Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Loretta’s corn salad

So Big Daddy is a Farm Bureau insurance agent. They are an amazing company with a reputation for excellent personal customer service. The people who work for FB are mostly just good people. Good ole folks. From the secretaries, to the managers, to the agents and the adjusters. They are family people who are hardworking and sincerely just want to help. Naturally, the secretaries there need to be extra hard working and amazing because they deal with the public and are the right hands of the agents. When BD started working there many years ago, he had an amazing secretary who is so amazing and still such a big part of our lives, it would be wrong not to mention Renee. She is an amazing cook and I imagine I have several of her recipes to share. She moved and took another job with a different agency, but still Farm Bureau. Love us some Renee and no one can replace her. She delivers a big sack of Christmas goodies to BD every year and he cannot wait to tear into them. In fact the other morning as he was brewing his coffee, he asks me if I could make some cinnamon bread (coffee cake) and I was all like “um…who do I look like? Renee?” I am not sure even if I had her exact recipe (Renee? Can I have it?) I could make mine as good as her’s. She is a great cook, baker, friend, mom and grandmother and I am not sure I qualify. So when she left, we wondered if they would ever get another amazing secretary. There have been some good ones in between but one day, Loretta walks in and BD knew. She was going to be great. And she is. Now there are 2 great secretaries. Big shout out to my girl Tanya…the Desoto Parish FB cake baker!!

Boy is Loretta ever amazing. Our kids adore her. She babysits them and they push us out the door. She is hilarious, big hearted and has a big laugh that makes you smile when you hear it. She keeps a tree in her house that she decorates even in the summer. She is one of a kind. We love us some Loretta. So one year, they had an agency Thanksgiving feast (pretty sure Loretta made that happen) and she made chicken and dressing (omg so good…recipe to be shared later) and a corn salad that made me want to do a happy dance. So so so so good. She emailed me the recipe in time for Christmas that year and I made a batch. It is perfect. I made so much though that we had a ton leftover. So BD took the rest to Bayou LaGrue and it was gone that night after dinner.
So cut to last week and BD tells me he signed me up to make Loretta’s corn salad for their upcoming agency feast. I was a little annoyed to be honest. Like “who do I look like, Loretta?! That is her signature dish!! I cannot do it justice!” I mean, I am supposed to make her dish for her?! What!? But then I remembered I am a food blogger, dang it and my readers might love this recipe. So I will make it and blog the recipe and it will be ok. And it was. And now we have corn salad for their office feast and some for our family dinner. Score! This recipe is a winner. It is fresh and tangy but sweet. It’s just a great fresh side for any meal. It provides some lovely colors for your plate (my mama taught me that was important so I try to make sure our plate is colorful). I think you will love it and I am pretty sure it will be a mainstay for your Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter dinners and many meals in between. Loretta is not great at giving exact measurements in her recipes (none of the great cooks are) so I am having to improvise. You can half the recipe or you can add to it depending on how many folks you are feeding (I am channeling my inner Loretta here). You will love this recipe and if you know Loretta or ever meet her, you will love her too. Thank God for Loretta (and her corn salad recipe). Love you Lolo!

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Loretta and her hubby, Ken

Loretta’s corn salad

serves a bunch of folks…like 12

stuff you need

2 cans Mexican corn, drained
2 cans shoe peg corn, drained
4 carrots, peeled, halved and chopped 2 stalks celery, sliced
1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped (I used green because that is what I had but the red adds color)
1 can petite diced tomatoes, drained (optional)
1 zucchini, halved and then chopped
1 small purple onion, diced
1 cup grape seed oil
1 cup vinegar
2 cups sugar
Kosher salt and black pepper

what to do with the stuff

Ok, add all the veggies into a big bowl. Simple enough. Cover and put in fridge until the dressing is cooled.

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love all the colors!

Now, In a small saucepan, bring grape seed oil, vinegar and sugar to a boil. Once boiling, whisk fairly consistently
while the mixture boils for about 4-5 minutes. The sugar should be completely dissolved or almost anyway. Like this…

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keep whisking if the sugar is still stuck at the bottom.

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ah whisk it, whisk it real good! Chi chi chi chi chi chi chi

Allow the mixture to cool. Pour over corn salad and stir in between pours. Add as much of the mixture as you think is good. Those fresh veggies should be good and evenly covered with that sweet dressing. Yum. Sprinkle with some kosher salt and black pepper for some kick and there you have it!!!

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Sweet corn salad full of fresh veggie goodness…you are so perfect

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you, my awesome readers. I don’t claim to know much, but I do know how important you reading what I write means to me. I appreciate your support, your comments, your encouragement and you just being along for the ride with me. I am grateful for all of you. And so much more. Hope your turkey day is wonderful and full of joy and blessings. When I count my blessings, I count you twice. Much love from my family to yours. ~AMB

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a few of my top blessings at the tree farm yesterday. If local, check out http://www.weaverschristmastreefarm.com. It’s a great experience that you will want to make a family tradition.

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My handsome Farm Bureau agent helping get our tree at the tree farm. I am grateful for such a strong sweet husband. Love that man.

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so grateful for this fur baby. He has the big job of healing hurts and bringing joy…and he does fine. We love him so.

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Pappaw’s sweet potatoes

So Pappaw was Big Daddy’s grandfather.  His daddy’s daddy. He was a very big man in stature (very tall) but he had a meek, quiet demeanor about him that made him so lovable.  He had a way of laughing that was absolutely endearing and boyish.  He was a bossy fellow at times and yet always remained humble.  How that is even possible I don’t know.  That man was something else.  He was 94 when he passed away last Thanksgiving day and he is still missed so much.  He was a wonderful cook.  I spent a good bit of time with him and he taught me quite a bit.  I can still remember when his friend would bring him a big ole box of sweet potatoes.  Boy was he ever proud of those babies.  They were a certain kind and I cannot remember the name…I just know he would get very excited.  After he passed away, Big Daddy went up to the Lodge with his brother and brought back his sweet potato pot. That thing is probably one of my most treasured possessions.  But what I treasure more are the memories of the time when Pappaw would stand in front of the stove and cook his delicious sweet potatoes.  These sweet potatoes are in many ways just like Pappaw was…sweet, simple but yet just enough.  These sweet potatoes are not bothered that they are simple…they rather it that way.  They are equally at home on your holiday plate next to turkey and dressing as they are next to pork chops.  My precious mother in law took over making these when Pappaw finally relinquished his role well past 90 and she does a great job.  Still, Pappaw is missed.  We make them very much like Pappaw, but still…he is missed.  My kids absolutely love this side dish and request for nearly every holiday meal.  They are as much of a staple at our house as Momou’s mac and cheese.  I have always been a candied yams with marshmallows kind of gal because that is what I was raised on.  I still love them and I cannot promise you I won’t be making a small dish of these as well on Thanksgiving day, but Pappaw’s sweet potatoes are really something special.  I hope you will try them and smile when you think of Pappaw.  Such a great man who made such great sweet potatoes.  Pappaw…another one of the many blessings in my life.

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Pappaw listens intently as his great grand tells him all about it…

Pappaw’s Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients

3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced thin

2 Tablespoons vanilla

2 sticks of butter (yes 2 sticks)

2 1/2 cups of sugar (Pappaw would say make sure the package says Pure Cane Sugar…I always do)

1 heaping Tablespoon cinnamon

Instructions

In a big ole skillet or pot, melt your butter over medium heat. Add your peeled and sliced potatoes to the melted butter.  Stir in the sugar, vanilla and cinnamon.  Make sure the potatoes are coated with the butter, sugar mixture.  Over low fire, with the lid on, cook the potatoes until they are tender.  Stir the potatoes almost constantly to ensure they don’t stick.  When you can stick a slice with a fork and it breaks off, they are good and done, about 20-30 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Serve hot.  Repeat every time you want a good heaping helping of down home cooking.  Oh and Pappaw always liked to serve these with purple hulls and  cornbread.

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Pappaw’s trusty sweet potato skillet…lots of delicious food cooked in there. I am so honored to have it.