Tuesday, January 13, 2015

What's in your Southern Pantry?

Doodle you way to peace?
A couple of sentences a day from thinkers like Gandhi, Buddha, and writers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson could put you in a calmer, more peaceful mind. “Daily Zen Doodles” from Meera Lee Patel and Ulysses Press put out these doodles and quotes with an invitation for readers to sketch, relax, focus and reach toward inner peace. It’s a small book, a tad large for a stocking stuffer, but it’s a stocking kind of thought. I know a lot of writers who doodle around their pages, so It’s kind of cool to see how someone else has drawn her thoughts to match sentiments. Here’s a taste from one page:

Do you have the patience to wait till your mind settles and the water is clear? – Lao Tzu

What’s in your pantry?
You probably have some good Southern recipe ingredients on hand. If you find you don’t, Jennifer Chandler can train you with her beautiful new book “The Southern Pantry Cookbook: 105 Recipes Already Hiding in Your Kitchen.”
She’s got lists that tell you why you need dried cranberries (for salads, baking and snacks) and jarred marinara sauce (a shortcut for pastas, casseroles and pizzas).
Deviled eggs will show up on lots of Southeast Texas holiday tables and she’s got some add-in ideas, like smoked salmon and capers, crispy bacon, sweet pickle relish, curry powder, chooppe dolives and barbecue dry rub. See, you probably have all that.
Dishes range from snaper with mustard-pecan sauce and Indoor Smoky Pork Butt to Mississippi Mud Brownies. I trust her, the way she writes about grits, bread pudding and pimento cheese. She knows her stuff.
I always love it when an idea I already use makes it into a book, so I was thrilled to see she shared her friend Margaret’s tip on using up the last bit of jelly in the jar. No waste and great taste:

Jelly Jar Salad Dressing
One fourth cup white wine vinegar
1 almost empty jar of jelly, about 2 tablespoons
one third cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
one half teaspoon Dijon mustard
Kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper
Place the vinegar in the almost empty jelly jar and shake well. Add the olive oil, garlic and mustard and shake again until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Darragh Doiron has the news about town for Port Arthur News readers.

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