The Easter event went fantastic at Latta Plantation yesterday. The kids were having a great time running around and I had two helpers in the kitchen. Dishes were washed as we went along which made it very easy to clean up at the end of the day.
Now the pouting kitty. Kitty, Betsy, did not come into the kitchen all day due to all the visitors. We made a slop plate of the leftovers for the hogs and she shows up just as we get back to the kitchen from the hogs. She is looking at me because she can smell the tagine chicken. But, it was too late for kitty to have any chicken. I'm explaining to her that she took too long to check on the chicken. Kitty gives me a haughty look of derision and turns her back on me. She wanted to make sure I knew just how upset she was that there was nothing left for her to eat. It was quite funny.
So, next weekend will be peppers and onion sausage with fried fish and peach cobbler. That should sooth her wounded pride.
Another cooking class this Saturday. Doing lamb stew and also fried chicken. We will also make an apple brandy cornmeal pound cake as well. It will be hot so using kitchen and firepit behind it. I had originally wanted to do a fish fry for a summer cooking class. But, it's so hot already I can already feel triple digits when June rolls in here.
But until then, the Spring cooking class will be a blast.
This is the final weekend of Black History Month and Latta is doing an Underground Railroad scavenger hunt. I'll cook in kitchen to give a perspective of the house slave's life while Marcus will do an interpretation of life for the field slave. I'm really looking forward to this event. I'll cook a pork jambalaya and sweet potato biscuits.
Speaking of sweet potato biscuits I'm flying to Grand Rapids, MI on Tuesday to do a demonstration and interview with the local ABC affliate, WZZM13. I'll cook sweet potato biscuits and explain why this recipe was a treat for slaves at the end of the week and also why the dress and head wrap are needed for open hearth/firepit cooking. I'm really looking forward to doing my first television piece with WZZM13 and their Take 5 segment. The website for WZZM13 is http://www.wzzm13.com/
Hope to see you on Saturday and wish me luck for Wednesday.
Cooking with Sukey class registration posted for Spring at http://lattaplantation.org/latta/images/sukeyspring.pdf The title of the class is Savor the Flavor of Spring and lamb stew and fried chicken are the main dishes on the menu.
Next Saturday we'll have the winter class with is filled past capacity and I can't wait for it.
Fried chicken has roots steeped in slave tradition and soul food. It would have been a special meal prepared during holidays and special events. During the antebellum period to receive chicken would have been a treat. The fried chicken would have easily competed with the fruitcake for center of attention. Plus, I haven't had good fried chicken in a while.
Come on out to Latta Plantation, www.lattaplantation.org, for the Candlelight Christmas event. It's a beautiful event and we have a great time.
Plantation Christmas was a huge hit. We had a great turnout and the weather was perfect. I did make the pork jambalaya a little spicy for some. I promise to cut back on the cayenne pepper next time. >.< It did clear out your sinuses really well. The sweet potato pone did get made thanks to the large Dutch grater. The longer stroke definitely made it easier to grate the raw sweet potatoes. It was quite good and will be very nice during the January cooking class. The class is titled "A Warm Winter's Feast" and is open for registration on Latta's website at http://lattaplantation.org/latta/images/Sukeywinter.pdf
Now on to planning a menu for Candlelight Christmas on December 10th.
The highs for Saturday are only in the 50's. Maybe I'll make chicken and dumplings instead with sweet potato biscuits. I'll still cook vanilla wafers that afternoon. Perfect reason to keep a fire blazing to bake cookies on a chilly afternoon.
Well, I finished my security exams so now I can go back to cooking at Latta Plantation. This weekend there's an antique tractor show. I think I'll do smothered fried chicken with sweet potato biscuits. Also thinking about making vanilla wafers to test them out on the hearth in my spider skillet. I'm also looking forward to seeing the tractors. Both sides of my family were farmers so it will bring back memories. I didn't inherit the farmer gene though. I can't grow anything.
Hope to see you at Latta this Saturday the 19th.
I met two visitors today and I need to post a recipe for one and the website for Carolina Gold Rice for another. So, here's the website first: www.carolinaplantationrice.com Make sure you order the Carolina Gold Rice and not the aromatic. The Carolina Gold is the short grain that is fantastic when you cook it.
Now the recipe for Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic. This is one of those one pot family recipes that you can just set the pot in the middle of the table and let everyone go for it. The garlic gets so soft you can spread it like butter over bread. I tend to do a rosemary cornbread with this dish.
Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic
whole chicken (broiler/fryer) cut into 8 pieces
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
2 bay leaves
10 sprigs fresh thyme
1 Onion sliced
3 Celery ribs, cut into 3 pieces each
1c white wine
40 peeled cloves garlic
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Season chicken with salt and pepper. Toss with a 2 tablespoons olive oil and brown on both sides in a wide fry pan or skillet over high heat. Cover bottom of pan with onion and celery. Place chicken on top of onion and celery. Remove from heat, add oil , wine, thyme, and garlic cloves to chicken. Cover and cook for 1 1/2 hours. Remove chicken from the oven, let rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
Well, aching back in a good way. Just twirling the string to keep the chicken rotating really tells how out of shape I am. My back is killing me from bending to twirl the string. Yes, I'm too feeble to twirl a string for 5 hours. >.< The soul cakes are divine. Perfect little biscuits in the English style. Definitely baking more for All Hallow's Eve next weekend. The currants and spices make it the perfect biscuit to have with afternoon tea or coffee.
So, the soul cakes will be on the menu for the 15th along with chicken and 40 cloves of garlic. THinking about doing a rosemary cornbread to go with the chicken.
See you at Latta Plantation for All Hallows Eve!
Saturday I am going to test out a recipe for soul cakes for All Hallow's Eve. I'm also planning to finally do the string roasted chicken. I might do some beets with greens also. I've been craving beets and Saturday will be a good day to do a pot of them.
I'm really excited about the soul cakes. They were given out to kids on All Hallow's Eve so that they would say a prayer for your relatives so that they could pass easier into heaven. Recipe looks like a tea cake with currants. I think I'll do some with dried cranberries as well.
School is once again interfering with my blog aspirations. But, I wanted to let you know that I'm cooking at Latta tomorrow and the menu is rabbit ragu, mustard greens and skillet apple pie.
Hope to see you there!
Cooking with Sukey Workshop is now open for registration. If you are a southern food history buff or have wanted to learn open hearth cooking skills, this is the workshop for you. The first class is October 22nd. Latta is hoping to give these workshops quarterly in the Fall, Winter, and Spring. If interested please go to: http://lattaplantation.org/latta/index.php?page=events Class will be limited to a maximum number of 10. I can assure you we will enjoy a good time and sit down to some great food. It will be a nice Sunday Dinner spread.
1T olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
6 garlic cloves minced
.5t ground coriander
.5t ground cumin
1 cinnamon stick
1 Jar pitted olives drained (green or black)
1c dried apricots (chopped)
A lemon or orange thinly sliced
2cans drained garbanzo beans
1 can diced tomatoes in juice
.5c chopped fresh cilantro
4 leg and thigh quarters
Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat and brown chicken. When chicken is browned add onion and garlic. Cover and cook until onion is tender about 10 minutes. Add all the spices and stir 1 minute. Stir in 2c stock, beans, tomatoes, cilantro, lemon and olives. Add chicken and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cover and place in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.
finely chopped cilantro and basil
Preparation:In a saucepan, bring stock to a boil. Add couscous and stir. Cover and remove from heat and allow to sit for 20 minutes*. Dress with olive oil and fluff with fork and toss in chopped cilantro and basil.
*Be sure to allow the couscous to absorb all the water. In other words, do not lift the lid before 20 minutes have passed.
Latta is holding its Civil War Event this weekend. I'll cook on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday will be the tagine style chicken with cous cous and fried sweet potato pies. On Sunday it will be peppers and onion sausages with sweet potato biscuits. Of course, I'll see if there is enough okra to pan fry some. I hope not all of it has gotten away and grown too big to cook.
I'm really looking forward to this event and hope to see you there.
It's been triple digit heat indexes for over a week now. I was planning to do a tagine style chicken but canceled that idea to avoid moist warm air even if I am cooking outside. Then it hit me, Latta has a couple of new Dutch ovens and one of the best ways to season is to utilize the Southern tradition of fried chicken. So, I'll fry some leg quarters and I hope there are some red tomatoes to stew in the garden. I'm also thinking about doing biscuits but it just depends on how quickly things heat up. I am going to do one boiled thing tomorrow and that will be boiled peanuts. I went home to Statesboro, GA and picked up some green peanuts. So, I'll boil peanuts in the afternoon while the gold panning is happening.
Taking a quick break in studying to let everyone know that I'm cooking at Latta Plantation this Saturday. Rabbit stew and Fried Green Tomatoes are on the menu. With the heat we're having here in North Carolina I will be cooking outside under the shade tree.
Trying to come up with a menu for Latta Plantation this weekend. Leaning toward fried chicken and quail for Saturday and maybe smothered pork chops for Sunday dinner. I definitely know that one day there will be sweet potato pudding for dessert. I'll post more as the week goes on.