COOKING IN THE DEEP SOUTH FARMERS MARKET STYLE

Greetings,

While at the recent Halloween Book Club meeting I told you about in my last post, several of my girlfriends got to talking about the challenges of being a mother-in-law, particularly as it involved relationships with their daughter’s-in-laws. A couple of them also found that it was challenging to forge a relationship with the mothers of their daughter-in-laws. Apparently for them the old saying is true, “A son is a son till he takes a wife, a daughter’s a daughter the rest of her life”

Attendance at our Well “Red” Book Club can be so cathartic, especially when accompanied by “Red” wine!

But thankfully my son Nathan blessed me with not only a wonderful daughter-in-law, Louisa, but her mom Julia is pretty darn cool as well.

COOKING IN THE DEEP SOUTH FARMER'S MARKET STYLE | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Julia and I not only share a love of the same kids and grandkids, we also share a fondness for each other. It’s actually surprising because in many ways we could not be more different. In my eyes Julia is the quintessential Southern Belle. Born in Georgia and a resident of Tuscaloosa, Alabama all of her adult life, Julia oozes Southern charm. Her soft, lilty southern drawl is music to one’s ears. Her charming, polite demeanor would make Emily Post proud, and she brings southern hospitality to a whole new level. To this Southern California girl, Julia is my ideal of a Southern lady. She was born about a decade before I and to me she feels like the grown up in our relationship, a little older and wiser than I. To me she feels like someone I’d looked up to when I was a kid, someone to be admired and emulated. She is very well read, well traveled and well spoken. Her writing is eloquent and thoughtful, and she still puts pen to paper often. Her thank you notes always arrive via the post, not the computer, and she has written in a gratitude journal every single day for decades. Are you getting the picture?  So, as I was saying, those are our shared traits: NOT. If truth be told     I simply can’t hold a candle to Julia.

COOKING IN THE DEEP SOUTH FARMER'S MARKET STYLE | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

On the other hand, if Julia were to describe me she would probably identify me as a “cook” first and foremost.

COOKING IN THE DEEP SOUTH FARMER'S MARKET STYLE | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

She knows I love nothing more than to prepare home cooked meals for my family. She knows I cook for love, and we have shared lots of my home cooked meals together.

COOKING IN THE DEEP SOUTH FARMER'S MARKET STYLE | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

I have described many of Julia’s wonderful traits, all of which completely make up for the fact that Julia does not cook. So when my son Nathan, Julia’s son-in-law, told me he had been cooking in the deep south Farmers Market style with, none other than Julia, I was very surprised! So he sent me the photographs to prove it!

COOKING IN THE DEEP SOUTH FARMER'S MARKET STYLE | River Market Tuscaloosa | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

On a recent trip to Tuscaloosa Nathan & Louisa dressed my Grandchildren in Gingham and set off with Julia in tow to the River Market in Tuscaloosa.

COOKING IN THE DEEP SOUTH FARMER'S MARKET STYLE | River Market Tuscaloosa | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

I was actually surprised to learn of this market because in my visits to Tuscaloosa vegetables were far and few between. Call me an ignorant California girl, but honestly, as much as I adore the South, I’ve always had trouble finding anything green to eat there. Delicious as it all is, the typical Alabama restaurant fare involves a lot of brown fried stuff, plenty of BBQ’d beef accompanied by slices of white bread and butter with nary a salad to be found. But I see now that fresh veggies really do exist in the home of the Crimson Tide.

COOKING IN THE DEEP SOUTH FARMER'S MARKET STYLE | River Market Tuscaloosa | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

In fact they come in the form of things other than collard greens and okra, however, those 2 southern staples are not to be overlooked. And just look at those fabulous wooden crates they are displayed in!

COOKING IN THE DEEP SOUTH FARMER'S MARKET STYLE | River Market Tuscaloosa | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

COOKING IN THE DEEP SOUTH FARMER'S MARKET STYLE | River Market Tuscaloosa | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Apparently my Granddaughter requested that they purchase some red radishes to match her blouse.

COOKING IN THE DEEP SOUTH FARMER'S MARKET STYLE | River Market Tuscaloosa | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

In addition to the fresh stuff, one vendor at the market had canned vegetables for sale.

COOKING IN THE DEEP SOUTH FARMER'S MARKET STYLE | River Market Tuscaloosa | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Returning home, Nathan, (my mini-me when it comes to cooking) elicited the services of none-other-than Julia as his Sous Chef. Fresh kale was drizzled with olive oil and baked into crispy kale chips, YUM!

COOKING IN THE DEEP SOUTH FARMER'S MARKET STYLE | River Market Tuscaloosa | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comCOOKING IN THE DEEP SOUTH FARMER'S MARKET STYLE | River Market Tuscaloosa | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Homemade hickory ash smoked goat cheese, accompanied by walnuts, baby greens, radishes and turnips comprised the salad.

COOKING IN THE DEEP SOUTH FARMER'S MARKET STYLE | River Market Tuscaloosa | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

COOKING IN THE DEEP SOUTH FARMER'S MARKET STYLE | River Market Tuscaloosa | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

And just for good measure, delicious, ripe pears were mulled in wine before adding them to the salad as well.

COOKING IN THE DEEP SOUTH FARMER'S MARKET STYLE | River Market Tuscaloosa | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

COOKING IN THE DEEP SOUTH FARMER'S MARKET STYLE | River Market Tuscaloosa | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Vine ripened tomatoes were sliced…

COOKING IN THE DEEP SOUTH FARMER'S MARKET STYLE | River Market Tuscaloosa | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

and okra was lightly coated in cornmeal and fried to crispy perfection. Actually, Nathan says no one makes fried okra as well as Julia. In fact, he said he doesn’t like okra unless Julia makes it! Who knew?

COOKING IN THE DEEP SOUTH FARMER'S MARKET STYLE | River Market Tuscaloosa | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Butternut squash was roasted…

COOKING IN THE DEEP SOUTH FARMER'S MARKET STYLE | River Market Tuscaloosa | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

and black eyed peas were boiled.

COOKING IN THE DEEP SOUTH FARMER'S MARKET STYLE | River Market Tuscaloosa | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

The result was this fully vegetarian dinner, complete with the obligatory cornbread of course.

COOKING IN THE DEEP SOUTH FARMER'S MARKET STYLE | River Market Tuscaloosa | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

So there you have it: COOKING IN THE DEEP SOUTH FARMERS MARKET STYLE.

My son Nathan proved it really can be done! 

ROLL TIDE!

Here’s the Menu

Salad of Baby Greens, Wine-Poached Pears, Smoked Goat Cheese, Walnuts & Fresh Radishes & Turnips

Roasted Butternut Squash

Fresh Garden Tomatoes 

Black-eyed Peas 

Roasted Kale

Fried Okra 

Thanks for dropping in!  Do please leave a comment below.  I’d love to hear from you!

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All opinions expressed in this post are my own. Unless otherwise credited, all photos are the original property of Celia Becker @ www.AfterOrangeCounty.com and may not be reproduced without specific permission.

Comments

  • Lynne

    What a fun, joyful and inspirational post, Celia! Your grands in gingham . . . absolutely precious! Have a great week!
    w/L

  • Ahh, thank you so much Lynne!

  • Ruth Lester

    Great article! And WHAT A MENU!

  • Thank you Ruth! I only hope you get as lucky as me when you become a mother in law. XO