Y'all Come Over: A Celebration of Southern Hospitality, Food, and Memories

Y'all Come Over: A Celebration of Southern Hospitality, Food, and Memories

by Patsy Caldwell, Amy Lyles Wilson

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781401604851
Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date: 10/15/2013
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishing
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 638,781
File size: 11 MB
Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

About the Author

Patsy Caldwell has been a culinary professional for more than fifty years in a career that has included teaching, catering, cooking, and writing. She is a mother of two and grandmother of two. She lives in Charlotte, Tennessee next to the water tower with her husband Bill where they enjoy entertaining anywhere from two to twenty two people depending on the occasion.
Writer Amy Lyles Wilson was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. Now based in Nashville, Tennessee, Wilson wrote the text for the New York Times bestselling cookbook Cooking with Friends, and her essay “The Guts to Keep Going,” about helping her mother adjust to widowhood, was featured on National Public Radio’s “This I Believe” and appears in This I Believe II: More Personal Philosophies from Remarkable Men and Women (Henry Holt, 2008). Wilson holds academic degrees from Millsaps College, the University of Mississippi, and Vanderbilt University Divinity School. An affiliate of Amherst Writers and Artists, she leads writing workshops on such topics as creativity, spirituality, and grief. You can find her at www.amylyleswilson.com.

Read an Excerpt

Y'all Come Over

By Patsy Caldwell, Amy Lyles Wilson

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2013 Amy Lyles Wilson, Patsy Caldwell, and Bryan Curtis
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4016-0485-1


Family Fireworks

Any way you look at it, last year's Fourth of July cookout was a disaster for the Muller family; at least that's how Irma sees it. Even if you rejoice in the fact that little Isabella's recovery from the bee stings—who knew she was allergic?—was rapid and complete, you couldn't deny that the entire affair was a fiasco. Even if you're grateful, and Irma is, that there was only minor damage to Junior's brand-new all-terrain vehicle when the tree fell on it during the thunderstorm, you couldn't ignore the reality that not one member of the Muller family left with a smile on his or her face. And the food? Please don't get Irma started.

She won't say another word about how if she'd been in charge instead of Cousin Mary Jean, none of the unfortunate incidents—did Irma mention the forks that cracked in two every time you tried to spear a baked bean?—would have occurred, but that's the honest truth. Mary Jean didn't even spring for the good plasticware, that's how cheap she is. (Did Irma just say that out loud?)

Now that Irma's in charge of this year's event, she's moving the celebration from the state park to her backyard. The park wasn't worth it, not after they lost Big Irma last year, only to find her in the restroom waiting patiently for someone to bring her a handful of toilet paper. Add to that the fact that they weren't allowed to shoot fireworks on county property, and nobody had been happy. Never again, says Irma.

Thankfully, she's always been hyper-organized, a trait that comes in handy at a time like this, even if her fine attention to detail does occasionally get on her loved ones' nerves. She's ordered two tents in case of rain, and there are five boxes of bottled water in the carport for those who can't take the heat. She's hired Boffo the Clown to put in an appearance for the kids, and she's invited the volunteer firefighters in case Uncle Fred gets a little out of control with the Roman candles; they're his favorites. Irma's place is just beyond the county line, but you can't be too sure. Fred means well; he's just trying to be festive. But now that he refuses to wear his hearing aids, the chances of reining him in are greatly diminished. Irma decides she'd better bake an extra apple sheet cake for the fire chief in case she has to do some sweet-talking.

Irma knows that even with her uncanny ability to anticipate almost any potential outcome, there are some things she can't control. Even if you pay your taxes in full, love your neighbor as yourself, and limit your swearing to two curse words a week, sometimes bad things do happen to good people.

"Even God blinks," Irma says, "so you might as well be prepared."

The risk of Irma's mother showing up in that red, white, and blue sequined T-shirt, the one that emphasizes Big Irma's ample bosom, is another thing Irma will have to let go of.

"It's one of the few pleasures I have left," responds her mother whenever Irma tries to talk to her about her loud clothing choices. Irma would use the word tacky instead of loud, but she doesn't want to hurt her mother's feelings.

"I'm an old woman," says Big Irma, her dangling daisy earrings, the ones she bought in Branson, swinging back and forth. "I've earned the right to dress as I please."

So Irma realizes she can't rein in Fred's penchant for pyrotechnics or tone down Big Irma's tendency to dress inappropriately for her age. But the food—the food Irma can control. She'll make her barbecue peanuts, which the guys couldn't get enough of down at the Rotary back when Dave was alive. She'll ask Cousin Charlotte to bring her corn and roasted peanut salad, which might sound a little strange but tastes fabulous. Once, they caught Charlotte's husband eating it straight from the serving bowl when he thought no one was looking. That's how good it is. Of course, there will be plenty of meat: barbecue chicken and smoked pork baby back ribs. She'll throw in some bacon cheddar deviled eggs, because they're her boyfriend Hal's favorite. Imagine, caring what a man thinks at her age!

After Dave died, and after dodging romantic overtures from several members of the grief group at All Souls Chapel, Irma had just about given up on love. But in walked Hal one day while Irma was arranging a horseshoe-shaped spray of carnations down at the Bouquet Boutique where she works two afternoons a week and one Saturday a month. Why Sylvia Hinkle wanted such a garish display on her recently departed husband's final resting place is beyond Irma, but it is not her station to judge. Something to do with all those years of his playing the ponies, perhaps. Irma liked to have fallen for Hal right on the spot, seeing as how he was buying lilies of the valley, his mother's favorite, to take to her out at Happy Trails Retirement Village. You know what they say about a man who is good to his mother.

Just to be double-dog sure that everyone will enjoy the cookout, Aunt Edith is going to mix up some fruit cocktail punch. It makes you think you're getting a little buzz, without the hooch. Perfect for such a God-fearing yet fun-loving family as the Mullers. Edith got the idea for the punch after a holiday party with the Uptowners, her bridge club, where Virginia Tarver served her secret recipe rum punch. Several of the ladies thought they were tipsy, but it turns out there's no rum in the punch; hence the secret. Oh, did they have a good laugh when they found out.

With a little luck, a fun time will be had by all this Fourth of July. And with Irma in charge, the Mullers' chances are pretty good.

Blackberry Lemonade

Blackberry picking in the South has got to be one of the hottest and hardest activities there is. But this drink is so delicious it makes up for it.

8 cups water, divided
1 cup sugar
2 cups blackberries
1 cup lemon juice
Fresh mint for garnish

Place 2 cups of water and the sugar in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes. Cool. In the bowl of a blender puree the blackberries mixed with the cooled sugar water until smooth. Strain into a large pitcher. Add the remaining 6 cups of water and lemon juice. Serve over ice and garnish with fresh mint.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Fruit Cocktail Punch

Not even the most hardcore preacher will be able to resist this "cocktail."

1 quart grape juice
1 cup orange juice
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar
1 (15-ounce) can fruit cocktail, drained
1 (32-ounce) bottle lemon-lime soda
Ice ring for serving
Orange and lemon slices for garnish

Mix the grape juice, orange juice, lemon juice, sugar, and fruit cocktail together in a gallon container. Place in the refrigerator until serving time. Add the lemon-lime soda and pour all together in a punch bowl with an ice ring. Serve chilled with orange and lemon slices.

Makes 24 servings.

Corn and Roasted Peanut Salad

This salad is the perfect accompaniment to grilled chicken and pork.

4 cups whole kernel corn
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1 cup salted peanuts

Cook the corn in boiling salted water for 5 minutes. Drain and cool. In a glass bowl whisk together the oil, vinegar, salt, and black pepper. Add the jalapeño, red onion, and salted peanuts. Stir in the cooled corn, combine, and mix thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours before serving.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Hush Puppies

Bread is the key to any good meal. Some people like the hush puppies as much as they like the fish. Joe Fowler is the king of hush puppies in our circle.

1 1/2 cups self-rising cornmeal
1/2 cup self-rising flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons finely chopped jalapeño pepper
(2 medium-size peppers)
1 cup buttermilk
1 large egg, beaten
Vegetable oil for frying

In a large bowl whisk the cornmeal, flour, salt, black pepper, and sugar. In a separate bowl combine the onion, jalapeño, buttermilk, and egg. Stir into the cornmeal mixture, mixing well. Let the batter sit for 15 minutes or until the Fried Catfish (page 17) has been fried.

Preheat the oil to 350 degrees in a large skillet. Drop the batter by tablespoonful into the hot oil. This can be done by using two spoons or a small ice-cream dipper. Fry 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towel and serve hot.

Makes 20 pieces.

Note: Be careful not to crowd the skillet or the temperature of the oil will drop.

Southern Fried Dill Pickles

While these are great to eat by themselves, you can also serve them on sandwiches.

2 large eggs
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Vegetable oil for frying
1 (32-ounce) jar dill pickle slices
Prepared ranch dressing for dipping

In a medium bowl combine the eggs, 1/4 cup flour, buttermilk, hot sauce, cayenne pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. In a separate bowl combine the remaining 2 cups flour, cornmeal, the remaining 1 teaspoon salt, and black pepper.

Preheat the oil in a deep fryer to 375 degrees. Drain the dill pickle slices and dry slightly with a paper towel. Dip the slices into the buttermilk mixture and then in the cornmeal mixture. Deep-fry until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Serve with ranch dressing.

Makes 12 servings.

Fire and Ice Tomatoes

This is such a beautiful dish to place on your table—indoors or outside.

1 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons celery seed
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
4 medium tomatoes, peeled and sliced into 3 slices each

Combine the vinegar, water, sugar, dry mustard, celery seed, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Cool for 10 minutes. Place alternate layers of onion and tomatoes in a wide-mouth quart jar. Pour the liquid over the tomato and onion layers. Cover and chill for 6 hours.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Cheddar Bacon Hot Water Cornbread

I am always amazed just how many of these my two grandchildren, Scott and Paige, can put away. They are like bottomless pits when I put these on a platter.

1 1/2 cups self-rising cornmeal
2 cups boiling water
Vegetable oil for frying
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Place the self-rising cornmeal in a medium bowl. Pour the boiling water over the cornmeal and stir until well mixed. Cool for 30 minutes. Add the oil to a large skillet and preheat to 375 degrees. Stir into the cornmeal mixture the Cheddar cheese, crumbled bacon, and red pepper flakes. Take the mixture out by tablespoonful and shape into balls. Using the palm of your hands, flatten to 1/2-inch thickness. Fry in the hot oil for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain on a paper towel before serving.

Makes 10 servings.

Three-Bean Baked Beans

It's the combination of three different beans that makes this dish a hit.

1 pound ground beef
1 cup onion, finely chopped
1 (28-ounce) can pork and beans
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can lima beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup barbecue sauce
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped (3 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the beef to the skillet, stirring to break up and cooking until it begins to brown. Add the onion and continue to cook until the meat is thoroughly brown. Drain the drippings. Add the pork and beans, kidney beans, lima beans, barbecue sauce, brown sugar, jalapeño, and salt. Stir to mix well. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Bake covered for 45 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake for 10 more minutes.

Makes 12 servings.

TCB Slaw

Elvis would approve of how you take care of business with this tomato, cabbage, and bacon slaw. And besides, it's downright un-American to have a picnic without slaw.


1 medium head of cabbage (6 to 8 cups)
1/4 cup chopped green onion
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 large tomato, diced
1 cup sliced radishes
1 large carrot, peeled and shredded


3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons vinegar

Shred the cabbage into a large bowl. Add the green onion, bacon, tomatoes, radishes, and carrots.

In a small bowl mix the mayonnaise together with the salt, sugar, and vinegar. Stir into the cabbage mixture. Cover and chill 2 hours prior to serving.

Makes 10 servings.

Red, White, and Blue Potato Salad

This is my take on a gorgeous potato salad that I had for the first time many years ago at the Greenbrier in West Virginia.

1 pound small purple potatoes
1 pound small red potatoes
1 pound small white potatoes
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
3 large boiled eggs, finely chopped
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Place the purple potatoes in a medium saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Drain and cool slightly. In a large saucepan combine the red potatoes and white potatoes, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Drain and cool slightly. Cut the potatoes into 1/2-inch-thick slices and place in a large bowl. Add the red onion, red pepper, parsley, and chopped eggs.

In a small bowl combine the red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, Dijon mustard, and black pepper. Whisk to mix well. Pour over the potato mixture and toss gently to combine. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled. If serving chilled, cover and refrigerate.

Makes 8 servings.

Fried Catfish

I grew up with big family fish fries. My mother would not allow any guest to drink milk at the fish fry. What an old wives' tale. I love to entertain my guests with fish and all the trimmings, usually meaning white beans and fried okra. Very early on Mother served what we in the South call light bread with our fish fry, but I serve hush puppies instead.

2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
2 pounds catfish fillets
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Vegetable oil for frying
Ketchup or tartar sauce, optional

In a large, shallow dish mix together the eggs, buttermilk, hot sauce, and mustard. Add the catfish and soak for 15 minutes. Drain well. (I also like to cut the catfish into finger-size pieces and use as an appetizer.) In a large bowl mix together the cornmeal, flour, salt, baking powder, and cayenne pepper. Roll the catfish in the cornmeal mixture.

Pour the oil in a cast-iron skillet to measure 1 1/2 inches or use a deep fryer. Heat the oil to 375 degrees. Cook a few pieces at a time so as not to crowd. Fry 3 to 4 minutes per side or until golden brown. Drain and serve with ketchup and tartar sauce.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Note: This recipe can easily be doubled.

Smoked Pork Baby Back Ribs

Don't forget the moist towelettes when you serve these.

2 1/2 tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon black pepper
3 racks baby back ribs (8 to 9 pounds)
8 cups of your favorite wood chips soaked in water for 30 minutes
Barbecue sauce, optional

In a small bowl mix together the salt, cayenne pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, paprika, dry mustard, and black pepper. Rub on both sides of the ribs. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.

Prepare the smoker by placing 2 cups of the drained wood chips in the smoker pan. Set the temperature at 220 degrees. Lay the ribs on the racks. Add 2 more cups of the wood chips to the smoker box every hour. Cook for 3 1/2 to 4 hours. If desired brush with your favorite barbecue sauce. Remove from the smoker and cover with foil until serving time.

Makes 8 servings.

Note: To make the ribs in the oven, place the ribs on a large pan and wrap in aluminum foil. Cook at the same temperature and for the same amount of time you would in a smoker.

Barbecue Chicken with Bacon and Cheese Topping

These chicken breasts also make great sandwiches.

8 (5- to 6-ounce) boneless chicken breasts
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Pepper Jack cheese
1/2 cup chopped tomato
1 bunch green onion, chopped

Preheat a gas or charcoal grill or heat a grill pan over medium-high heat on the stovetop. Season the chicken breasts with salt and black pepper. Grill for 5 minutes on each side.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the cooked chicken on a large baking pan. Coat each chicken piece with 1 tablespoon barbecue sauce. Top each piece with the crumbled bacon. Divide the Cheddar and Pepper Jack cheese evenly among each piece of chicken. Cook for 4 minutes or until the cheese melts. Remove and garnish with the chopped tomato and green onion. Serve immediately.

Makes 8 servings.

Excerpted from Y'all Come Over by Patsy Caldwell, Amy Lyles Wilson. Copyright © 2013 Amy Lyles Wilson, Patsy Caldwell, and Bryan Curtis. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Introduction....................     ix     

CHAPTER 1: Family Fireworks....................     1     

CHAPTER 2: A House Divided....................     23     

CHAPTER 3: After the Ball....................     45     

CHAPTER 4: Dinner for Two ... Me and You....................     63     

CHAPTER 5: Dinner with the Preacher....................     83     

CHAPTER 6: All Politics Are Local....................     103     

CHAPTER 7: Lending a Helping Hand....................     123     

CHAPTER 8: Cooking from the Garden....................     143     

CHAPTER 9: Cooking with Honey....................     171     

CHAPTER 10: Making Memories....................     199     

CHAPTER 11: Surprise, Surprise....................     217     

CHAPTER 12: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner....................     237     

Acknowledgments....................     253     

Index....................     255     

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Y'All Come Over: A Celebration of Southern Hospitality, Food, and Memories 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
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