Honestly Good

I first read the term honestly good in The Gift of Southern Cooking by Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock. The book was a gift from my friend Kay. The term was used to describe Lewis' crab cakes, which are honestly delicious. The Gift of Southern Cooking was one of many books authored by Lewis, recipient of numerous awards, including the Grand Dame of Les Dames d'Escoffier International (1999). Peacock is award winning chef of American Southern cuisine, and he's served as a chef to two governors of Georgia.

Lewis included Honestly Good Crab Cakes with Spicy Dipping Sauce as part of a Summer Crab Cake Dinner. The menu also included: Chilled Tomato-Basil Soup, Lady, Peas Cooked in Pork Stock, Red Onion, Cucumber and Tomato Salad and Three-Layer Carrot Cake. I've made my own versions of this menu with the exception of Peas Cooked in Pork Stock. My favorite part of this menu is undoubtedly the Red Onion, Cucumber and Tomato Salad which celebrates the best of summer produce. My family and I ate this salad all summer long when these "fruits" of summer grew in abundance in our backyard garden. To this day, it's still a favorite summer staple (I like to add avocados and feta cheese), especially when the temperatures soar and it's too hot to cook.

A handful of my gardens herbs--dill, basil and mint

This year, my sister is growing cucumbers, tomatoes and a variety of herbs in her Virginia garden. Just look at those climbing vines! Susan, like me, makes a delicious version of a quick pickle--can't wait to hear how her pickles turn out with her garden grown cukes.


As the daughters of a southern woman, we both love homegrown vine ripened tomatoes, having taking a page out of our Moms book. 

My own Summer Dinner would include Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Tomato Salad, Watermelon, Cucumber & Feta Cheese Salad, Sweet Potato Cornbread and Ginger Spiced Pat's Granola sundaes. Four years ago, my family and I enjoyed a delightful al fresco supper (including Susans tuna and macaroni salad and chocolate chip cookies) before a performance of the The Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom.

It was my first visit to Blossom which is the summer home of the orchestra and I marveled at the elaborate picnics some of the guests brought to the concert. Our meal was far simpler and we had a grand time, complete with fireworks!

 

Ginger Spiced Pat's Granola sundae

Basil which grows in my garden. It's worth the wait all year to grow this.

Susans Tuna and Macaroni Salad

Ingredients:

1/2 box elbow macaroni
I can tuna packed in oil, drained 
1/2 small sweet onion chopped finely
2 hard boiled eggs chopped coarsely
1/2 cup Hellman’s mayonnaise 
1/2 cup sweet gherkins, chopped finely
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped celery 
Salt, pepper to taste
1 tsp fresh chopped basil, parsley, oregano
 
Cook macaroni according to directions on the box.
Drain well and set aside.
Mix the following in a large bowl: mayonnaise, gherkins, lemon juice, onion, celery, salt and pepper.
Add tuna, eggs, basil, parsley and oregano to bowl. Gently combine cooked macaroni into this mixture and mix.
Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
Add chopped herbs, just before serving.
Ginger Spiced Pat's Granola Sundae
Ingredients: per individual sundae
1/4 cup Ginger Spiced Pat's Granola
Fresh berries--your choice (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries)
Yogurt or Ice cream
Layer 3 heaping tablespoons yogurt or 1 scoop ice cream, fruit and Pat's Granola in a bowl or dessert dish. Serve immediately and enjoy!

What's your honestly good dishes or foods? Please share--we'd like to know!

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