what you remember the dish to be). 
2.  If you grew up with it, and it's what you prefer, it's "authentic" enough for you.  
3.  If you change an "authentic" recipe, and you prefer the changes, it's "authentic" enough for you.  
4.  Changing a recipe and making it your own is how you establish tradition.  You are still honoring the memory or the original.  I think of my granny every time I make chicken and dumplings even though they are slightly different than hers.  She is the inspiration for my version. 
5.  There will never be agreement on the "right" way to make something.  Chicago thinks their dogs reign supreme.  Go to NY, and they'll think theirs do.  

So whether you agree or disagree with me, I'd love to hear your traditions and what you consider to be your authentic versions.  

Happy cooking!










 
Comments
Oct. 7, 2012 9:57 am
Nothing but civility from me. We all have different palates. Mayo vs. Miracle Whip etc. No matter how a recipe is made - if it tastes good that's all that matters. Grits are good but I prefer hash browns with breakfast. When I spent time in Georgia and ordered hash browns with breakfast, the response was - you want what? So grits it was.
 
Oct. 7, 2012 10:07 am
I don't mind if others don't agree...every cook to his/her own! But I would NEVER eat an enchilada made with flour tortillas. Ugh. However, although I grew up on Texas-style chili which is made with beef and *never* with beans, my husband and I much prefer it now with turkey AND beans! I'm not a fan of beef barbeque, either, but it's KING in Texas. I will eat pulled pork or barbequed chicken, but those aren't popular here.
 
Oct. 7, 2012 10:09 am
Funny you mentioned mayo vs. Miracle Whip. When I was growing up, my parents preferred MW and for a long time I thought it was mayo! Now I only eat it on a BLT. I much prefer mayonnaise for most other things.
 
Oct. 7, 2012 10:23 am
you are talking my language. i agree 100% with everything you said to include the recipes. yep, buttermilk rules! i like the north carolina bar-b-q way better to. a hotdog with ketchup...un...NO! and yes, you can tell when you're around a yankee when they say, let's bar b que this or that, yep it's grilling. funny story---wife was having a good day last week and she said i'll make dinner. cool, i say. it was a lousy,rainy, cool day. she said i'm making chicken and dumplings. i said great! she made me go get cresent rolls biscuit tube things. she murdered the dumplings. they dissovled in too much liquid and then she added more liquid. horrible stuff! i threw it out after she went to bed. oh, cornbread....yep a little honey and sour cream, bell peppers and onions are a nice addition. just really never cool enough here in south ga. to bake it. oh yeah...you must uise cast iron. another thing always black-eye peas and collards on new years day with a big spiral-cut pigbutt! great blog!! sorry your stuck in snow-mobile hell.
 
Oct. 7, 2012 10:44 am
Great points! Grew up on Miracle Whip and now I hate it :)
 
Oct. 7, 2012 10:59 am
Good blog - I know I am guilty of saying "This is not authentic....." Taquitos are made with corn tortillas - if they are made with flour then are Flautas. As mentioned above, enchiladas are corn tortillas - if made with flour they are wet burritos! I have to tell you though the hardest assignment as an AR ambassador was cooking from the Southern collection - good thing we didn't have to blog about it because I surely butchered more than one recipe. I only know how to make biscuits and gravy thanks to my mother in law and she would have approved of your version. As for grits, I wouldn't know good grits from bad grits, the same could be said for Mac and Cheese.
 
Oct. 7, 2012 11:00 am
Oh and Miracle Whip is not allowed in this house! It is NOT mayonnaise! :)
 
Oct. 7, 2012 11:22 am
I'd never heard of wet burritos until AR. In Texas we top burritos with chili and/or cheese, but they're still just burritos. Occasionally a Tex-Mex restaurant will call them chimichangas.
 
Oct. 7, 2012 11:36 am
my favorite cornbread dish is-----in a tall iced tea glass- crumbled(but not too finely) a real tea spoon(long handle) cold- cold whole milk- lots of black pepper- even a little salt- and if i can take the time- a chopped green onion- yum-especially after midnite-lol
 
Oct. 7, 2012 11:47 am
My grandfather ate cornbread in a glass with buttermilk. We were grossed out a kids.
 
Oct. 7, 2012 11:52 am
yes, buttermilk with cornbread was the way my mom ate it. not me, i like it with ( sweet) milk...that's regular milk, btw, and a sliced vidalia onion.
 
Bibi 
Oct. 7, 2012 11:57 am
wisweetp, there are as many opinions as there are cooks, I believe. That's part of the fun in getting to know people. I get around the kitchen pretty well now, but my first introduction to spaghetti was Chef Boyardee!
 
Oct. 7, 2012 12:42 pm
I never concerned myself with "authentic" until I offered a Chicken Parmesan to an Italian who promptly complimented the recipe but said he had never heard of it. That spurred me to investigate authentic and I soon discovered that authentic is not national, nor regional, nor local, nor neighborhood. So, what is it? Just as you said- whatever tastes good. The best to be said for any ethnic food is, it has been influenced by a certain nation, region, locality or neighborhood. Authentic? No. Delicious? Yes!
 
Oct. 7, 2012 4:10 pm
bd.weld, that's funny about the grits! Waffle House will happily give you either. : ) We always had both Miracle Whip and mayo in the house when I was growing up, but I didn't like either. My husband detests MW.
 
Oct. 7, 2012 4:12 pm
This is such a great topic for a blog. I was raised in NY, moved around a lot while DH was in the service, and have been blessed by the opportunity to travel to several European countries - all of which afforded me exposure to so many different styles of cooking. Some I loved, some I liked, some I was happy to leave behind, but the unifying ingredient in all that food, was someone cooked it lovingly to feed a family. My dear MIL was an immigrant from Norway and a magician in the kitchen. I learned many "traditional" Norse dishes from her that were nothing like what I was served by her own family in Norway because she had to adapt to what was available here. She learned from the other women in the Norwegian community in Brooklyn and they had taken what worked from other nationalities nearby. That is the wonderful thing about food. It is so easy to adapt it to your tastes and if you get really lucky everyone will love what you cook.
 
Oct. 7, 2012 4:12 pm
TwoSweetPickles, I agree with you on the enchiladas...corn tortillas only, but I prefer the corn with pretty much everything except fajitas. Since I didn't grow up in Texas, I do like beans in my chili. I love a good smoked brisket every now and again, but barbecue always means pork where I grew up.
 
Oct. 7, 2012 4:14 pm
nanny129, my granddaddy always ate leftover cornbread in a glass with buttermilk, pepper, and chopped onions. He would have loved you. : )
 
Oct. 7, 2012 4:15 pm
gderr, you are making me hungry!! And yes, cast iron rules for cornbread...can't believe I didn't mention that!
 
Oct. 7, 2012 4:18 pm
Baking Nana, you probably did better than you think you did. I had never heard of wet burritos until I saw a recipe here on AR. I haven't tried them. I love both enchiladas and flautas, but what you said makes perfect sense...never thought about it. I love mac n cheese, but my version only...and no cheese food in it! : )
 
Oct. 7, 2012 4:19 pm
Bibi, I grew up on Chey Boyardee, too. Wouldn't touch the stuff now! : )
 
Oct. 7, 2012 4:20 pm
Hear, hear, Mike Harvey!
 
Oct. 7, 2012 4:22 pm
BigShotsMom, I envy you for your travel and the experiences you were able to have with it. Regardless of the traditions in a family, they always seems to include food and cooking, don't they?
 
Oct. 7, 2012 5:21 pm
bd.weld, Mayo Is better. Grits are bits of corn, and hominy very large corn is served with butter and syrup (where I came from, from the north). so I can see someone putting Syrup in there grits. but here in north Carolina I have seen people also put cheese in them. Here it is normal to serve Grits with breakfast. wisweetp I sometimes take Chef Boyardee to work in my thermos (it is cheaper than fast food, sometimes better). I like sweet cornbread like aka Jiffy Corn Bread (Some Added butter, and honey to the mix, Yummy). And lastly Hot Dogs Must be in natural casings, or they are not authentic.
 
Oct. 7, 2012 6:38 pm
KingSparta, funny thing for me is that I have never liked hominy, but I love grits. I add cheese to my quite often especially if I am serving shrimp and grits when I add parmesan. I can't say I'm much of a fan of the Jiffy mix, but I know lots of people who are. Not sure if most people would consider it authentic or not, but I buy hot dogs, I always get the uncured ones (we try to avoid nitrates/nitrites in food, and I buy all my dogs, bacon, etc, from my local natural foods store). At any rate, they are good, and that's what counts right? I guess I would certainly choose Chef Boyardee if the choice was between that and McDonalds!
 
Oct. 7, 2012 7:21 pm
I am boycotting McDonald's until they bring back the deep fried apple pies (18 years and counting). One day they will cave in, I can feel it.
 
Oct. 7, 2012 8:33 pm
You are so right! (I think there are as many "authentic" recipes as there are Grandmas.) You cracked me up with the Wisconsin chicken dumpling soup experience.I think I can explain. It's not meant to be actual "chicken and dumplings" It's just regular chicken soup with German inspired spaetzle type drop dumplings(They are dense and chewy but should not be hard!)It's not much different than chicken noodle soup in my opinion. It is very popular, though. I have made it at every place I worked since 1982! It is definitely an authentic Wisconsin soup. I very rarely see real chicken and dumplings on menus here but when I make it at home I make it just like my German mom did which is exactly like your southern Grandmas recipe!
 
Oct. 7, 2012 8:37 pm
Oops!I meant to say my Moms recipe is like your GREAT Grandmas recipe (the one without the cream of chicken)
 
Oct. 8, 2012 6:47 am
KingSparta, good luck with your boycott! That's funny. My dad would agree with you. He loved those pies.
 
Oct. 8, 2012 6:53 am
hazelnut, thanks for the info on the soup. I guess "hard" was a bit too harsh for a description. Dense and chewy would be very accurate. But when you are thinking Granny's chicken and dumplings, hard is the first thing that comes to mind with those! LOL. My eyes have been opened to a lot of things since I've moved to Wisconsin. I have to admit German food is not my favorite cuisine, so a lot of what I've experienced is a one-time thing. : ) My husband has finally come to accept that I won't ever have a taste for brats. Haha.
 
Lela 
Oct. 8, 2012 7:46 am
I agree with you wisweetp-authentic is personal. Some people have never heard of pizzelles or potica. These are sweet tradition in our house for the holidays. Heaven forbid if you make orange pizzelles-unheard of, but yummy. Also, my mother-in-law would make gravy and noodles with sliced hard boiled eggs over mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving. Tasty, but I never heard of it until I married my husband.
 
Oct. 8, 2012 9:10 am
I've always thought authentic was what your mom, grandma or great gram made because that is what you grew up with. However, being from Kansas City, I am really picky about my BBQ. We don't eat it out any more. We make our own because we want our pork shoulder with a vinegar mop sauce as it cooks, our brisket well seasoned, sauce on the side and our birds smoked with lots of spice. Guess we don't do KC style BBQ either, we do authentic :)
 
Oct. 8, 2012 1:12 pm
Lela, I've had both pizzelles and potica..both yummy although I don't know if they were the real deal. Interesting dish you describe with the noodles and gravy..never heard of that one!
 
Oct. 8, 2012 1:15 pm
Cat Hill, your barbecue sounds good. I love the vinegar mop sauce! And my granny's and grandmother's cuisine ruled supreme in my world, so you I agree wholeheartedly with you! : ) I've come to discover that we prefer most things made at home. I do pretty well with most, but I have yet to master Indian cuisine.
 
Oct. 8, 2012 1:36 pm
I have to say I'm not too crazy about brats anymore either. Had more than my share of 'em! If you are ever in the Franklin area give St. Martins Inn a try. It just might change your mind about German food. The chef worked at Maders for many years. Good "authentic" Wisconsin style fish fry, too.lol
 
Oct. 8, 2012 3:22 pm
I am partial to our BBQ but you could poll those that have come to the roundups here to see if it passes their taste bud test :) I feel like I am always learning and I so appreciate those that are willing to help me with cuisines I know nothing about. It is so nice I can always get that kind of help here on AR for those questions.
 
Kendra 
Oct. 8, 2012 6:14 pm
I totally agree! My mom made "burnt cream" as a special treat, and I loved it. Now everyone calls it "creme brulee" and my mom will roll her eyes at the frilly title. I guess I'm just strange in that I tend to like it ALL. I like Americanized Mexican food, and traditional. I like Americanized Chinese food, and traditional. Try going to another country and trying something you love, say pizza. It's quite an experience!
 
Oct. 8, 2012 8:48 pm
Kendra, I love burnt cream! : ) I've eaten the americanized versions of Mexican and Chinese many times over the years, and now I'm especially interested in trying the cuisine as they would serve it in the country in which it originated. I hope to be able to travel abroad someday and try in the countries themselves!
 
Oct. 8, 2012 9:58 pm
I often feel like such a poser here, amoung so many great cooks! [I admit, head hanging, to using Cool Whip and cream of soups. And I cook with LOTS of short cuts.] But it's been such a compliment that my kids, who have grown up and moved out, have called and asked for some of my "recipes" [aren't the favorites always the things you make without a recipe!] =D Or when they come home and ask me to make their favorites (=
 
Oct. 8, 2012 10:57 pm
By the way, shoot me now - I know it's not authentic, but when we have cornbread, we butter it and sprinkle sugar over it. YUM! Our cheat "honey butter" (=
 
Paula 
Oct. 9, 2012 7:03 am
Love, love, love your post, wisweetp! Isn't it amazing how different areas of the country change up the same dish?
 
Oct. 9, 2012 7:14 am
xraybarb, you're no poser if you cook! Doesn't matter if you use convienience ingredients if you and your kids like it. And the cornbread? Well, maybe not my thing, but hey, that's the beauty of cooking. : ) Big compliment that your kids ask for your recipes. And there ya go...traditions!
 
Oct. 9, 2012 7:16 am
Paula, it sure is amazing. I grew up about 2 hours from Memphis, so you and I probably had some of the same dishes, but even 2 hours can make a difference.
 
Kendra 
Oct. 9, 2012 2:46 pm
Oh, and on the cornbread topic... I've never found any that I like! (and I've tried to like it)I blame my location. The pacific northwest, doesn't have a strong cornbread tradition, lol. Or at least not my family. I also have learned that I generally dislike GRILLED food, but love BARBEQUED food. There is a difference, and a big one at that.
 
Oct. 9, 2012 3:35 pm
kendra is location challenged. yes there is good cornbread. believe me and as for gilling vs bar b que...is really the same. we name it grillin'. but maybe it depends on how you do it, or where you live. this is a southern thang...you wouldn't...never mind, rock on!
 
Oct. 9, 2012 6:35 pm
Kendra, I understand your cornbread thing. I will never develop a taste for brats which horrifies most Wisconsinites. gderr, from one Southerner to another...right on! : )
 
Oct. 9, 2012 9:10 pm
LOL! I thought I was the only person in America who does not like brats. My first year of college was at UW Madison and every one I knew tried to convince me I just hadn't had one cooked the right way, but I have eaten them boiled, grilled, baked and fried and I still do not like them. I can eat them but would never ask for one. But there are many other German sausages that I love.
 
Oct. 10, 2012 7:28 am
BigShotsMom, you are not alone! LOL. I've been told the same thing, and I've also tried them all different ways...no go. I simply don't like them. I'm not really much of a fan of German cuisine, and the other sausages just don't do it for me, either. I guess I'll just be the oddball here...my accent already pegs me as different anyway! : )
 
Oct. 11, 2012 7:09 am
Funny! No Miracle Whip here, only real mayo. My mom never had mayo, so I always thought Miracle whip was mayo too, until I grew up and did my own shopping. Never had grits until I was an adult. They are like Cream of Wheat. . .only Cream of Corn. I ate them with maple syrup but I prefer Cream of Wheat. The first time I ran across an "authentic" rant in the reviews was for a Pasta Fagioli recipe, where I learned it was a peasants dish and never had meat in it. It was a bean and pasta dish, LOL!!! Whatever. . .how come there are white brats and pink brats? Are they both authentic? I've never had a white brat but I like the pink ones. My aunts used to eat toast with cinnamon sugar in a glass of milk. I should stop tweaking so much so I could land on a "tradition", LOL!!
 
Oct. 11, 2012 7:17 am
Hi, LadySparkle. I know there are strong feelings ont he Miracle Whip/Mayo subject. Since I eat very little of either, and I actually prefer Veganaise to both of them (much to my mayo-loving husband's horror, LOL), I'll leave that one to the experts. Never thought about the Pasta Fagioli, but that makes sense! I can't say I like Cream of Wheat, but I can see your point on the similarities. I think it goes back to what you grew up eating. Not sure on the brat question other than I think maybe it's a different kind of meat. Since I don't eat any of them, maybe someone who's very familiar with German cuisine can help us there. As for the tweaking, I love to do that! I just can't seem to stop myself. : )
 
Oct. 11, 2012 8:21 am
It's my way or the highway in the kitchen. Granny did it one way and now I do it another. They both work and they are both good....and I find in my travels that there are more arguments about BBQ than anything.....and I do get a lot of comments on my cornbread recipe that say, not the way we grew up making it - which makes me wonder, then why did you make the recipe if you knew it was so completely different ?
 
Oct. 12, 2012 7:23 am
Doug, I will admit to being a bit of a control freak in the kitchen most of the time. If it's something we'll all be eating, it pretty much has to be done my way. My husband's chili, on the other hand, is a different story; he has free reign there, because he's the only one who will eat it! Barbecue is definitely a hotly-debated topic...and one there will just never been any agreement on. And good point on the cornbread...if you make the recipe already knowing it was so different, what did you expect?? It's not magically going to turn out the same!
 
louslips 
Oct. 12, 2012 10:47 am
Ok, Doug....I grew up USAF brat....so I'll try anything once......that's why I like ar.....so many different "tratidional" recipes....I make the recipes in case I find I like it better than the way I grew up....and our chick & dumps were like your great-grands, wisweetp, so delicious....and my granpa was German but family didn't like mashed potato salad so he made his german potato slad with cubed potatoes....to us, that was "authentic"....as they say, make it your own....I'm the mayo, hubby is the MW...all you guys post great recipes....I realy like the"traditional, authentic"
 
Oct. 12, 2012 7:42 pm
Misweetp
 
Oct. 12, 2012 7:45 pm
I had typed and posted and don't know where it went. Great blog! I too love southern foods; pork bbq with spices and not drenched in bbq sauce. I love chk and dumplings. I am from the south- NC. Love all that southern food! I love chinese and mexican too. I have to agree no one can cook like grandma and mama!
 
Oct. 13, 2012 7:02 am
luv2cook, thanks for the name suggestion! It's really a good thing I cook, because otherwise, I'd really be in trouble when craving good, Southern food. I do like bbq sauce on my pork, but only a little and it cannot be a sweet, thick, tomato sauce. I like a little tomato, a little red pepper, a little sweet, and a lot of vinegar. I really want the flavor of the pork to shine not the sauce. And I love Chinese and Mexican, too. And Japanese and Indian and Vietnamese...well you get the picture! : )
 
Oct. 14, 2012 11:16 am
Good blog. I get so tired of people attacking recipes that are not even trying to be authentic (but are authentic to the creator) for not being authentic. I run into this a lot with ethnic food. I love to cook ethnic foods but I also love the substitutions and shortcuts that make it easier and in some cases POSSIBLE for me to make the dish with ingredients available to me in my part of the country. And someone's gramma made it that way... so get over it and enjoy the diversity in cooking :-)
 
Oct. 14, 2012 12:51 pm
Great blog. We have to keep both Miracle Whip and Mayo in the house as it is *required* by certain people for different things. My family is from the South so my only exposure to Southern food is how my granny and mom cooked. I recently read on here that 'true' Italians from Italy would never use (insert ingredient, as I have read several such posts) and yet, I have in my own personal collection cookbooks-regional cookbooks- written by Italians living in Italy that include said ingredients. Flour versus corn, Cream versus butter. Deep Dish versus thin crust. Its all your own personal preference.
 
Puck 
Oct. 14, 2012 11:22 pm
Ever since I can remember, there have been staples that have circulated the table frequently, as they are much loved by the whole family. Now, my dad is a different sort when it comes to food. If he asks what's for dinner, and you respond with lasagna, stroganoff, chili...whatever the case may be, he expects the version he is used to. And will NOT like it if it is not the same. Throughout the years, through death and illness when kind hearted people have dropped off meals for us, or even when it is just my mom or I experimenting with a different recipe, we have learned the hard way to change the name of the dish! If you tell him you will be serving, say, spaghetti, and it is not exactly what he is used to, he will turn up his nose. But, serve that same dish and call it, say, linguine with marinara, and everything is fine! LOL!!! It is too funny. Also, he has it in his head that he doesn't like certain ingredients. For example, he claims to despise orange marmalade. Can't stand it, wants nothing to do with it. Little does he know one of his favorite dishes has 2 heaping tablespoons in it! It is my mom's most closely guarded secrets. Some women hide affairs, or purchases they shouldn't have made...my mom hides a jar of orange marmalade in the deep, dark corner of the veggie crisper! Great blog- thanks for sharing it. It is so true that what is authentic to you is often quite different than it is to another. And as you say, as long as it is good, that is all that matter :)
 
Puck 
Oct. 14, 2012 11:24 pm
Gee whiz- pardon my spelling errors! It is late!
 
 
 
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wisweetp

Living In
Waukesha, Wisconsin, USA

Member Since
Aug. 2006

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Expert

Cooking Interests
Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Indian, Italian, Southern, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Healthy, Dessert

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About Me
I'm a born and bred Southerner now living in the Midwest (temporarily!). I learned to cook by watching and helping my grandmother and great-grandmother, both of whom were wonderful Southern cooks who cooked by "feel" rather than by measuring. And that's how I cook now, too. Recipes are more of a suggestion than instruction for me. I love to garden and use my fresh veggies in my creations, especially salsa and hot sauce, which are my specialties.
My favorite things to cook
Baked goods (especially yeast breads), soups, pizza, roasted and grilled veggies...
My favorite family cooking traditions
Christmas candy making with my mom. She lives across the country now, so we haven't been able to do that since I moved..better on the waistlines!
My cooking triumphs
Planning an outdoor party for 20 people where the main course and the main side dish were to be grilled. It was POURING when the time came. I moved everything inside and prepared the food on stovetop and oven, and it turned out beautifully anyway.
My cooking tragedies
Making biscuits at my mom's house one time and accidentally using plain flour instead of self-rising. Needless to say, I had to make another batch of biscuits when I realized what I had done! Otherwise, I've been pretty lucky!
 
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