Two weeks ago, I filled my kitchen with Athens, GA–Cajun–Carolina southern cooking: Sausage-laced low country boil, mile-high cathead biscuits and tomato gravy, mayo coleslaw, rice salad, and stacks on stacks of buttery blondies. Korean fried chicken wings at least once. Beignets that same day.
Last week, I plowed through pounds of potatoes, butter, lamb shoulder and pork sausage for an early Irish week. Soul food—fried chicken, tooth-achingly sweet candied yams, porky collards, cornbread—on the weekend. Too much beer.
Today was a big cooking day: pastrami-rubbed brisket by way of South Carolina mustardy barbecue, spicy pimiento cheese with little care for tradition, tomato-peach chutney that simmered for three hours on my barely functioning stove and smoked baby kale caesar with all of the secret smoke ingredients included.
A few days ago—after the Irish food but before the brisket—I bought the ingredients to make a recipe entitled “Easy Cornbread” that was buried deep in the trenches of my immediate family’s recipe folder files. I think I got ahold of the recipe in middle school after a Tybee Island Hendry family reunion. This particular cornbread is more like a casserole than the crumbly cast-iron side dish most often associated with the South. It includes creamed corn, whole corn kernels, cheddar cheese, canned green chiles, yogurt and a couple boxes of Jiffy mix.
Needless to say, this creamy and rich spoon bread is not what I’ve been wanting to eat recently. Tonight, there will be salad without mayonnaise but probably a generous drizzle of fancy olive oil.
Maybe tomorrow there will be cornbread.[First and third pictures by Emmeline Chuu]