Potato Rolls

Potato Rolls

This is another of the posts in my Memory Lane series.  I am having fun digging into my earliest food memories and sharing the recipes here.  As I think about it, though, I do believe that my earliest food memory is from when I was 2 years old.  Yes, I really can remember back to when I was 2.  Anyway, that earliest memory revolves around eating a breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, and toast.  My baby brother woke up and I stopped eating breakfast to follow my mom into his room.  When I came back to the table, my scrambled eggs were gone.  Continue Reading

Strawberry, Banana, and Pineapple Jello Salad

Strawberry, Pineapple, Banana Jello SaladMy grandmother used to make this salad for Christmas gatherings and first got the recipe from some of her ‘church ladies’. It appeared at a Circle Meetin’ at Granny’s little St. George Southern Baptist Church in the 1960’s.  The salad was wildly successful among the women and when the church put together a cookbook in 1977, this recipe was submitted by seven different women…all claiming to be originator of the recipe. Funny! I can remember my grandmother expressing her irritation over the situation, that so-and-so took recipes that were given to her by other people and claimed them as her own and now had her name on them in the cookbook.Continue Reading

Southern-Style Cornbread Dressing

Southern-Style Cornbread Dressing

This lovely cornbread dressing is the only dressing that my family ever made when I was growing up.  After I was married I made it religiously every year –TRADITION is everything at Thanksgiving — unless, of course, somebody creates something amazing like the afore posted Sourdough Artichoke Parmesan Stuffing.

As I ventured out on my own away from home, I was amazed to find that anyone else in the world had a different take on what dressing or stuffing was all about. Yes, for all of the traveling that I did as a kid, I was culinarily ignorant. (Except that I did learn about cream puffs when I lived in Wisconsin and scrapple when I lived in Delaware.) Continue Reading

Candied Sweet Potatoes or Yams

Candied Yams or Sweet PotatoesBesides mashed potatoes and gravy, the candied sweet potatoes/yams are my favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner.

Yes, I know, a yam and a sweet potato are not the same thing, but we do use the words interchangeably, so let’s move on. What a shame I only make this dish once a year. In reality, it seems that it would be a shame to do otherwise; it’s just so much of a Thanksgiving dish!

The way that I have always enjoyed candied sweet potatoes is to have them cut into thick slices and baked in a rich brown sugar syrup. Just before serving they are topped with marshmallows and put under the broiler to toast.  I’m smiling just thinking about these. Continue Reading

Macaroni Pie

Macaroni Pie
My grandmother used to make a mac and cheese that she referred to as “macaroni pie”.  In my family, growing up, we just called it macaroni (no feathers, no caps, no Yankee Doodle).  It was the only kind of macaroni and cheese that I knew until I went away to college and my roommates were eating the stuff out of the box. I was pretty surprised to learn that Granny’s macaroni pie was a good deal different than what the rest of the world seemed to be eating. Her mac and cheese was custard based and had cubes of cheese throughout it rather than having a cheesy sauce mixed with macaroni.  Macaroni pie was standard fair at many homes and family gatherings throughout the low country in South Carolina and I LOVED it.  It was and is one of my favorite foods.
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Up until the past few days, I thought that Granny’s quaint Southern term of “macaroni pie” was exactly that, a quaint Southern term.  Shoot.  I was really showing my own ignorance by thinking that my grandmother, with her 6th grade education, was the one who didn’t know proper terminology or how to make real macaroni and cheese.  After the things I have read, I’m ashamed of myself.  Granny was 100% correct in calling what she made “Macaroni Pie” and I am amazed at how little I knew/know about my own food cultural heritage.

Let me tell you about it.  And Tricia, pay close attention because this will fit in really well with your cultural cuisine class.

I did an internet search on recipes for macaroni pie which surprisingly lead me to recipes from Barbados and other parts of the Caribbean.  As I read blogs and other information about macaroni pie I discovered that the way Granny made macaroni pie was pretty much the way it is made in the Caribbean.  Hmm.  I pondered that little piece of information for a minute or two.  Sooo…how did the macaroni pie recipe which is used in Barbados and the Caribbean end up in my grandmother’s backwoods kitchen in South Carolina?  Something niggled at my brain from waaaaaaay back in 3rd grade when I had studied South Carolina history.  With a few taps on my computer keys using the search words “South Carolina history” and a simple click on the first thing that popped up, which was a Wikipedia article, I was appropriately chastised.  “The proprietary colony of Carolina was first settled at Charles Town (modern day Charleston) in 1670, mostly by immigrants from the British colony of Barbados in the Caribbean.”

Oh.  Now ain’t that interesting.

So, I ask you, what family favorites do you have?  Anything with an odd name?  Anything that seems a little bit different than what people outside of your immediate childhood locality eat?  Do you have any recipes that have been handed down through the generations?  Do a  little research; you might be surprised at what you learn.

Macaroni Pie
Macaroni Pie

Recipe by Terri @ that's some good cookin'

Ingredients

  • 4 cups dry elbow pasta (macaroni), cooked al dente (leave it a little on the firm side)
  • 1 pound sharp cheddar cheese, cut into 1/2" cubes
  • 3 1/2 cups milk (not skim)
  • 4 eggs, beaten lightly with a fork
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika + extra for sprinkling on top of the macaroni before baking (the smoked paprika is really important for flavor)
  • 4 tablespoons butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
  2. Drain cooked macaroni well. Make sure that it is well drained–stir it around gently in the colander to encourage any water that may be trapped in the tube of the macaroni to drain out.
  3. Put the macaroni in a large mixing bowl.Cook macaroni in salted water to a firm al dente. You’ll want it a little bit firm because it will soften more while cooking.
  4. Add the cubed cheese to the hot macaroni and mix to distribute. Putting the cheese into the hot macaroni will encourage the cheese to start its melting process. Set aside.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix together the beaten eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and smoked paprika. Pour over the macaroni and cheese cubes and mix together.
  6. Pour into a lightly buttered baking dish such as a glass 9? x 13? or some other 3-quart baking dish. The custard mixture should almost cover the noodles. If necessary, add a little more milk–just pour it right into the dish. Don’t worry, everything works out.
  7. Dot with pats of butter and sprinkle with a little more smoked paprika. Bake at 375-degrees F until set and the top is golden brown about 45 minutes-1 hour. Check it after 45 minutes to see how things are doing. The top should be golden and the center should be soft set, but not soupy or jiggly.
http://tsgcookin.com/2010/11/macaroni-pie-2/

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Serve with just about anything.  My favorites?  A dinner of fried chicken, fresh-from-the-garden sliced tomatoes, fresh cucumbers, butter beans, mashed potatoes, biscuits, and banana pudding for dessert.  Or hamburgers and hotdogs. Or Thanksgiving dinner.  Or Christmas dinner.  Or Easter dinner.  Or all by itself for lunch the next day.

Macaroni Pie Cut the cheese into cubes.  These are approximately 1/2″, more or less
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Macaroni Pie Mix the cheese cubes with the macaroni.  The hot macaroni will soften the cheese cubes.
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Macaroni Pie Blend the eggs with a fork.  Do a good job so that the yolks and the whites are well combined.
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Macaroni Pie Add the milk, salt, pepper, and paprika to the eggs and whisk until combined.
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Macaroni Pie Pour egg/milk/seasoning mixture over the noodles and cheese.
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Macaroni Pie Now pour everything into a buttered baking dish.  For this amount of macaroni pie I used a 9″ x 13″ glass baking dish.
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Macaroni Pie Place thinly sliced pieces of butter on top of everything.  Bake at 350-degrees for about 1 hour, more or less, until set and golden on top.  Over-baking is somewhat better than under-baking.  You can tell if this is under-baked because it will jiggle or be soupy in the middle.  If it is over-baked you will have more crunchies–which doesn’t really get any complaints at my house.
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Macaroni Pie Now look at this.  It is pretty much darn well perfect.  I lucked out on that one!
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Macaroni Pie
The custardy/noodley parts of this are soft with a nice blend of salt, pepper, and paprika.  The melted cheese cubes add a great taste and texture balance and when you hit a crunch or two from the beautiful brown parts, look out baby because it is heaven!

This post has been linked to Mom’s Crazy Cooking