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**September 2009 COTM: Southern Month**

Hey y'all, welcome to the September 2009 Chowhound Cookbook of the Month featuring:

SCREEN DOORS AND SWEET TEA: Recipes and Tales from a Southern Cook, by Martha Hall Foose (SDST)
BON APPETIT Y'ALL: Recipes and Tales from Three Generations of Southern Cooking, by Virginia Willis (BAYA)

We will use this thread for general commentary, recipe planning, links, and any other issues related to this COTM. You may wish to bookmark this thread for future reference, as it contains links to all the other threads for this month.

If you're new to Cookbook of the Month, the COTM archive thread explains how it all works:

Here are a few links which may be helpful for this month's COTM:

Previous Home Cooking threads on BAYA:

Online Virginia Willis recipes:

Previous threads with links to SDST online recipes:

The subthreads below are based on type of dish, rather than chapter name. At the beginning of each subthread, I've included the corresponding chapters from both books. I know that sounds clear as mud, but I figure we'll work it out as we go along!

Cocktails and Small Bites
Eggs and Dairy
Starches (Grits, Pasta, Potatoes, Rice
Vegetables and Beans
Baking (Biscuits, Breads, Desserts
Sauces (Condiments, Jams, Jellies and Preserves

Happy Cooking!

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  1. Thanks yamalam! The organization looks great.

    1. Thanks Yamalam! Tonight's the night..... Yay!
      I thought I'd start with an SDST recipe and intersperse with the BAY'A recipes I've been waiting to make at the end of the growing season.

      1. Question on bacon drippings- do you strain or no?

        2 Replies
        1. re: yamalam

          I usually don't strain bacon drippings. I suppose I would if a recipe called for a "smooth" finish, or whatever.

          1. re: Gio

            The cruddy stuff (if such it should be called) sinks to the bottom of the dish as it cools anyway.

        2. I have a minor complaint about a handful of recipes in BAYA, like the Funeral Grits on p. 154. The first paragraph is an instruction to preheat the oven. But in the next paragraph, you're instructed to simmer the grits for 45-60 minutes. That's a long time to preheat the oven!

          It's easy, of course, to figure out the correct order, but it would be kind for the cookbook challenged if it were clearer.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Karen_Schaffer

            There are several typos and errors in the book, Karen, which Ms Willis posted about in the first long thread of BAY'A reports. I found 3 myself, but as you note, anyone with a bit of kitchen savvy can readily figure out procedures. I imagine the editors feel quite dismayed to realize something has escaped them.....

          2. Good news! Both Martha Foose and Virginia Willis are super excited about being chosen as COTM, and they've agreed to take part in an expert thread. We're thinking of doing it towards the end of September -- by then you'll have had a chance to cook through a chunk of the books and hopefully have questions for the authors.

            We haven't done this before with COTM but I'm hoping it'll be a great adjunct to the discussions in these threads. If you haven't seen a previous expert thread, here's the one we did with Mark Bittman: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/641046

            7 Replies
            1. re: davina

              Wow, that is very cool news, Davina! Thanks so much for organizing such a great opportunity for chowhounds and COTM participants.

              1. re: davina

                That's great news! Thank you!

                I'll be doing lots of cooking from the books and posting this weekend.

                1. re: davina

                  That's really very nice to read. Ms Willis was very gracious when she popped in to the BAY'A threads earlier this year. I look forward to her input once again and Ms Foose's as well when more home cooks are participating.

                  1. re: davina

                    Great to hear from kitchens all over!

                    1. re: marthafoose

                      Thanks for your excellent book, I truly enjoyed it.

                        1. re: marthafoose

                          It may not be exactly what you want to hear, but I'm going to remember Charlotte "not compelled" for a long time.

                  2. I'm roasting a chicken tonight, and thought I'd try the Herb Roast Chicken with Pan Sauce from BAYA with Baker's Potatoes. Just linking recipes for reference:



                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Rubee

                      I wanted to pop in and say hello. I LOVE that so many people are excited to cook from BAY!
                      It's great - and, don't hesitate to let me know what you like and don't like. It's an excellent learning opportunity! The main point is - I want people to cook! And, suggestions for recipes and how better to write them are most welcome.

                      Re roast chicken - I have to say, it was a roast chicken kind of summer. The Julia/Julie blog with the roast chicken recipe went crazy. I near about fell out of my chair when abcnews called! Hope you enjoyed it.

                      Many thanks once again for this opportunity. Best VA

                    2. Thanks so much for this opportunity! I am very much looking forward to it. Fun!
                      Just wish I could eat some of the food! ;-)
                      Best VA

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: virginia willis

                        Good to "see" you here again, Ms Willis. So much fantastic food to eat... so little time.

                        1. re: Gio

                          I'm baaaack! It's great to have Ms. Willis back again and I'm ready to cook from those two great cookbooks. Vacationed in Italy for two weeks AND broke my nose the second night out. Been home for about a week and feel rested and recovered enought to start cooking. Love this thread!

                          1. re: bayoucook

                            Oh Bayoucook..... A broken nose?? How terrible for you. How on earth did you manage to have a happy time in Italy? Glad you're Baaaack however, and in seemingly good spirits.

                            1. re: Gio

                              It was 98 degrees and very humid during the 5 hours we were on a walking tour of Rome. I drank a lot of water but still got overheated I guess. I fainted in the bathroom and broke my nose on the bidet! All that blood. "Doc" set it and called it dehydration. I had to take aspirin for a couple of days (and boy did it hurt to wear glasses/sunglasses), but it didn't slow me down for a second. My face scared a lot of people,and my husband got some dirty looks, tho'.
                              So sorry (for me) that I haven't participated in this forum! Still have a few days left, though....

                      2. After weeks of looking at these recipes but not managing to fit them into my schedule, I made four (4!) of them tonight for dinner with friends, all from BAYA: Oven-Fried Chicken Breast with Pecan Crust, Smoky Collard (chard) greens, Corn Spoon Bread, and Meme's Cobbler. Not only that, I've already posted my reviews. Now it's time for bed!

                        1. I'm TRYING to make the shrimp and grits and collards tonight...

                          Got the shrimp cleaned and everything else prepped, then went to start the grits. Opened a new bag of stone ground grits to find it FULL of evil weevils! GAG! So, DH is off to town, in the pouring rain. (We live 12 miles from the nearest grocery, but they do carry good grits.) Everything is on pause until he returns. I sure hope he enjoys this dinner!

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: onrushpam

                            Hi there - Just touching base to see how things are going in COTM world. I had a great weekend at Euphoria, a food festival in Greenville SC. We cooked the frisee salad au lardons, the short ribs, horseradish mashed potatoes, and Annes 2X souffles. I love those souffles!

                            I see Karen above says something about reviews. Am I in the right place? Is there another place to see what folks think of the recipes? Thanks so much.

                            Best VA

                            1. re: virginia willis

                              Welcome back Virginia! It's so exciting that you will be joining us. As far as your question: "Am I in the right place?" Well, yes and no. The reviews are located in several threads as delineated at the very top of this thread. Unlike Gio's original thread on BAY'A, traditionally cookbook of the month get divided into categories, so there are several threads on the book.

                              1. re: virginia willis

                                Hello again, Virginia. On the main page for the COTM, this page actually, scroll down in the top paragraph till you come to the listing of the various chapters (the titles for each book have been combined) and click on the chapter for the reports you'd like to view.

                                It's great to see you here!!

                            2. Just popping in from Charleston to say that I've finally had grits! I've been enjoying the food down here in the South and it's inspired me to try a lot more of the recipes. Also, Mr GG had a steak salad for lunch today that was spookily similar to the one in Bon Appetit Y'All (in SNOB in Charleston).

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: greedygirl

                                As I think others have mentioned Charleston Receipts is a really fun cookbook, put out by the Jr. League there, in case you run across a copy.

                                1. re: greedygirl

                                  So ... (drum roll) ... what did you think of grits? I personally love them, but I know lots of people who don't. When you add cheese and lots of butter ... mmmmm.

                                  1. re: LulusMom

                                    I can't imagine eating them a lot, tbh, but they're nice when combined with a lot of cheese, butter and/or cream (and what isn't)? Mr GG had a really nice shrimp and grits in a Savannah restaurant last night (Aligator Soul) - better than the one I had at McCrady's in Charleston.

                                    1. re: greedygirl

                                      Shrimp and grits varies greatly, as does the quality of grits. And no question, butter and cheese make them much tastier.

                                    2. re: LulusMom

                                      Cheese grits souffle, or with grillades (see any NOLA cookbook)

                                  2. I just wanted to make sure you all saw that the expert thread is posted here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/654934

                                    Martha and Virginia will be fully in residence starting Monday, but feel free to start asking your questions now.