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Phyllis' Fixin's

This winter has been a great, big ZERO, as far as I'm concerned. I started thinking, "Oh, I Wish I were in the Land of Cotton"! Of course, their winter hasn't been all that great either, this year. So, thoughts of Dixie led me to some good old Southern cooking thoughts. I don't like okra or jambalaya, though. However, just lead me to grits, hush puppies or chicken fried steak!

Corn Fritters

3 C. oil for frying

1 C. sifted flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. white sugar

1 egg, beaten

1/2 C. milk

1 T. shortening, melted

1 (12 oz.) can whole kernel corn, drained

Heat oil in a heavy pot or deep fryer to 365°. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Beat together egg, milk, and melted shortening; stir into flour mixture. Mix in the drained corn kernels. Drop fritter batter by spoonfuls into the hot oil; fry until golden. Drain on paper towels. About 12 servings.

Southern Chicken Fried Steak

2 C. flour

salt-free herb seasoning to taste

salt and pepper to taste

2 eggs, beaten

2 lbs. beef cutlets (recipe says veal cutlets, but I don't eat veal)

1/4 C. oil for frying

In a shallow bowl, combine flour, herb seasoning, salt and pepper. In another bowl, place the beaten eggs. Coat each cutlet with the flour mixture, then dip into the egg, then back into the flour mixture. Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Place cutlets into hot oil, and cook until browned, about 10 minutes on each side.

If a little egg yolk gets into the whites during separating, use a piece of bread to remove any traces of yolk- it attracts the small droplets of yolk like a magnet.

Hoe Cake

Also called Johnny Cake--was originally baked on a farm hoe--a Southern classic.

1 1/2 T. shortening

2 C. self-rising flour

1 C. milk

2 pinches garlic salt

Preheat oven to 425°. Grease a well-seasoned cast iron skillet with the shortening, and place it in the oven as it heats. Whisk together the flour and milk in a bowl, to make a thick, but still runny batter. Remove the hot greased skillet from the oven, and quickly sprinkle a pinch of garlic salt over the bottom of the skillet. Immediately pour in the batter, and sprinkle the top with a pinch of garlic salt. Return the skillet to the oven, and bake in the preheated oven until the cake has risen and the top is golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Southern Ambrosia

1 (11 oz.) can Mandarin oranges, drained

1 (15 oz.) can pineapple tidbits, drained

1 (8 oz.) can fruit cocktail, drained

1 1/2 C. miniature marshmallows

1/2 C. coconut, shredded

1/2 C. walnuts, chopped

1 C. sour cream

Combine ingredients and let set overnight. Should serve about 10.

Top 10 Things a Cat Thinks About (This is for Deb, a friend and fellow cat lover)

1. I could have sworn I heard a can opener.

2. Is there something I'm not getting when humans make noise with their mouths?

3. Why doesn't the government do something about dogs?

4. I wonder if Morris really liked 9-Lives, or did he have ULTERIOR motives?

5. Hmmm...if dogs serve humans and humans serve cats, why can't we ever get those STUPID dogs to do anything for us?

6. This looks like a good spot for a nap.

7. Hey- no kidding, I'm sure that's the can opener.

8. Would humans have built a vast and complex civilization of their own if we cats hadn't given them a reason to invent sofas and can openers in the first place?

9. If there's a God, how can He allow neutering?

10. If that really is the can opener, I'll play finicky just to let THEM know who's boss!

Think green- Think spring!