Southern Traditions

I am absolutely mesmerized by various Southern traditions. The South is uniquely made up of various culture, creating a new one in its own right. I love this so much. However, it’s easy to be drawn into other cultures and fail to see what’s so special about your own.

For me, this is best highlighted by my own family’s Christmas Eve meal. Instead of having the same food each year and having that be our tradition, we explore new cultures and even time periods. In 2016 we had an Italian feast, and in 2017 we were transported back to the 1950s. This is our personal tradition.

I’ve always been one to romanticize what others do. After watching Pocahontas, I desparately wanted to be Native American. It’s this way with everything, though. I think it’s what makes etiquette so special to me. Traditions are the foundation of who we are, making traditions a cornerstone of culture. I get such a thrill learning about new people and new cultures.

I had the opportunity when I was in undergrad to study abroad in China. Again, I was struck with wanderlust. I genuniely felt sad at the thought of leaving this world without ever having seen it.

While we may not be able to travel extensively now, I enjoy bringing other parts of the world to my family.

However, it’s also important for me to not forget about the culture I live in. I mean something on a more micro level, though, than Southern. The South has several regionally distinct areas that all have their own sub-culture and traditions.

Today I want to highlight a favorite tradition of mine here locally in Hopkins County, Texas – Hopkins County Stew. It’s amazing. If you’ve never tried it, I enjoy mine best with crackers crushed in it to soak up some of the broth, loaded with cheese and a side of pickles (which may or may not also end up in the stew). It’s simple and comforting. If you’ve never made it before, this cold weather is the perfect time to start! Enjoy! Learn more about our annual stew contest! Fun fact: I worked this event the day before Grant was born!

P.S. If you try it, let me know what you think!

 

Entertaining Made Easy

THANK YOU to everyone who sent an email recently asking about easy entertaining recipes. I’m going to try to encompass the three different occasions mentioned. Also, if you ever have a topic request or a question you would like answered, please feel free to email etiquettebyemily@gmail.com. I do my very best to answer each one!

So, for starters, if you are taking a side to a potluck dinner, these garlic-cheese biscuits are amazing. Amazing. They couldn’t be any easier, but I will admit it – I cheat and use biscuit mix (Bisquick).

Mix 2 c. of bisquick with 2/3 c. of milk and 3/4 c. of cheddar cheese until just combined. I mix by hand so as to not make the dough hard. Then, I drop 8 huge spoonfuls on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake at 450 degrees for 6-8 minutes. Mix 1 stick of melted butter with 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder. Brush on top (don’t be shy) of the warm biscuits as soon as they come out of the oven. Again, amazing. These are excellent warm, but they’re still just as good at room temp. They’re very transportable, and they’re the perfect gift for someone who is new to the neighborhood.

Now, Banana Muffins. Yay! If you are hosting a brunch, these are it.

Mix 3 overly ripe bananas with 1/4 c. of honey. Add in 1/2 c. of greek yogurt, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon (yes, it sounds like a lot) of vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. After all of that is very well mixed, add in 1 1/2 c. of unbleached flour, 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Mix until just wet. Then, toss in 1/2 c. of semi-sweet chocolate chips. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Mine usually take about 23 minutes. It makes one dozen. *Note* Make sure to line your muffin tin. These are very low fat, and that causes them to stick more than normal.

Finally, the easiest side in the world. Roasted asparagus. I simply cut or break the woody ends off of the asparagus, lined them out on a cookie sheet, toss on a little olive oil and salt. That’s it. Roast at 425 degrees for about 12-15 minutes. My kids eat them up every time.Thank you for reading!