Something happened Thursday that I’ve never experienced and, most likely, will never again. The event was so intense and emotional that I was exhausted by the night’s end.
I held the story of my life in my hands.
My copies of the cookbooks shipped from the publisher. While I’ve read the manuscript 1,000 times and reviewed the proofs about the same number, for the first time Thursday, I was able to hold a hard copy in my hands and feel the weight and texture, look at it, turn the pages and smell it. Something inside me tried to convince me that I should count toes and fingers.
While the cookbook has the expected recipes and food photos, it contains much more. It shares my history, my personal story, photos of my grandchildren and Basset Hound plus photos of things that have great sentimental value.
Skyhorse Publishing did an incredible job on the layout and design. I hope I don’t sound boastful and too big for my britches when I say I think the book is stunning. I’m keenly aware that I was able to use my God-given talent plus benefit from the talent of the team at Skyhorse. I didn’t get to this point on my own. Scores of folks prayed for me and over me and have been for generations. This book has been in the works for all my 59 years plus an untold number of generations before that.
If you haven’t purchased a book and would like to do so, click on the book cover on the right side of this page and it will take you directly to the Amazon site. Presale copies are scheduled to ship out next week, ahead of the official release date of May 5.
As I page through the cookbook, the recurring thought in mind is , “Gosh, I sure do have a beautiful life.”
Y’all come see us!
Spicy Pimento Cheese Biscuit Bites
From: Biscuits: Sweet and Savory Southern Recipes from the All-American Kitchen, by Jackie Garvin
Yield: about 15
Preheat oven to 450 degrees
I felt compelled to have a pimento cheese (we say pimmenocheese) recipe lest I forsake my Southern heritage. Kids in the South are raised on pimento cheese sandwiches. The Master’s, a prestigious PGA major golf tournament held at the famous Augusta National Golf Club, has a long standing pimento cheese sandwich tradition. A favorite childhood lunch for me was pimmenocheese on toasted white bread with pink lemonade. For some reason, I preferred pink lemonade over regular although there’s no difference in the taste, only the color. From kitchen sandwiches to major golf tournaments and everything in between, we are pimento cheese people. For this recipe, use your favorite homemade or purchase a quality store bought variety.
Placing the jalapeño slice on top of the pimento cheese instead of under it, give the pepper slice a little time to roast which adds flavor and brings out a little of the sweetmess.
¾ cup soft winter wheat all-purpose flour
1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ cup plain cornmeal
¼ cup unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
½ cup buttermilk
½ to ¾ cups pimento cheese
15 pickled jalapeno pepper slices
Place flour, baking powder, kosher salt and cornmeal in a bowl and stir lightly. Rub or cut in butter until flour resembles coarse meal.
Pour in buttermilk and stir until dough is wet and sticky. Turn out onto a well-floured surface. Sprinkle flour on top. Gently work in the flour, adding more as needed, until the dough is no longer sticky and holds its shape.
Roll out to ½ inch thick. Cut with a 2 inch biscuit cutter dipped in flour.
With the back of your hand, flatten out the cut out biscuit as much as possible.
Spray a mini-muffin pan with non-stick spray.
Place about a teaspoon of pimento cheese in the center of the biscuit cut out. Press the edges of the cut out toward the center to form a flower shape. Place the biscuit in a mini-muffin cup and top with a pickled jalapeno slice.
Repeat with each biscuit cut out.
Place in a 450 degree oven for 12 minutes or until the cheese is melted and slightly brown and the biscuit is done.
Remove from oven and transfer each biscuit to a cooling rack for 5 minutes. Best served warm.