Back Yard Boss Book
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Back Yard Boss is a compainion book to PopaLee's Barbecue Sauce.

Use this guide when barbecueing in your own back yard to acheive

that perfect barbecue flavor.

You can choose to read this companion book page by page or

click the PDF icon located in the upper right corner to download

 it directly.

You will want to check back often as updates and new articles on

Barbecueing technics are published.

Enjoy, and I would be proud to have you contact me by phone or email

with the outcome of your back yard barbecue using my companion

book or with any questions you may have.


















Back Yard Boss





Introduction

Quick and easy recipes


Before I began to tell you about some of the foods that tasted great to me as a child, I feel I must remind you of the real hard work that almost always followed these tasty, but usually heavy meals. If you don't plan to workout regularly then maybe you shouldn't try some my menus. These old recipes use a lot of pork in many forms, if you don’t eat pork, I can offer some substitutes in some cases but in others pork is the seasonings necessary to achieve the taste for that dish. Many cooks substitute smoked turkey wings for ham shanks or ham hocks

I don't think they teach cooking with many of the seasoned recipes thousands enjoyed as I did as a child in Georgia. Our menus were small and often repetitive but we didn't mind because it was always good. I could look forward to collard greens about four times a week and grits every day, some times cabbage or turnip greens were always a treat when we had them instead of collards, about once a week. Collards cost about 25 cents back then and you could feed a lot of people on a couple of bunches of collards and some of the side dishes in this book. The real deal is these dishes didn't keep entirely up with inflation. You can still feed your family very economical with most of these old recipes.

I know you can't wait to try some of these delicious dishes born in the south when times were very lean for many families, so without delay let's start with barbecue.

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Barbecue was always a treat when ever it was made. Memorial Day, the Forth of July, and Labor Day were the holidays that most people barbecued in my area. I was fortunate enough to come along at a time when these people made that delicious "Q". I though barbecue was always an African American dish. If it’s true that barbecue as we cook it today was first made during slavery, then I do believe it’s an African America dish. I just can’t see the plantation owner out there in the hot sun over a hot fire barbecuing when he has hundreds of able body slaves standing around watching. I don’t think so, the over see’ers weren’t going to cook either. Now many cultures enjoy cooking and serving this "Southern Icon"

Popalee’s roots are in the south, he was born in Atlanta Ga. where there were some very good barbecue "shacks" that did most of their business on weekends. As the family traveled to other cities in Ga., barbecue was always a treat at some of the road side stands or in church yards. Some of the more memorable barbecue was served with brunswick stew. Brunswick stew was cooked at the annual picnics provided by Swift Oil Mill (no known relations) for it's employee in East Point Ga. and many other large gathering where barbecue was served.

In June 1956 Popalee joined the navy and stayed for next almost twenty-three years, retiring as a chief petty officer. His duty stations included some in the south where barbecue was available from Maryland to Florida. Popalee began to practice simple methods of cooking barbecue and cut down on preparation time and still retain the taste and tenderness that he had loved in barbecue all his life.

As his barbecue skills sharpen he began to cook barbecue and invite his friend over to enjoy free barbecue. Popa's friends and dinner guest encouraged him to open a restaurant because his food was that good. popaleefriends1234.jpgWhen these compliments persisted, Popa began to believe his dinner guest. Not thoroughly convince, Popa continued to give dinner parties but this time he went to some of the popular barbecue restaurants and bought ribs and other items. Without alerting his guest, he added these dishes to the table when he served his own barbecue and casually observed the comments of his guest. Each time the bought dishes were rejected in favor of Popa's dishes, many guests would ask Popa had he did something with his recipe, if so they liked the old one. Popa was convinced and discontinued the practice, and prepared to open his first restaurant.

Papa Lee’s opened in 1982 in Santa Clara Ca. at 3333 El Camino Real. The menu consisted, as it does now, principally of old Southern dishes mostly barbecue. The company's name was Papa Lee's Bar B. Q. at that time, Papa Lee's was a sit down restaurant that had far more problems than was anticipated. The business closed. The business wasn't able to last long enough to build a large clientele. The patrons that visited Papa Lee's enjoyed the meals and thought it was a great idea.

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Convinced a market it still there, Popa Lee opened Popa Cart Bar B. Que in 1985. This was a mobile cart in Mountain View Ca. where he sold pre wrapped barbecue lunches and sandwiches.

People came as far away as Fremont Ca. to get Popa’s barbecue. San Jose Mercury News wrote a story about Popa and his barbecue cart. People would ask about possible cater, which Popa knew absolutely nothing about, but was willing to try.

Popa Cart Bar B.Que Catering began operation in 1989.This operation was the start on Popa’s on-site catering This on-site cooking and serving and was capable of serving several hundred meals a day. The on-site cooking appealed to many companies because it allows the companies to hold a quality event on location, consequently eliminating travel time for employees and the man hours which could be very costly.

The Bay Area firsts barbecue cook off was held in San Jose Ca. June 1993. Many Californians and out of state barbecue businesses signed up for the contest, including Popa Cart Bar B. Que Catering. Popa Cart was awarded first place in poultry for its barbecue chicken. The company was in the local newspaper for that event.

Barbecue, unlike many foods are closely scrutinized by the consumer, usually it's compared with some good barbecue they've had in a "little place" in Tennessee, Texes or Georgia. Popalee barbecue and barbecue sauce is well tested under those circumstances.

As pointed out earlier, barbecue is judged differently than some foods and most people have a story about the best barbecue they ever had. Popa uses some old, time-honored recipes that are favorites through out the South and many other regions. For the past twenty years Popa prepared many of them, some are added to this book At least one popular dish was only served by Popa in the local area (San Jose Ca.) and has proved very receptive by local diners. Most clients testified that Popa's barbecue dinners are the best they've ever experienced

For the purpose of this book only a few dishes other than barbecue will be included, others will be included at a later date.


Back Yard Boss

This is a companion book to Popalee Barbecue Sauce

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www.popalee.com

 Popalee Barbecue
 The back yard boss


Barbecue dishes and preparation and some of the side dishes associate with barbecue are the first section of this book. I will also cover some other dishes that nourished many southern families when times were a little tough. Some of these dishes are considered real treats today. I will start with the proper fire for your barbecuing experiences, some safety issues that must be followed to keep everybody safe.     
These old recipes use a lot of pork in many forms , if you can't or don’t eat pork, I can offer some substitutes in some cases but in others pork is the seasonings necessary to achieve the taste for that dish.


Many cooks substitute smoked turkey wings for ham shanks or ham hocks in other cases beef or chicken bullion cubes with a little olive oil to add taste to the greens or other vegetable dishes. Another way to reduce fat is to cook the seasoning meat as directed. After the meat is ready to add the vegetables (this step must be done in advance) pour the water the meat was cooked in into a pan and put it in the refrigerator. The grease will rise to the top after a while and get hard in most cases. The grease can be easily removed from the top of the pan and discarded. The results are gelatin with lots of flavor that will turn liquid when heated. Proceed with the recipes as written. These suggestions will not be repeated for each recipe that call for seasoning meat, please refer to this page for the information about alternate methods of seasonsing.

Barbecue is a food that people compare probably more that any others. The origin of the word barbecue is still in discussion, there are many theories and any one could or could not be accurate. You may want to research that yourself but one theory it came from the West Indian term “barbacoa (slow cooking meat over hot coals).
Popalee is an award winning barbecue chef that ran barbecue restaurants and later a catering business, Popa Cart Barbeque Catering until retiring from the business a few years ago. Barbecue has always been a passion for Popalee. He started back in Georgia where his Mama and her sister (aunt Kin) cooked barbecued in front of the church they attended for years. All the proceeds went to the church, there fore no samples given out, everybody had to buy the barbecue.
Barbecue was sold like that through out Georgia and many other Southern states, some for churches others was done by barbecue men to augment their income. Make no mistake, all these barbecue chefs were serious cooks and had secret methods they would share with no one. When a lot of the barbecue chefs were forced together for a special function the competition was fierce. I think that concept is true today, there is strong competition among back yard chefs and the purpose of this book is to help you become a “Back Yard Boss.”
After reading this book I wish you able to compare your barbecue experience with some of the best you have ever had. This book is intended to help you in that process, starting with the barbecue pit. For the purpose of this book I will refer to the whole unit as “your barbecue pit or the pit” The entire unit is often call a barbecue grill, and the removable section that holds the food is also called the “grill”.



First things First

Tools Required:
Barbecue Grill with top
Tongs for turning and repositioning food on grill
Tin foil
CO2 bottle
Bottle of water with spray attachment
Wire brush
Hickory chips (optional) soak over night in a pail of clear water)


frontgrill123.jpg First a proper fire must be built; before we go any further there are some requirements that cannot be substituted. You need a grill with top and venting slots or holes and a steel wire brush. You will also need a spray bottle with clean water to regulate the heat as needed and a pair of strong tongs. If you planed ahead and soaked a bag of hickory chips in water over night, good job. But if you just got to have them right now, try soaking them in hot water for about an hour, this method will work but you loose something. They burn faster, and you won't have as much smoke from them. You don’t have to use the chips at all if you don't want the hickory taste. Those of you with the gas grills, standby we will discuss that too.
Clean all the old ash out of your grill and line the bottom with tin foil being careful not to cover your vent hole. Put one layer of charcoal on the tin foil, cover the bottom with them without stacking them, if a few backofgrill123.jpg
are on top it's no problem. Now light the coal per the instruction on the package. Put the grill in place, for the purpose of this book, grill is the removable part and the barbecue grill is the whole unit. Put the grill on after the flames are out and the coals are burning on their own, do not cover unless your flames are becoming out of control. If this occurs you must be very careful. Close your vents to starve the flames of oxygen and they will usually go out.
       Never put water on an out of control barbecue fire (this a fire that get out of control as a result of the grease falling on the coals and is fed by too much oxygen i.e.… the top is off the grill or too much venting) because this can get very nasty. You should have a CO2 bottle standing by any time you light a barbecue fire, it is better to ruin a little meat that to endanger yourself and others. Never, never let anyone do this step other than capable adults. You must be present anytime the top is off the barbecue grill because a fire will start in seconds, never leave the area with the top off the barbecue grill unless the coals are burned out and no grease is falling on them.
        Let's say every thing went well with your fire and the coals are turning white and your barbecue grill is getting hot. This next step is tricky and dangerous and should only be done by adults. Clean the grill with your wire brush and wipe down with a damp cloth to remove soot. Be very careful with the damp cloth because heat will transfer very quickly through this damp cloth so get this done and put the cloth away. Leave the top off until most the coals are half white. Now add the hickory chips by spreading them directly on the coals, about two hands full. The following section will teach you how to cook old southern style barbecue without over working your self.
      When I say barbecue I don't mean grill chicken or ribs but barbecue! Some items take longer too cook but its all barbecue. The origin of this method of cooking seems to vary depending on which book you read. I don’t know but it certainly is good regardless of the country of origin. The American Black Slaves did a lot of barbecuing for the plantation owners. The slaves weren’t given the choice cut of meats for their family, as a consequent they used the slow cooking method over low heat to achieve the wonderful taste for some of these delicious cuts of meats.
       The same method was used in the kitchen to cook beans or greens. They would put the beans or greens in water with the seasoning and put just enough wood in the stove to cook very slow for hours without being attended which left a lot of time to work in the fields and returned home the food was done. A lot of these skills were past on from generation to generation and can often be very hard work.
       Depending on what part of the south you visit, you will find a difference in the barbecue and sauce but you will find most enjoyable and some unforgettable and the secrets of the preparation is usually a very closely guarded family secrets that often went to the grave with the cook… lost forever. The barbecue cooks of the south were usually older black men (Pit Men). The pit men were barbecue kings and often barbecued just on weekends because they had other jobs doing the week.
       My home is Georgia and barbecue in Georgia is usually accompanied by other good side dishes... brunswich stew, potato salad, baked beans, corn bread and much more. People judge your potato salad and other side dishes as well as your barbecue. In the black community a lot of competition is spurred by back yard chefs pitting their skills passed down from many parts of the country against anyone willing to get embarrassed. I’m sharing some very competitive stuff, so listen up.
     The reason for the above paragraph is to prepare you for some very good and easy to make dishes that will prepare you to become a back yard competitor. My recipes are proven and sure to impress your guess. I know mine did when I catered my barbecue to many special functions in Northern California for the over fifteen years. Your grill should be ready by now, so let get started.   


Baby back ribs   (the best they can be)
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3 slab baby back ribs
1/8 cup granulated garlic
1/2-cup barbecue seasoning
1/8-cup black pepper   (Optional)


If you buy the baby backs from a meat company they usually carry the “two and one half up” and the smaller rib “two and one half and down”. The Danish ribs are smaller and will cook a lot faster, however the “two and one half and up” is a lot meatier. There are several web sites that offer different size ribs at various costs.
Baby back ribs are a dish you served when you aim to please, without a doubt the tenderness is unsurpassed by any other rib. The spare rib is a wonderful cut of meat but seldom can be cooked to the same tenderness as the baby back. The baby back has a little less fat than spare ribs and cooks a lot faster. If you prepared the baby backs as described below people will invite them self over every time you light up your grill. The grill should be ready, the fire at right temperature by now.
The ribs should be ready to place on the grill. Have all your barbecue equipment ready. Please be safe and don’t allow kids to play close to the grill.

                                            Prepare ribs:
With the ribs laying bone side down on the counter sprinkle the granulated garlic on the meaty side of the ribs followed by the barbecue seasoning. No salt, pepper if desired. Stack the ribs on top of each other and wrap the in clear wrap or tin foil; they should be as air tight as possible. Put them in the refrigerator for twenty-four hours (for best results) if possible but if you can't wait try to leave them there for at least two hours.             
Put the ribs on the grill with the bone side down and the ribs aligned side by side. You should have your spray bottle of clean water standing by. Open your vents until the heat is steady. Monitor the ribs after about one half hour and move them around on the grill from the hottest spot to other area to ensure even cooking.

rawmeatongrill123.jpg After cooking a few times you can determined how the grill cooks. Turn the ribs every half hour or move the ones that are cooking fast to a place on your grill that seems to be cooking slowly. Turn the ribs over as you move them around. Continue this process until the ribs are cooked. Which brings up another really nice thing about the baby backs.
And if you are really serious about making really good barbecue baby back ribs, try this method


Now brush one coat of Popalee’s Barbecue Sauce over the meaty side, baste them on both side but leave them bone side down with the top on the grill. If the fire is too hot the ribs will burn with the sauce on, so watch this very close. Remove them from the grill after about ten minutes and stack them as you did when you marinated them and put them in a pan that can be covered and let stand for about fifteen minutes. Remove them from the pan and turn them bone side up. Take a knife and pull the skin from the bone side, this will make them much easier to eat. Slice them between the bones and serve with warm Popalee’s Barbecue Sauce.


Popalee’s award winning barbecue chicken

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8 to 10 boneless chicken thighs or breast
1/4 cup granulated garlic
2 tablespoons of salt
Black pepper to taste
1/8 cup Barbecue seasoning


Popa’s barbecue chicken is a special delight because it won first place in San Jose Ca. barbecue cook-off June the twentieth nineteen ninety three. The barbecue chicken got rave acclaim at caters for years before and after the award. Vendors from several states and many from within California made the event very competitive and rewarding.
Lay the chicken out on a board or counter; make sure each peace is flat against the surface. Sprinkle the salt, garlic, barbecue seasoning and pepper on both sides. Now stack each piece in a deep pan and cover tight, plastic wrap work real well for this, try to marinate it over night in the refrigerator. At this point you can freeze them raw for months, just thaw them in the refrigerator and cook as described below. 
Place each on the grill skin side down; try to turn all at the same time. This will help you keep track of how many times you turn each piece. Move them around if you have a hotter section of your grill until you have move all your chicken over the hot section of your grill, but if you have a grill that distribute the heat evenly don't worry about all the movement just turn the over as the cook.  The Breast cooks a lot faster and with the proper heat the thighs will cook fast also.
Make certain your spray bottle is on the ready because chicken with skin will drop a lot more fat on the coals and if the grills are not properly ventilated you can have a fire on your hands so be very careful. If flames flare up when the fat drops on the coals you should close of your vents until this condition cease. If you get a little flames about an inch high that go out right away, that’s O.K. it’s your hickory chips trying to burn and creating the best atmosphere for barbecuing, your heat is just right and the chips are doing it's job.
Thighs don't take very long if you have the condition I described above. They have a little fat so make sure you cook that part before you remove them from the grill. It's time for the sauce and there are two ways you can do this. Brush Popalee's Barbecue Sauce on both sides and leave on the grill for a few minutes. I usually put sauce in a small pan and dip each piece and drain on a wire grade or an item that will allow them to drain.
To freeze them after cooked for later use you can line a cookie pan with wax paper and lay them side-by-side not touching and freeze them. After they freeze you can put them in a zip lock freezer bag and keep for months. Be sure to get as much air out of the bag as possible. When you are ready to have them, just allow them to thaw and warm them in the oven or you can put them on the grill with a very low fire for a short time, just until hot. The will also give your guest the feeling of them being cooked for hours. The freezing method is especially helpful if you are staging a large event. Chicken with bone in takes longer to cook and don’t work as well with the above method. Breast is also best served soon after cooked, they dry out pretty fast. Breast dries faster than the thigh.  Marinate and freeze the chicken if it’s to be cooked later. 

Pork Butt

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Five to six pound pork butt (bone-in or boneless)
Vinegar
Foil
Cayenne (optional)
Garlic powder
Salt
Pepper 
Barbecue season

Clearly pork is the most popular meat for barbecue, pork spare ribs are a favorite with most dinners and many people have a favorite place they found those ribs. Another cut of pork that seldom has left over is barbecue pork butt. Pork butt can be served as a main course or for delicious barbecue sandwiches. This is not a quick meal unless you cook this ahead of time and just want to heat and serve. Take the pork butt and sprinkle the cayenne, garlic powder, and salt, pepper, and barbecue season, wrap securely in clear wrap and refrigerate over night. Make the fire as discussed earlier, add the hickory chips. Place the pork butt on the grill with the fat side down and place cover on grill. Turn it over with tongs; do not use a fork to turn it over. Don’t spend a lot of time with the lid off because the fire will flare up. The hickory chips are very hot and will ignite very easily and you don’t want them to burn up, just get hot and smoke. You may have to cool off your grill doing this cooking because you don’t want it to cook outside and inside still need more cooking. Be very careful because the fire will flare up when the fat drips and will add fuel to the coals and chips. To avoid this problem control your heat with the vents and the spray bottle. Do not use the spray bottle on a very hot fire, If your grill is getting too hot, close the vents and keep the lid on the grill, until it cool down for proper barbecuing. It’s better to add coal to bring your grill to temperature than to cool it down if it’s too high Turn the meat routinely to ensure even cooking, this will take about four hours, test the meat by taking a sharp knife and cut a very small area deep into the meat, do not slice this just use the width of the knife blade for checking It should cook until you can virtually pull it apart effortless. When it’s cooked to perfect tenderness, moisture, the taste will take care of itself. If you used bone-in Butt you should be able to twist and pull the bone from the meat very easy after it’s cooked. You are ready for back yard dueling. The bone-in butt will take a little longer so allow for it in your planning. Serve with Popalee Barbecue Sauce. Enjoy.

Barbecue Beef Brisket

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One whole beef brisket (About 8 lbs)
Garlic powder
Barbecue season
Pepper
Vinegar
Tin foil
          I was cooking on location one Sunday morning for a large group in the hill of the South Bay San Jose Ca area. This was a beautiful location, high in the hills, just a beautiful place to live and work. I notice this one gentleman ignored every thing going on around him and there was a lot of activity because we were getting close to serving time. He just fixed is eyes on me, he were probably absorbing what he is watching, maybe he was a Back Yard Boss. I have lots of people come up to me while I’m cooking and ask little questions about their problems barbecuing. I hope the next time they barbecue the will try some of the methods I parted with them and have a nice time. But this guy must be a back yard competitor. During dinner he came up to me and ask how I cook brisket, he admitted he loved barbecue brisket but could never cook it the way others had, but must have missed something, he did, below is what I told him
       There is a lot of fat on the brisket you might want to trim some off before you marinate it. Rub the garlic powder into the brisket, with the heel of your hand rub the garlic powder and barbecue season into the meat on all sides. You may sprinkle pepper on before you wrap it up air tight in either tin foil or clear wrap and refrigerate over night. Three days isn’t too much if your refrigerator has space to keep it cold. When you are sure about the fire, place the brisket in the center of your grill fat side down, when that fat began to melt and fall on the coals and hickory chips and the aroma of a time long ago will escape your grill. Keep your grill at about medium heat, turn the brisket over, you should be able to see where the fat have been melting and the fat is turning brown, leave the lean side down for about forty-five minutes. Turn the fat side to the fire again and leave it there for about one hour. Remember the grill should be covered. Get a large enough piece of tin foil to completely wrap the brisket, air tight. Remove the brisket from the grill and lay it on the sheet of tin foil. Leave grill covered because it will flare up with too much oxygen and you will lose your ideal heat. Wrap the brisket in the tin foil with the fat side down and will be nearer the fire, just before you close the foil completely pour one half cup vinegar in the package and fold all the sides so it will not leak, you want this air tight. Carefully place the package on the grill and cover. If you didn’t puncture the foil you will be surprised with the results, let cook for one hour. These next steps require your attention. Get a pan large enough to hold the brisket and remove the brisket being very careful. Do not puncture and transfer it to the pan. This is hot, be careful. Puncture the bottom of the package with a fork and allow the juice to drain in the pan. After the brisket has cooled off a bit remove the foil and place the brisket back on the grill. The fire should be burned down by now. Liberally brush Popalee’s Barbecue Sauce on both side and place the cover on the grill. Repeat the sauce after five minutes. Allow to cool slightly. When slicing brisket, always cut across the grain. You are ready for competition.

Barbecue Pork Spare Ribs

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As many spare ribs needed for your event
Garlic Powder
Salt
Pepper


I purposely omitted the barbecue seasons because the nutmeg that seems to be in many seasons will dominate your flavor, but they will be good anyway. Rub the garlic powder into the ribs and add salt and pepper. Allow the spare ribs to chill for about two hours; over night is always better. The fire should be at medium low with no flames. This cut of meat require a little more attendance because you have a thin end and a bonier section that will require more cooking. Some people want to cook the whole rib together because they certainly are striking on the grill. This method requires lots of turning to distribute the heat in the rib uniformly. Or you can cut the rib in two pieces and cook the thin ends over the lower heat while the thick portions are cooking on the high heat. This does two things. The grease falling from the thick portion will help maintain the heat in the grill and allow you to remove the thin section as they will cook faster. As you remove the thin ends from the grill put them in a pan and cover until the other ribs are ready. Now with a basting brush coat both sides of the ribs, don’t be afraid to put a lot of Popalee’s Barbecue Sauce, bath them thoroughly, this is an important step. Leave them on the grill at a very low temperature because if its too hot the sauce will burn and you will have some very ugly ribs and your guest will all find excuses and leave. Follow the safety rules and keep your fire low and you will enjoy a delicious experience

Brunswick stew

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Brunswick stew was my very first side dish with barbecue and from then own I though the two went together. I have been embarrassed more that once asking for brunswick stew where they sold barbecue and had never herd of brunswick stew. We lived in a little town in Georgia called East Point Ga. We lived in one of the little red houses that faced the mill. Swift Oil Meal (no known relation) owned the row of red houses and the tenants worked at the mill. It was a big operation that had two trailer trucks busy seven days a week. These big trucks hauled cotton to the mill, and the mill separated the seeds and make oil and meal from the seeds. A lot of black men work there and most of them could barbecue, they were also from different parts of the country and had some very different methods of barbecue. Every Labor Day Swift Oil Mill had a big barbecue for the people that lived in the little red houses. There were a row of green houses behind the red ones, it was called Greens Alley. Those people could work any place they wanted and they were never invited, you couldn’t save them a “doggie bag”. The disagreements would begin immediately; they usually resolved it by letting different men prepare different dishes. Then I heard two men discussing how to make the brunswick stew and they didn’t agree, they settled on a man that lived two doors from ours house. He made it in what was called a slavery time pot. These were pot that families were able to save after slavery and past them on from family to family. We want be making that much, this recipe is smaller but still have several serving. These were big black pots made of iron with legs high enough to make a fire under the pot. 
           I have read books that said brunswick came from Brunswick county Virginia or Brunswick county North Carolina. Brunswick Ga. also claims ownership of this mystery stew. My grand mom told me that the slaves were allowed to hunt wild game under certain condition. That’s where the meat for the brunswick stew came from. A slaves with a gun stuck fear through out the plantation so they were closely controlled and monitored. Brunswick stew was made entirely of wild game and garden vegetable at that timer. Later it was ordered at political rallies when Politician served barbecue. The slaves had to give it up, now it’s made with chicken and some time pork is added, I don’t use pork unless pork is requested.
{mospagebreak title=Brunswick Stew Ingredient

Pork Tenderloin

porkloin.jpg
One whole pork tenderloin, (About 6 lbs)
Garlic powder
Barbecue season
Salt
Pepper

This is truly a great cut of meat for barbecuing; it’s almost always tender, but can easily over cook and appears dry. Sprinkle the garlic powder and other seasoning over entire tenderloin and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. I recommend at least over night but you can cook it immediately if you wish. After you have gathered you equipment to prepare this delicious dish don’t for get the safety rules. Put the loin on the grill with the fat part down. If all the fat was trimmed off by you butcher you can rub the entire loin with a light coat of olive oil. If you apply olive oil make sure to do it before applying the seasoning. Turn it over after about one half hour; repeat these steps more frequently if you have a very hot fire. This can be cheeked for doneness by cutting the loin in half and check it. If it require more cooking put it back on the grill.
         The oven is another method of cooking this barbecue tenderloin, just follow the instructions above and place it in a long pan. Put it in the oven at 400 degrees; check it after about fifteen minutes.
         When the loin is cooked remove it from the grill and liberally apply Popalee’s Barbecue Sauce and put it back on the grill or oven for about two minutes, remove from the cooking area and place on a cutting board. This can be sliced to any thickness. You are going to have a good ole time with this one.

Buffalo wings

buffalowingsxxx.jpg
Granulated garlic
Barbecue season
Salt
Pepper
Red pepper (optional)
Popalee Barbecue Sauce

Open and drain buffalo wings, place them in a deep pan and sprinkle the seasons to taste. The size of your grill will determine the amount of wings it will hold. Do not pile them on top of each other because you will have no idea which is done or not ready.

Remove them from the grill and dip each piece in a bowl of Popalee’s Barbecue Sauce and drain and place on serving dish. A big hit at Super Bowl Sundays.

Hot Links

 

hotlinks123.jpg

Granulated garlic
One package of hot links
Barbecue season
Salt
Popalee’s Barbecue sauce

You don’t really have to do a lot with these, just rinse them off and apply seasoning and place on the grill. They will swell up a bite when they are done but will return to normal size when they cool off, this is the time to dip them in Popalee’s Barbecue Sauce and allow to drain before serving.

You can also cook hot links in the oven as well as boiling them, either way they should be allowed to cool. Cut into small links and dip in Popalee’s Barbecue Sauce. Stand by,

 

because I think everybody is going to like you for this.


Barbecue pigs feet (trotters)

Granulated garlic
Barbecue season
Salt
Red pepper
Popalee’s Barbecue sauce

Cook the pigs feet as you normally would using the seasoning above, or boil them until they almost done. Remove them from the heat. Rinse and cool. With a pan large enough to hold them all, line the bottom with Popalee’s Barbecue Sauce, put a layer of pigs feet and cover with Popalee’ Barbecue Sauce, continue until they are all in the pan. Cover the pigs feet with Popalee’s Barbecue Sauce and put back on the heat for about a half hour. This meal is almost all fat but is often requested.

Popa’s baked beans

 

Ingredients:
Pork and beans
Onions (one large diced very small)
Brown sugar ½ cup
Honey ½ cup
Popalee’s Barbecue Sauce 2 cups
One table spoon of prepared mustard


Two of the tall cans of pork and beans, the very large ones found in most super markets. Drain the juice and remove that little piece of pork (if you can find it).
Mix the ingredients and mix real well. If you have a grill large enough place the beans on the grill. They will take a long time to cook down, stir carefully because they will break up and become mashed beans. They will thicken after they cool off. Precious asked Popa’s for this recipe years ago, I’m too happy to share this with her and you.


Fried Chicken

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Ingredients:
One large frying chicken
1/2 cup flour
1and1/2 cup shortening or cooking oil (I prefer Olive oil)
Salt
Black pepper
One large zip lock bag

       For best results the chicken should be washed in cold water and pat dry with a towel, season with salt and pepper then refrigerate over night. This makes a world of difference.
       In an eight or ten inch skillet pre-heat shortening or oil to medium high. Pour flour in the bag large enough so the chicken can be shaken and well coated. Add the chicken and shake until all the chicken is well coated, shake off excess flour. Test the shortening by drooping one drop of water in the skillet, the drop of water should dance in the shortening or oil, if it doesn’t dance increase heat. Place the chicken in the skillet with the skin side down and cover. The chicken will began to brown near the edges; do not stick the chicken with a folk to check for doneness. To turn the chicken over (normally only once) use tongs. After turning the chicken reduce heat and leave uncovered, you should experience beautiful golden brown chicken.

SUGGESTED SIDE DISHES:
Mashed potatoes (from the box) if you prefer.
Rice.
Green salad.
Several good pasta receipts, fettuccine, noodle, macaroni and cheese, etc.
Can fresh or frozen vegetables.
Dinner rolls or garlic toast. For garlic toast spread a little butter on plain bread and sprinkle with garlic powder and place under broiler until brown. Be careful because this does not take very long and may burn if you don’t watch it.

Fried Pork Chops
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Ingredients:
Four to six pork chops
1/2 cup flour
11/2 cup shortening or cooking oil
(I prefer Crisco shortening)
Salt
Black pepper
Zip lock paper bag

Chose fresh pork chops and wipe the excess both sides with a damp cloth. Lay them flat on a counter or cutting board and sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides and refrigerate for about two hour if time permits. In an eight inch skillet preheat the oil until it’s about to smoke, do not burn the shorting. Pour the flour in the paper bag and add the pork chops and shake well. Remove the pork chops from the paper bag being careful not to rub the flour from the surface of the pork chops but shake the excess before placing in the skillet. After all the pork chops are in the skillet reduce the heat to medium and cover. The pork chops will brown along the edges, use tongs to turn the pork chops and leave uncovered until the turn brown. Remove from heat and drain, you can also use a brown paper bag to drain by cutting a bag into one sheet and place it on a plate or pan. The paper will absorb most of the excess oil and you are left with beautiful brown pork chops. If you want gravy with this meal you can drain the oil from the skillet leaving the pork chop residue in the skillet. Return to the burner on low mmedium and add one table spoon of flour to the skillet and mix it well with a fork  if you want onions you may dice them and add them at this time]. Allow the flour to brown a little, not dark brown because the gravy will darken as it cooks, add 1/4 cup of water and cover. Let the gravy cook until it thicken. If the onions and some lumps bother you, you can strain the gravy into a bowl and serve. An addition to this recipe is smothered pork chops. This can be accomplished by adding the pork chops to the skillet when you add the water, just add an additional 1/4 cup of water and turn the pork chops at least once during this process

Side dishes

Mashed potatoes
Green beans
Buttered dinner rolls
Rice.
Green salad.
Several good pasta receipts, fettuccine, noodle, macaroni and cheese, etc.



OX Tails

Ingredients:
4 lbs Ox tails
2 large onion chopped
1/8 cup cookining oil
Salt as needed
Black pepper
2 garlic cloves chopped finely
White potatoes
Carrots

When we had Ox Tails it something special, after months and months of neck bones the ox tails was always a welcome change. Thay are not cheap anymore. Rice is often servedwith ox tails. I wont get into how to cook rice just follow the directions on the package. Wash the ox tails and pat dry with a clean cloth or paper towel. Pre heat the oil slightly. season the ox tails with salt and pepper and add to the pot with heated oil and brown on all sides. Do not pile them on top of each others, brown some and set aside then add the remainder and brown them. Remove the ox tails and drain the oil, return the the ox tail to the heat and add one quart of water,onions and garlic. allow to cook covered for about two hours or until tender add more water if needed, allow the liquid to cook down. Ox tails makes a wonderful sauce without adding thicking agent, do not cook them apart. Remove them from the pot and place them in a large baking pan and add one sliced onion and carrots or any other of your favorite vegetables. Pour the sauce from the pot over the ox tails and vegetables  and cover, foil is OK if you don't have a cover for your pan. Put pan in a pre heated oven at 350 degrees for about thirty minutes allow to cool and serve. Collard greens and rice were my favorite side dish. Enjoy.



Hash From left over roast beef

 

Ingredients:
3 1/2 cup diced left over roast ( if you have a bit more of less that's OK)
2 slices of breakfast bacon
2 large potatoes 
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove or equivalent in garlic powder
3/4 cup melted butter or margarine
1 tablespoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt


After you enjoyed your beef roast dinner and had delicious beef sandwiches with lettuce and tomato on toast the next day, and now you are about tired of this roast. This works well with most beef not just roast beef).  But wait; don't pitch it in the can just yet. Let's have it one more time, and this time with a different flavor.
Dice the potatoes and roast (the roast cut a lot easier if it is directly from the refrigerator or chilled) into about 1/2 inch squares and place a side, chop unions finely and place them a side. Chop the garlic clove very fine and set aside. Place the Bacon in a 10 inch skillet and cook until crisp then remove and pour out excess oil. Put the onions and garlic in the skillet and stir with a wooden spoon mixing with the bacon residue for about five minutes stirring constantly. Add the roast cubes and allow to start turning brown, then add the potatoes and stir from the bottom mixing real well for ten minutes, add 1/4 cup water and cover. Reduce heat and cover until the water is almost completely cooked away stirring about three times, the last about five minutes before all the water is gone. Be careful because this will stick very fast after the water is gone and the potatoes will break up if you are not careful and don't stir from the bottom.

Smothered Spare Ribs


Ingredients:
One slab pork spare ribs
Mustard
Vinegar
Salt
Black pepper

Have the butcher cut the big thick are of the rib so you can slice through it with your knife. Slice the ribs so that each slice contain two ribs, with the thin end its OK to have three ribs. You should have about five to six pieces of rib after you complete the cutting. Salt and pepper both sides of each piece and refrigerate for about two hour. A large zip lock bag will work very well for this procedure. In a heavy preheated skillet place them flat side down. If you can’t get them all in at one time don’t worry about it, just brown them in two sessions. Brown the ribs on both sides, turning regularly to insure uniformed cooking, after all the ribs are brown drain the oil from the skillet and put all the pieces in the skillet and turn the heat to medium and cover. Mix three table spoons of prepared mustard and 1/2 cup white vinegar and one cup of water, mix thoroughly and add to the skillet and cover. Monitor the liquid and turn the ribs regular and add more water if the liquid cooks down before the ribs are done. The ribs are very tender and delicious when they are done; this slab should serve five very conformably


Some suggested side dishes
String beans (see recipe)
Steamed cabbage (see recipe )
Fried corn (see recipe)
Rice
Boiled okra
Pasta dishes
Corn bread

  Salmon Croquette

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Ingredients:
One can salmon
One half medium chopped onion
One egg
Two table spoons of flour
One half cup shortening
Pepper
Tea spoon salt


Pre heat a skillet to medium high, add the shortening. In a mixing bowl combine the salmon (drain most of the juice from the can), Flour, chopped onions, egg, salt and pepper and mix well. Spoon the salmon into your hand and make a ball then flatten it and put it in the skillet. When you see the edges brown turn them over, after that side brown remove from heat and drain before serving. They tend to remain hot for a long time, so allow time to cool before serving. Any one of many pasta dishes and a green salad is always a treat with salmon croquettes. A dinner roll would be my bread of choice.

Catfish and hush Puppies

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Two medium catfish or four catfish steaks
Three cups corn meal
Brown paper bag
One can of beer (water can be used instead of beer)
One half cup of flour
One tea spoon cayenne (optional)
Salt
Pepper
Two and one half cup cooking oil or shortening


Fresh catfish is probably one of the top seafood consumed when they are properly prepared. Catfish is a coast to coast treat, it’s found from San Francisco to Atlanta. Fishing for cat fish is and favorite past time for many fisherman through out the land. Now they farm catfish and you can usually have a choice of size. Select the three pounder and below if you are going to fry it whole. The larger fish usually yield the best steaks. Lay the fish on a cutting board or counter and sprinkle the cayenne, black pepper and
Salt. Place the fish in the refrigerator for two hours. Mix one quarter cup of flour and one half cup of meal in the paper bag and shake well. Preheat the skillet to three hundred fifty or medium high and add the remainder of the oil. Take the fish from the refrigerator and shake each piece separately in a zip lock bag and put them in the skillet with a loose top or screen. Allow the fish to brown on the bottom turn the fish over and drain and cool before serving.
For the hush puppies, mix the flour and corn meal and finely chopped onion in a bowl with the beer, don’t use all the beer if you don’t have to. Combine until the mixture is consistence but not dry. Roll each hush puppy in your hand until it has the shape of an egg and about half the size. Carefully place the hush puppies in the oil the cat fish was cooked in. Allow to brown then remove them and drain. I don’t have a tarter sauce for you that are better than the one you can buy at the supper market

Neck Bones


Ingredients:
5 to seven lbs of neckbones
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 large onion
Salt and pepper
Water depending on the size of the pot.

My favorite method is to wash the neckbones and pat dry, salt and pepper all sides, and then add them to a preheated heavy pot of skillet with just a little oil to prevent the neckbones from sticking. Keep the heat at medium and turn frequently until the neckbones are browned on all sides possible. Chop a large onion and sprinkle over the top of the neckbones and cover the pot, reduce heat. After about ten minutes remove and drain the oil holding the onions so they want go out with the oil. The bottom of the pot should have some brown areas where some of the juices drained and turned brown and little pieces of the onion. This will make a wonderful sauce. Return to medium heat and turn the neckbone frequently for about five minutes, add about two cups of water. Place a cover over the pot and allow to cook for about half an hours. After half an hour remove the cover and turn the ones from the bottom to the top of the pot. Repeat this procedure every 15 minutes the water should cook almost down, it will look like a rich brown source, which it is. Turn the neckbones over in this source until they are coated evenly. You may have to add more water depending on whether the neck bones are done when the water is low.
If you don't get this result the problem may be that you tried to brown too many at one time. Just try to brown a few at a time, remove them and put others in the same pot until you have browned them all. Then it's OK to put them all in the pot and cook them at the same time after the oil is drained. The meat should be tender by now, and easily separated from the bone if they are cooked long enough. If you can’t remove the meat from the bone easily cook longer until desired tenderness is obtained.

Collard Greens

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Ingredients:
1. Two bunches of collard greens or about ten large leafs
2. Quarter lb. salt pork (ham hocks can be substituted)
3. Salt
4. Pepper
      


           My Aunt Kin cooked collard every day as long as I can remember, I can’t think of a day she didn’t cook collards, even if the rest of the family was having a different vegetable. Neckbone were the meat most often served with her collards (see recipe for neck bones).
       She wouldn’t always let the collard get completely done before she would sample them. I think she preferred her collard cooked about half the time that we considered done. She would take them from the pot some times just as they began to turn dark and have just a few in a saucer. I watched her do this so often until I eventually joined her, I was right behind her the next time she had half done collard greens. Collards are good either way but if you want them “ready”?
       Put two quarts of water in a five quart boiler or pan and bring to a boil. Rinse the excess salt from the salt pork and lay it on the counter with the skin side on the counter, take a sharp knife and slice the salt pork about a quarter inch thick but do not cut all the way through the skin. When you finish you should have one piece of salt pork with about four slits all the way to the skin but not through it. Place the salt pork in the boiling water and lower the heat to medium because you have some greens to wash and cut.
      Take the greens and cut all the leafs from the stalk. Place all the leafs in the sink or any container that will hold about four gallons of water, wash the green at least two times or more if they are gritty or sandy, check for old leafs or badly damage leafs and insects and discard. After the wash cut the leafy from the large stems. Gather a hand full of greens and place them on a cutting board and cut across the grain about every two inches or you may leave them whole.
Cook the salt pork for about forty-five minutes ( ham hocks take a little longer) then add the greens and cover for about fifteen minutes or until the greens cook down. Remove from direct heat and mix the greens with the liquid in the pot really well and return to heat on medium and cover for about an hour, mix again and place the seasonal meat on top of the greens and cover. Repeat the stirring at least once more during cooking. When they are done they should be coated well with the juice and have sort of a shine to them (pot liquor). The juice from greens and sometime beans is referred to as Pot Liquor.  Allow to cool down somewhat, remove the salt pork and serve. Corn breads were always served with greens, any other bread simply would not do. I will get into corn breads later.

Turnips Greens




Ingredients:
1. Two to three bunches of turnip greens
2. Quarter lb. salt pork
3. Turnip roots (optional)
4. Salt
5. Pepper
6. Water as needed

       Put two quarts of water in a five quart boiler or pan and bring to a boil. Rinse the excess salt from the salt pork and lay it on the counter with the skin side on the counter, take a sharp knife and slice the salt pork about a quarter inch thick but do not cut all the way through the skin. When you finish you should have one piece of salt pork with about four slits all the way to the skin but not through it. Place the salt pork in the boiling water and lower the heat to medium because you have some greens to wash and cut.
      Cut the greens away from the large stalks, don’t be concerned about the small leafs. Place all the leafs in the sink or any container that will hold about five gallons of water, wash the green at least two times or more, if they are gritty or sandy more washing may be required. Turnips greens seem to have more sand than other greens, check for old leafs or badly damage leafs and insects. After the wash gather a hand full of greens and place them on a cutting board and cut across the grain about every two inches or you may leave them whole.
      The salt pork should be done after about forty-five minutes. Stick a fork in the salt pork, it should easily penetrate. Add the greens and cover for about fifteen minutes or until the greens cook down. Remove from direct heat and mix the greens with the liquid in the pot (pot liquor) really well and return to heat on medium and cover for about an hour. Repeat the stirring at least twice more during the cooking. Allow to cool down somewhat, discard the salt pork and serve.
    The bread of choice is corn bread, usually the hot water corn bread. The turnips have a very hint of sweetness and sweet corn bread will clash with the taste. If you bought the turnips roots too, added when the greens are almost done, they don’t taker longer than three minutes in a very hot pot of turnips greens they have a hint of sweetness also. Simply wash and peel them and if you prefer, cut into quarter sections, some people like them sliced into about ¼ inch slices.

Black Eyed Peas


Ingredients:
1. Two large or three small ham hocks
2. One large bag of black eyed peas
3. Salt and pepper as needed
4. Water

The ham hocks with skin seem to have the best flavor however the skinless shanks produce a delicious flavor and less fat, you may also wish to use smoked skins or salt pork, they all offer a delicious flavor
        For best results the peas should be soaked over night in cold water or at least two hours, they can be left on the counter for this purpose. If you are really in a big hurry and have to cook them right away you may clean the peas as you would for over night soak and place then in a pan with warm water for about two hours, but if you can allow them to soak over night I think you will enjoy the results. Some of them will seem to split but this is not a problem, they will be OK. Wash them prior to soaking and look for stones and badly damaged peas and through out.
    Boil two large ham hocks or one skinless ham shanks in two quarts of water at medium heat until tender but not falling from the bone because you want them to cook awhile with the peas and don’t want them to cook apart. Now add the peas and cover, reduce the heat to low and allow cooking slowly until peas are tender. This can be tested by selecting one pea and press a fork through it, if it flatten into the fork prongs they are probable done. Add salt or pepper on the table.




Hopping Johns:
Add the rice with the same amount black-eyed peas on the plate and you have “hopping Johns”, some people cook the rice in the pot with the peas, it’s good either way.

Dried Butter Beans (Lima beans)

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Ingredients:
1. Ham Hocks
2. Dreid butter beans
3. One large onion
4. Salt and pepper
5. Water


These were always special in our home, I remember have butter beans and corn bread in the winter months when it was really cold outside, and how secure we felt after heaving all the butter beans we wanted and listening to the wind and rain outside
The ham hocks with skin seem to have the best flavor however the skinless shanks produce a delicious flavor and less fat. Wash the beans and discard small stones and damaged beans that may be in the package.
        For best results the beans should be soaked over night in cold water, they can be left on the counter for this purpose. The Lima beans come in two sizes, the large and the small, your choice. If you are really in a big hurry and have to cook them right away clean the beans as you would for over night soak and place then in a pan with warm water for about two hours, but if you can allow them to soak over night I think you will enjoy the results. Some of them will seem to split but this is not a problem, they will be OK. Wash them prior to soaking and look for stones and badly damaged peas and through out.
    Boil two large ham hocks or one skinless ham shanks in two quarts at medium heat until tender but not falling from the bone because you want them to cook awhile with the beans.  You don't want them to cook apart. Now add the beans and chopped onions and cover. Add salt and pepper as desired reduce the heat to low and allow to cook slowly until beans are tender, about one and one half hours This can be tested by selecting one bean a press a fork through it, if it flatten into the fork prongs they are probable done. If you cooked enough for left over you should add additional water because the juice will thicken by the next day, left over butter beans are delicious.

Pinto Beans


Ingredients:
1. 3 Ham hocks
2. 1 package of dried pinto beans
3. 1one medium onion
4. 3 stalks Celery
5. 1Bell pepper
6. Salt and pepper as needed

 The ham hocks with skin seem to have the best flavor however the skinless shanks produce a delicious flavor and less fat. Wash the beans and discard small stones and damaged beans that may be in the package
        For best results the beans should be soaked over night in cold water, they can be left on the counter or the refrigerator for this purpose. If you are really in a big hurry and have to cook them right away you may clean the beans as you would for over night soak and place then in a pan with warm water for about two hours. Some of them will seem to split but this is not a problem, they will be OK. Wash them prior to soaking and look for stones and badly damaged beans and through out.
    Boil three large ham hocks or one skinless ham shanks in two quarts at medium heat until tender but not falling from the bone because you want them to cook awhile with the beans.  You don't want them to cook apart. Now add the beans and chopped onions, chopped celery, and bell peppers cut into eight piece. Increase the water if necessary then cover and bring to a boil. Add salt and pepper as desired reduce the heat to low and allow to cook slowly until beans are tender, about one and one half hours This can be tested by selecting one bean a press a fork through it, if it flatten into the fork prongs they are probable done. If you cooked enough for left over you should add additional water because this juice will really thicken by the next day, left over pinto beans are delicious and have a lot of flavor. Many of the meat recipes in this book will compliment this meal as well as some of the other side dishes. Corn bread is almost always served with beans, black-eyed peas and butter beans and most greens.

Red Beans

Ingredients:
1. 2 Ham hocks or smoked turkey wings or ham shanks
2. 1 package dried red beans
3. 1 medium onion
4. 2 Celery stalks
5. ½ Bell pepper
6. Salt and pepper as needed


This dish is prepared primarily as the pinto bean, one interesting note is this is the bean associated with this recipe is the same one used in the red beans and rice recipe you have probably heard a lot about. Cook the rice from the direction on the rice package. Red beans and rice is a meal within itself. So use the recipe for pinto beans and enjoy.

Steamed Cabbage
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Ingredients:
One large cabbage
Salt pork
One medium onion
One small green pepper (optional)
Salt and pepper as needed
Okra (optional)

          Take one large cabbage or two small ones and cut down the middle and cut the two halves resulting in four pieces of cabbage. Cut out the solid core that come down almost half on each wedge and discard them. Now take a sharp knife using a cutting board or counter and cut about one inch sections of each wedge all the way to the end. You should have a pile of cut cabbage ready for wash. In a large pan or the sink wash the cabbage and leave in the water, we will get back to them later.
          Slice the salt pork into 1/4 inch slices, cut it all the way through the skin. You should have four to five pieces of salt pork, rinse the excess salt form them and place them in a skillet on low heat. Some times you may have to prime the pork to get it to fry properly and produce pork fat. This can be done my adding a little shorting to the skillet to start the frying to release the pork fat. Do not cook it until it’s burnt, just until you have a great deal of pork fat released. Take the salt pork out of the skillet. Remove the hot skillet from the stove and place it on a protective pad near the cabbage, you have to be very careful with this next step and it should only be done by able adults.  The grease in the skillet is very hot and when the wet cabbage touches there will be a reaction such as dropping water in hot grease so be careful with this. Take a hand full of cabbage and shake most of the water out and place them in the skillet, the reaction will only occur for a short while. Now add the rest of the cabbage to the skillet and return the skillet to the stove and cover. If you can’t get all the cabbage in the skillet at first, no problem. Allow the first load to cook down for a few minutes then add the remainder and slice your onion and put them in now also. You can add black pepper and slice green pepper (optional) at this time and cover hold off on the salt until you taste test them after they are done, maintain the heat at medium. Stir every thing from bottom to top every five minutes until your mixture is thoroughly incorporated. Some cook lay about ten fresh okras on top just before the cabbage is done but do not mix the okras with the cabbage, it’s just a way to steam them for a side dish. Cabbage is excellent the next day as a re-run.

Rutabagas


Ingredients:
1. 5 medium Rutabaga
2. 2 ham hocks or ham shanks (or smoked pork skins, usually rolled and sold in the smoked meat section)
3. 1 medium onion
4. Salt and pepper as needed

Rutabaga is a often over looked by shoppers when looking for a tasty vegetable to serve their family. The rutabaga is usually displayed in the same section as turnips roots.
The difference is the rutabaga is yellowish to orange in color and turnips are white and purple. Some rutabagas have a wax like skin and difficult to peel, so be careful as you peel the skin with a sharp knife. Some say this vegetable is a product of China as a result of crossing cabbage and turnip. Began your preparation by peeling the rutabagas and cutting them cross length in about 1\4 inch slices and place them in a pan of water and let set while your ham hock are cooking. To cook the ham hocks or smoked skins, put them in a boiler and add water to almost cover the meat or skins. Cook at medium heat for about one hour or until you can easily stick a fork into the meat or skin. When you are satisfied the meat is at the desired tenderness add the slices of rutabagas and sliced onions to the pot sprinkle some black pepper into the pot. Do not add salt until later. Do not over cook the rutabagas, boil for about thirty minutes. They can be tested  by gently sticking a fork in the rutabagas to test, when they are done the fork will penetrate very easy. Remove from heat because they will continue to cook because they are very hot. Taste test for salt and serve.

Fried corn


Ingredients:
Four to six ears of tender corn (some like the white corn better)
1/4 pound salt pork (olive oil can substitute salt pork)
1/2 cup milk (optional)
Salt
Black pepper
1/8 lb. butter

Shuck the corn and rinse the silk off under running water in the sink and set aside. Slice the salt pork into about 1/4 inch slices. Cook the salt pork on low until you are satisfied that most of the oil is cooked out. While the salt pork is cooking cut the corn from the cob. You need a very sharp knife for this operation. Hold the corn at an angle into a platter or pan that want get in the way of your hand as you cut down on each ear. Holding the corn by its small end with the big end resting in the plate at an angle take your knife and gently cut the corn from the cob form top to bottom twisting the corn around after each cut. Do not cut into the husk, just as close to the cob as you can without entering the husk. After you have cut the corn from the cob all the way around place the knife at the bottom of the cob and drag the blade firmly against the cob from bottom to top. this will get the juice that’s left on the cob during cutting, shake the juice off the knife after each drag. When you finish you should have an almost dry cob and a pile of cut corn and paste like juice. Rake that into a large bowl and repeat the procedure for each ear. Now you should have a bowl of cut corn with the paste like juice in a large bowl and the salt pork done with some oil in the skillet, remove the salt pork.
 Add the corn to the skillet and cover, cook on low stirring constantly to prevent sticking add the pepper and salt if needed. It should take about twenty minutes and the corn will turn a little yellow. You may add a little milk to the corn if you don’t get a lot of juice when you rake it with the knife.

Some suggested side dishes
Collard greens (see recipe)
Turnip greens (see recipe)
Black eyed peas (see recipe)
Buttered dinner rolls
Boiled okra
String beans
Cabbage (see recipe)
Green lima beans

String or snap beans

Ingredients:
Three pounds string beans
Two ham hocks
Onions
Five new potatoes
Salt
Black pepper

The string bean is a readily available vegetable, you can find them in the produce department of your super market most of the year. Many people find space in their back yard or patio to grow string beans. If you buy them fresh rather than frozen you will find that they actually have beans inside the green pod. When they are French cut the beans are missing, for the purpose of this book we will use the fresh string beans. A heavy pan or boiler work really well for cooking the ham hocks. In six cups of water bring the ham hocks to a boil and reduce the heat, cover and allow cooking for about an hour and a half or so your fork can easily penetrate the skin of the ham hocks. Wash the beans in cold water until any dirt and insects are removed. Try pulling the stem from the end that was attached to the vine, sometimes the beans are very stringy and it best to pull the strings off the pod before you snap them. Now just snap each bean in about a 1 1/2in intervals as you would a pencil, look for the stem and discard it. Some beans will fall from the pods and that’s just fine. After all the beans are snapped and the ham hocks are ready, add the beans to the pot with the ham hocks and cover. Increase the heat to medium high for about fifteen minutes. Clean the potatoes and dice about half the onion and add both to the pot, sprinkle salt and pepper as needed. Let cook until the potatoes are done and remove from heat and serve

Some suggested side dishes

Neck bones (see recipe)
Smothered spare ribs (see recipe)
Rice
Boiled okra
Pasta dishes
Corn bread

Fried Green Tomatoes
Ingredients:

Four Large green tomatoes
One cup plain flour
One quarter cup Shortening ( I often use beacon drippings)
Salt
Black pepper
One table spoon onion powder

Select large green tomatoes that are about to start turning, some time the completely green ones don’t work as well for this recipe. Wash the tomatoes and cut cross way into about 1/2 inch slices. Lay them flat on a cutting board and sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides. Sprinkle the onion powder on each side and chill for one half hour. Heat the oil to medium in a heavy skillet. You can shake the tomatoes in a paper bag but not to vigorously because the tender ones will tare apart, an alternate to this method is to spread the flour in a large plate and dust each piece of tomato individually coat them well and shake off the excess and place the skillet of hot oil. Turn them over only once, if you keep turning them they will began to fall apart on you. Allow the to brown on one side and turn the over. Use a specula to remove from the skillet and drain. Do Not  eat the them directly from the skillet because they are very hot, They may feel ambient to the touch but allow them to cool before you serve then, trust me on this one.


Some suggested side dishes
String beans (see recipe)
Steamed cabbage (see recipe)
Fried corn (see recipe)
Rice (use box recipe)
Steamed okra (see recipe)

Corn Bread

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Corn bread can be served at almost any meal and there are several ways to make corn bread depending on the meal. The first is a recipe we usually had when guest came on Sunday.

Ingredients:
Two and one half cups white corn meal (plain)
Two cups butter milk
Water as need to gain desired consistency
One quarter cup flour
Two eggs
1/8 cup shortening
Tea spoon salt
Two table spoons baking powder


In a large bowl sift the corn meal and add flour, baking powder salt and mix well. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees, pour the oil in a baking pan 8x12 and place in oven for about ten minutes or until the oil is hot. Add the butter milk and eggs to the corn bread mixture and mix well, if the mixture is too stiff add water until the batter has the consistency of pan cakes batter. Pour most of the oil from the hot skillet into the batter mix and incorporate. Pour the batter in the hot pan and place in the center rack of the oven and let cook for about thirty minutes depending on your oven. The corn bread will start to brown along the edges, move the bread to the top rack for about ten minutes, check to see if the bread is browning even. When the bread is brown remove from the oven and brush the top with butter, cover with a cloth towel until ready to serve. Cut into two inch squares.

Crackling Bread



Ingredients:
Two and one half cups white corn meal (plain)
One cups butter milk
Water as needed to gain desired consistency
One quarter cup flour
One egg
One cup crackling
Tea spoon salt
Two table spoons baking powder

Crackling made from cooked pork fat squares, this is done by cutting pork fat into 1 1/2 in squares and putting them in a pot and cook them until they float on top of the grease.  I remember as a child I witnessed the hog preparation which was usually done in late fall or early winter. Some of the meat were made into sausage, some salted down and placed in a wooded box and kelp in a cool place, The ham, shoulder and some sausage were put in the smoke house (a little building specially for smoking meat was erected where meat was hanged from the ceiling rafters and a little fire build on the dirt floor, usually from hickory wood). It’s this procedure that make smoked ham hocks and other smoked meats.
The pig fat is mostly from the side and underside of the animal. The fat meat is trimmed from the skin and cut into small squares and cook in a pot until all the fat is cooked from the meat. The skins are bake at a very high temperature and show up in the super market a pig skins, the fat from this operation is processes into lard which is also sold in super markets. The cooked pork squares are now crackling. Use one cup of crackling and pour into baking pan and cook the excess oil from the crackling at 400 degrees. Mix the corn meal, cracklings, flour and the dry ingredients in a large bowl, do not pour the grease from the baking pan into this mixture because the crackling will furnish enough oil. Add milk and egg and mix well, This batter is not meant to be real thin because you will handle this by hand so you need this to be a little stiff. With a large spoon pour a hand full of batter in one hand, with your other hand shape the batter into a flat football shaped pone and lay them in the pan the crackling were baked in and place on the center rack of the oven at 400 degrees after the pones are brown remove from the oven and serve individually. These crackling pones do not crumpled easily and are ideal for camping trips or other prolonged journeys and will keep for a long time.

Hoe Cake Corn Bread


Ingredients:
Two and one half cups white corn meal (plain)
Two table spoons of flour
One half cup shortening
Water as needed to gain desired consistency
Tea spoon salt


I have heard hoe cake, stove top corn bread, hot water corn bread most of my life, I thought when my someone mentioned whole cake I figured the reference was to stove top corn bread or hot eater corn bread. The stove top corn bread and hot water corn bread is born of the hoe cake. This was done by field hands when no other methods were feasible, they would clean the blade of the hoe and hold it over an open fire. Usually they only had corn meal and water; they would mix water and corn meal and cook it on the hoe blade, thus hoe cake. But we cook ours a little different. Pre heat a heavy skillet to medium high and add 1/4 cup of oil. Mix the corn meal flour and salt with salt in a bowl, add hot water (do not use boiling water) and mix well with two table spoons shortening. Spoon the batter from the bowl and make biscuit size balls in your hand and press them flat, place them in the skillet not touching each other for about ten minutes, turn them over and cook the other side. This should yield about eight pieces of hot water corn bread.
You can use this same recipe and make whole cake corn bread. Mix a little more water so the batter will run slightly, and pour the entire bowl contents into the skillet. With a spoon smooth the top where needed. It’s a little tricky turning over. Take a plate that will fit into the skillet and wet it water, now place it over the corn bread that’s still in the skillet. Use a pot holder and grasp the skillet by the handle and lift from the heat and turn it over at the same time transferring the corn bread from the skillet to the plate, be very careful with this step. It should only be attempted by able adults. Replace the skillet to the burner and slide the corn bread from the plate back to the skillet. The whole cake is turned over; this is also called hard tack corn bread among many other names. The hot water , hard tack, stove top, whole cake corn bread is usually served with greens or beans that product pot liquor  (pot liquor is the juice produced when you cook beans or greens).

Banana Pudding
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Ingredients:
Four large firm bananas
One box vanilla wafers
Three eggs
3/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup flour
One tea spoon vanilla extract
One cups milk
One cup half&half

Separate the egg yolks from the white and add the yolks to the milk and beat for two minutes until well mixed, put contents in a two quart pan and heat on medium. Mix the flower and ½ cup sugar together then add to the milk and stir constantly until mixture begin to thicken. Turn the heat to low and continue to cook and stir. Peel the bananas and cut them the short way about a quarter inch thick and place them alternately with the vanilla wafers in a deep baking pan or bowl that can be placed in the oven. Remove the mixture (custard) from the heat and add the vanilla flavor and mix. Slowly pour the contents over the bananas and vanilla wafers. Beat the egg white (add ¼ cup sugar) until they turn to icing. Cover the pudding with the icing and bake at 325 degrees for about one hour or until icing turn brown allow cooling and serve.

Popa's bread pudding

Ingredients:
Loaf sweet french bread
Six eggs
Two cup sugar
Four cups milk
Three table spoons cinnamon
Two table spoons vanilla extract
One tea spoon nutmegs
One Box raisins

Place the loaf of frnch bread in a mixing bowl and cover with milk and allow soaking until soft and can be easily massed with a fork. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl for about three minutes and add to the bread. Stir in the sugar and add vanilla extract, cinnamon and nutmegs, raisins are optional (if you use the raisins boil and drain them prior to adding to mixture). Mix well and pour contents in a 9x12 greased pan and bake at 350 degrees for one and one half hours, or before if the pudding browns first. Allow to cool and slice into sections and serve with your favorite topping.

Peach cobbler

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Ingredients
Three pounds of fresh or frozen peach slices (or equivalent can peaches)
1/2 pound of butter
!/4 nutmeg (ground)
Three cups sugar
One cup of flour
Pie crust mix
 Two and one half table spoons of pure vanilla extract
One tea spoon cinnamon
One table spoon allspice
1/8 cup lemon juice


In a large pan mix the peaches, cinnamon, allspice, two cups sugar, (melt butter in a sauce pan save some for later) butter, nutmeg. Bring the peach up to heat without boiling, this process will shrink the peaches so when you put them in the baking pan they want shrink further and you will have a nice level cobbler. Add the vanilla extract and take off the heat. stir well and set a side.
Mix pie crust where it can be rolled with a rolling pen. After the pie crust is ready sprinkle one half cup of flour on the counter and roll out enough dough to cover the bottom of the baking pan. Place the pan with the pie crust in a three hundred fifty degree preheated oven. After the crust in the bottom of the pan loose most of the moisture and will sometimes large bubbles will appear. Remove this crust from the pan and roll another piece of dough the same size and bake it the same way. When this crust is ready remove from oven and pour one half the peaches in the pan, put your first crust on top of this solution and sprinkle one half cup sugar on the crust in the pan. Pour the remainder of the peaches in the pan and let it set for about fifteen minutes. Roll more dough for the top crust, slice the dough into one and one half inch pieces and arrange on the cobbler in rows in one direction and another row across the rows you just made. This should leave your cobbler almost fully covered with the top crust with little one inch squares of peaches visible. Coat the crust with melted butter and generously sprinkle sugar on top of the butter coated crust. You can freeze this and cook months later if you wish.


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place the cobbler on a cookie sheet or put tin foil beneath it on the center rack, some spillage will occur during cooking. If cobbler is frozen and you started at 300 degrees, increase heat to 375 after one hour of cooking. Continue to cook for another hour and a half; it should start to turn golden brown beginning at the outer perimeters. Decrease the heat if the outer edges are cooking too fast and allow the center to brown evenly. Once the cobbler is brown all over it's usually done. Remove it from the oven and allow to cool (as long as you can stand it). Do not cover or refrigerate immediately because it will cause the crust to soften. It's OK to refrigerate after it cools. To save part of it for a later date, freeze it and individual servings can easily be cut and heated when needed. Be sure to wrap it well if it's to be frozen for a length of time.
Ice cream makes a fine topping for this delicious old southern treat. Enjoy.

Popa’s Sweet Potato Cobbler


Piecrust
Two sweet potatoes
Teaspoon nutmeg
One and a half cups sugar
Vanilla flavor (two teaspoon)
One stick of butter
Water as required






Yams and sweet potato are usually interchangeable and considered the same thing, so for the purpose of this text we will do the same.
When selecting sweet potatoes for sweet potato cobblers get the firm ones with no soft spots. One bad potato can ruined the cobbler.
The recipe below is for the smaller cobblers you saw at my party
Peel the potatoes and slice them about quarter inch, line the bottom of a pan with thinly rolled piecrust. Place some of the sliced potatoes on top of the piecrust. Put half the ingredients on top of the potatoes. (Slice the butter and put on top also). Cover everything with another piece of rolled piecrust and the rest of the potatoes as well as the remainder of the seasons and add water to almost cover everything. Now roll the piecrust and cut into strips to make the top crust. After covering the cobbler with the crust brush some melted butter on top and sprinkle a little sugar. Bake at about 350 degrees until brown, this make take an hour or a little more because the inside pie crust must cook well. No doubt you will have to work with this a few times, I hope this works for you.



Peach cobbler


Ingredients

Three pounds of fresh or frozen peach slices (or equivalent can peaches)

1/2 pound of butter

1/4 nutmeg (ground)

Three cups sugar

One cup of flour

Pie crust mix

Two and one half table spoons of pure vanilla extract

One tea spoon cinnamon

One table spoon allspice

1/8 cup lemon juice

In a large pan mix the peaches, cinnamon, allspice, two cups sugar, (melt butter in a sauce pan save some for later) butter, nutmeg. Bring the peach up to heat without boiling, this process will shrink the peaches so when you put them in the baking pan they want shrink further and you will have a nice level cobbler. Add the vanilla extract and take off the heat. stir well and set a side.

Mix pie crust where it can be rolled with a rolling pen. After the pie crust is ready sprinkle one half cup of flour on the counter and roll out enough dough to cover the bottom of the baking pan. Place the pan with the pie crust in a three hundred fifty degree preheated oven. After the crust in the bottom of the pan loose most of the moisture and will sometimes large bubbles will appear. Remove this crust from the pan and roll another piece of dough the same size and bake it the same way. When this crust is ready remove from oven and pour one half the peaches in the pan, put your first crust on top of this solution and sprinkle one half cup sugar on the crust in the pan. Pour the remainder of the peaches in the pan and let it set for about fifteen minutes. Roll more dough for the top crust, slice the dough into one and one half inch pieces and arrange on the cobbler in rows in one direction and another row across the rows you just made. This should leave your cobbler almost fully covered with the top crust with little one inch squares of peaches visible. Coat the crust with melted butter and generously sprinkle sugar on top of the butter coated crust. You can freeze this and cook months later if you wish.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place the cobbler on a cookie sheet or put tin foil beneath it on the center rack, some spillage will occur during cooking. If cobbler is frozen and you started at 300 degrees, increase heat to 375 after one hour of cooking. Continue to cook for another hour and a half; it should start to turn golden brown beginning at the outer perimeters. Decrease the heat if the outer edges are cooking too fast and allow the center to brown evenly. Once the cobbler is brown all over it's usually done. Remove it from the oven and allow to cool (as long as you can stand it). Do not cover or refrigerate immediately because it will cause the crust to soften. It's OK to refrigerate after it cools. To save part of it for a later date, freeze it and individual servings can easily be cut and heated when needed. Be sure to wrap it well if it's to be frozen for a length of time.

Ice cream makes a fine topping for this delicious old southern treat. Enjoy.

Popa's Rice pudding

Ingredients:

Three cups rice

Three eggs

One and one half cup sugar

Three cups milk

Three table spoons cinnamon

Two table spoons vanilla flavor

One tea spoon fresh ground nutmegs

Cook and drain rice as per instruction on the package, allow cooling. Beat the eggs and add the sugar and milk. Mix this with the rice in a mixing bowl. Mix the cinnamon, nutmegs and vanilla flavor with the rice mixture and put it in a greased baking pan and bake at 325 degrees for two hours or less. Allow to cool then serve plain or with your favorite topping.