South Vs North - Christmas without Turkey Blog at - 319996

Christmas without Turkey

South vs North 
Jan. 17, 2014 9:41 pm 
Updated: Apr. 6, 2014 7:32 am
SOUTH: I have lived in the South all of my life. Even though I was born in Northern USA during my father’s transition from military life to civilian life, I never lived there.  During the transition and move across the country, my family stayed briefly at my uncle’s house in the Great Lakes area so that I could be welcomed into this world “off the road”.   Shortly after my birth, my family headed south to the place we could call home.  The South is where I learned to cook.  I cook Southern dishes, but try new recipes of all types regularly. I would place my cooking skill level at: consistently good, often very good.
NORTH: My husband was born and raised in the Great Lakes area. Even though he traveled to many Continents in his 20 years in the Navy, there are limited foods that he will eat, especially when it comes to “Southern” cuisine. In a nut shell, he is just not a Southern guy. He likes to light the charcoal grill on rare occasions; I wish he grilled more often.
My husband and I married almost 3 years ago. When we became a couple, I tried to learn his likes and dislikes of foods and right away I knew cooking for him would be a daily challenge.  He likes “steak, potatoes, corn, plain salads, zucchini, and casseroles” to name a few items from an already short list.  The casseroles he speaks of are unspecified varieties and contents; he can’t describe what kind of casseroles he likes – he just remembers his mom making casseroles when he was young.  I have made casseroles that appeal to me and hoped it reminded him of his youth, his hometown or his mom’s cooking. I have been successful a couple of times.
Over the past few years, I have prepared several traditional Southern foods such as: Chicken and Dumplings, Collards and Cornbread (short list).  Though my husband does love the cornbread, he will rarely touch other dishes that are considered “Southern” foods (especially if you call it Southern).  I really want to cook dishes that appeal to him.  Perhaps I need to learn how to cook “Northern” cuisine.
Do you cook “Northern” cuisine? This is where you can help me.  It would make my year if those of you reading this blog would post your favorite week-night recipes for dishes that men LOVE. Also, please share any stories you have about cooking in “South vs. North” zone. I am certain I could learn from them.
Jan. 18, 2014 4:07 am
I have lived in the North (not far from the Great Lakes area as a matter of fact!) all of my life except for a very brief time when I was 11 we lived in Louisville, KY. I probably cook mostly Northern cuisine but love Southern (except collards but only because I've yet to try them). Growing up I hated casseroles - of any kind. I did not want my foods to touch! Now I love them and my kids grew up eating casseroles. A favorite is chicken and noodles in a creamy sauce with buttery crackers crumbled on top and browned. Nothing says comfort better than that. This link has zucchini in it and we like this soup as well: Good luck and keep sneaking a few of your Southern dishes in -he'll eventually start liking them! ;)
Jan. 18, 2014 6:17 am
Thank you. I will definitely try the chicken noodle casserole.
Jan. 18, 2014 9:10 am
I am from NY and one of the casseroles I grew up eating has many names and variations but essentially consists of macaroni baked with ground beef, diced green peppers, onions and diced tomatoes. If we were really flush it had a cheese topping, the cooked macaroni and cooked beef were stirred together with the vegetables then baked. My aunt didn't cook her macaroni first, my grandmother added dry oregano and basil, my girlfriend's mother used sausage in place of beef.
Jan. 18, 2014 3:16 pm
I'm from the South, but I love reading about the different locales in the US and elsewhere for that matter. I sure hope Northerners will respond to your blog. Can't wait to see all those northern recipes :)
Jan. 18, 2014 4:37 pm
I made the chicken and noodle casserole tonight that was recommended. I did tweak the recipe by adding seasonings, fresh partially cooked broccoli and canned mushrooms. I am sure my husband will like this one. Thanks for the suggestion.
Jan. 18, 2014 4:38 pm
I will try to find the recipe for baked macaroni with ground beef. Sounds easy and tasty. Thanks
Jan. 20, 2014 6:06 am
Hi, this is Baking Nana, seen as the AR blogs are missing names and avatars right now. Did you know that AR has collections of recipes from different parts of the nation and the world, in fact. At one point when the ambassador program just started we were asked to make several recipes from the Southern Collection. It was a humbling experience for me. I am a west coast girl and greens and beans, grits and cornbread were things that I had never eaten growing up. I think that the two of you will find a middle ground. I will get you a few links and ideas.
Jan. 20, 2014 6:19 am
Jan. 20, 2014 6:24 am
Jan. 20, 2014 12:39 pm
Pot roasts are very simple and northern and great in a crock pot. Oven roasted chicken, maybe stuffed with a bread stuffing. Hot turkey that's all stuff my Dad will eat and he's a very plain eater.
Jan. 20, 2014 4:27 pm
haven't had a chance to read all your responses... but I grew up in northeast Indiana. Married my man before he moved me to the south (NC) to follow my parent back "home". I enjoyed the food there, casseroles like Goulash, Tuna Noodle Casserole, lots of Italian based foods,etc. A casserole to there consisted easily of Meat, Cheese, and a sauce. Will depend on his likings and how she cooked. I had the great displeasure of being raised on southern food in front of my northern friends/classmates. Now, I enjoy it all. Best of luck getting him something yummy to eat! Check out an older copy of the Better Homes and Garden cookbook, circa 1975-ish.
Jan. 20, 2014 4:30 pm
oops... I said Northeast... NW Indiana. Big difference. Chicago-style eating has an Italian, polish influence, if that too may help you. Best of luck!!
Apr. 6, 2014 7:32 am
Thank you all for the suggestions. I have mad my dh a couple of recommended casseroles and he loved them. I will definitely check out the regional cooking link. Thanks
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R. J. Nequette

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Macon, Georgia, USA

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