Forgotten Southern Recipes
July 30, 2018 10:47 AM   Subscribe

From Burgoo to Pear Salad to Slaw Dog Some are very geographically specific, others are just "southern," but they all deserve a resurgence, and many are getting it with the new chefs' versions. Recipes are included.

Ones I grew up eating regularly (coastal Carolina) are 2, 3, 7, 12, 16, 30. Slaw Dog is #30, a hot dog on a top-opening bun with chili and slaw, and mayo by gum, though they picture it with mustard (shudder).
posted by MovableBookLady (32 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
Love it. But given the fact that my extended family makes (or in my lifetime made) most of this stuff I’m not buying “forgotten”. In particular my grandma made great divinity, which was notoriously difficult to pull off. Great list!
posted by hilberseimer at 10:53 AM on July 30, 2018 [3 favorites]

8 / 30
posted by RolandOfEld at 10:57 AM on July 30, 2018

See, I always thought a slaw dog was a hot dog with just slaw on top. (Which can be really good, if the slaw isn't too wet.) Never heard of one with chili, though. That might be good if I made my own...
posted by mephron at 11:10 AM on July 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

I never saw any of these growing up, but the southern food I've been dreaming about since 7th grade summer camp and never seen since is chicken bog, which seems to fit in with these. Also, unfortunately, the cracker-mayonaise salad sounds delicious to me.
posted by gaybobbie at 11:27 AM on July 30, 2018 [3 favorites]

Holy shit, divinity, I had forgotten about divinity, now I must immediately make some for myself!

(Oh man, my Nana used to make that pear "salad" - I do not miss eating that.)
posted by darchildre at 11:32 AM on July 30, 2018

I think I have recipe variations for all of these in my collection of church lady cookbooks (and civic clubs, and the local bridge league) that I inherited from my mother and grandmother. The tomato aspic bears a stunning similarity to a tomato "congealed salad" my grandmother made for pretty much every family gathering (with variations for fruit, other vegetables, and even a chicken salad version.) Bacon crackers don't last 10 seconds when you put them out (I made them at work once in the microwave and one of my senior staff ran up to the Kroger to get more crackers and bacon when I ran out of what I had brought.)

Likewise the tomato pudding - that usually showed up on a plate *with* the pear salad. Served with an Ice Cream Scoop.

I'm not sure these are so much forgotten as they were rarely things you ever saw at restaraunts when I was growing up in Georgia. These were all home fare, make-do recipes my family (and the families we hung out with) grew up eating. It's kind of fun that some restaraunts are incorporating them into their menus.

I do encourage anyone who has not had a chili-slaw dog to try them. Go with the chili without the beans, and the tighter/thicker the chili, the better. We didn't put mustard or mayo on ours, but the slaw was always mayo based. Heated hot dog on the bottom, heated chili (as opposed to hot spicy) and the slaw to cool the whole thing down. It's the messiest, most yummy thing ever. (And yes, if you visit Atlanta and hit the Varsity downtown, you can get one of theirs. You have to tell them to hold the mustard though.)
posted by allandsome at 12:03 PM on July 30, 2018 [4 favorites]

If you want to see an hour long documentary about Burgoo, you’re in luck!
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 12:12 PM on July 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

They identify them as West Virginia Dogs, but the slaw/chili/onions/mustard is what I grew up with in North Carolina (I opted out of the mustard and the slaw as a kid). I also definitely grew up around liver pudding*, in the sense that my dad ate it and the rest of us tried not to think about it too much. He's also the type who likes checking to see if the local KFCs carry liver and gizzards when he travels.

*What they call liver mush, a name that dominates in certain parts of NC, including not too far from where my family is from, but somehow totally missed my family to the point that my dad was mystified to hear it called that in a Mitford book when he was well into his 50s.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:19 PM on July 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

I left North Carolina five years ago, and I still miss slaw dogs. (With mustard, please.) I can also attest that livermush and brains with eggs are not forgotten, though I never had the bravery to try either one.
posted by Daily Alice at 12:20 PM on July 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

Foundation in Raleigh has (or maybe had, I haven't been in a while) a Coke and peanuts drink that was pretty good.
posted by Rock Steady at 12:22 PM on July 30, 2018

Coke and peanuts weren't a big part of my childhood, beyond the reference in that Barbara Mandrell song, but I tried it as an adult and it was pretty good! A nice afternoon pick-me-up.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:27 PM on July 30, 2018

There was a peppering of restaurants that served some trendy renditions of burgoo when the whole farm to table, back to roots, let's steal from Appalachia wave hit. I haven't seen many since.

None had squirrel.
posted by Young Kullervo at 12:29 PM on July 30, 2018

I heard of the stack cake as "Appalachian wedding cake." The story was that when a girl in the mountains got married, the women in the community would each bring a layer for the cake. I don't remember who was supposed to bring the apple sauce.

My dad likes brains all right, but it's one of the things Mom won't have him eat in the house because of the smell of the opened can. (A can of mustard sardines got him sent to the stoop once.)

Not referenced was perloo, a stew that I often saw in my parents' old Pogo books. It was a mystery to me in Mississippi; turns out it's from a much different region, foodwise, closer to the Atlantic coast.
posted by Countess Elena at 1:00 PM on July 30, 2018

Also not referenced is Brunswick Stew, which was very common where I grew up. Brunswick County NC was just across the river so that's where we all thought it originated, but there's lot of contention about that. Ours had squirrel but that changed to chicken as people got more "citified."
posted by MovableBookLady at 1:16 PM on July 30, 2018

Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Missing Chili Dog er Dog
posted by fallingbadgers at 1:17 PM on July 30, 2018

No squirrel, but I don't think Brunswick Stew is really forgotten; you can get it at pretty much any barbecue place. I'm heading home this weekend (Burlington, then Morehead) and I can't imagine I'll go the whole weekend without a bowl. Good stuff.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:26 PM on July 30, 2018

tomato aspic is the only aspic permitted in my presence. also i am not usually a fan of icebox pies as they are usually pretty cloying but the pretzel strawberry one sounds v nice and i support its efforts.
posted by poffin boffin at 1:59 PM on July 30, 2018

Seriously, it's Dr Pepper and peanuts.
posted by Quonab at 2:05 PM on July 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

No, it's RC Cola and peanuts along with a Moon Pie...
posted by jim in austin at 2:12 PM on July 30, 2018 [4 favorites]

> They identify them as West Virginia Dogs, but the slaw/chili/onions/mustard is what I grew up with in North Carolina...

Everywhere I've visited, hot dogs are named after somewhere else. Michigan has coney dogs, Montreal has Michigan dogs, and so on.
posted by ardgedee at 2:56 PM on July 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

Big Ed's City Market in Raleigh still has pork brains with scrambled eggs (number 26 in the OP) on the menu. (They also have herring roe with scrambled eggs, which I guess you could call the eggs'n'eggs.)
posted by ardgedee at 2:57 PM on July 30, 2018

Best slaw dog I ever ate was the Blue Galactic Dog at Jack's Cosmic Dogs in Mt. Pleasant, SC (just up the road a piece from Charleston).
posted by HillbillyInBC at 2:58 PM on July 30, 2018

I am going to make Cheerwine vinegar immediately.
posted by bradbane at 3:34 PM on July 30, 2018

*sigh* Garden & Gun. The magazine for kids who think they're too good for that gift subscription to Southern Living their parents renew every year so it goes in the guest bathroom while G&G goes in the master bath...

Anyway. Read "Food of a Younger Land", go to Wednesday Night dinners at church, and eat a bowl of Burgoo with a side of pimento cheese and let the hipsters do their own thing and think it's some dad-blamed new wave. Politics and religion shall bend with the wind, but food is the one constant in the South. It is always there, regardless of race or creed if you know the right people, act sweet, hug necks, and use your church language.

posted by 1f2frfbf at 3:41 PM on July 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

Dangit, y’all got me salivating for a slaw dog and a hunk of Grandma’s lemon pound cake.

Nothing quite like either, way out here in Phoenix. :(
posted by darkstar at 4:17 PM on July 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

Thanks for the link! This clears up something that I puzzled over as a child: There was a commercial in the 70's, for a stain remover or carpet cleaner or something along those lines, which featured a kid eating a peanut butter and mayonnaise sandwich. My little California self thought "ew, gross, what a weird combo!" But now I know! Mystery unraveled! Peanut Butter and Mayonnaise is a thing! (Though if you want to advertise an effective stain remover, grape jelly makes more formidable stains on clothes and furniture.)
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 7:24 PM on July 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

My mom made the strawberry icebox pie for church receptions, only the community cookbook she got it from had it layered in a 9x13 pan. I liked it, I recognize that this is probably mostly because I was a kid with an otherwise health conscious mom, more pretzel layer would definitely improve it.

My childhood neighbor made divinity and now it's dawned on me that she's passed on and I have to learn how to make it if I want to have it again. I have been forewarned to pick a dry day.
posted by momus_window at 7:50 PM on July 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

I gotta be honest, this Ohioan was confused by the slaw dog mention, as from my perspective it's neither particularly Southern nor forgotten. Although I suppose if it originated in West Virginia it would make sense for the recipe to have wound its way to that state's northwest neighbor but maybe not much further.
posted by soundguy99 at 5:53 AM on July 31, 2018 [1 favorite]

As far as i am concerned, Strawberry Pretzel ice box pie is the only acceptable use of jello. My recipe however calls is strawberry pretzel SALAD, so you can pretend you are eating salad for dessert.
posted by domino at 6:32 AM on July 31, 2018 [2 favorites]

OMG chocolate gravy. I literally thought my mother's family were the only ones who did that! But we don't put it on chicken, for heaven's sake. It goes on biscuits straight out of the oven, and you eat them at breakfast. SO GOOD.

Also, my mother served some version of pear salad at least twice a week, but we weren't puttin' on airs with that fancy shredded cheese. We had good, red-blooded American cheese! (and she didn't use mayo, she used cottage cheese)
posted by cooker girl at 7:54 AM on July 31, 2018 [2 favorites]

Seriously, it's Dr Pepper and peanuts.

No, it's RC Cola and peanuts along with a Moon Pie...

Look, y'all didn't say what kind of Coke you wanted.
posted by Fleebnork at 10:34 AM on July 31, 2018 [10 favorites]

Look, y'all didn't say what kind of Coke you wanted.
posted by Fleebnork at 1:34 PM on July 31 [5 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]

This is, without a doubt, what the old recipes mean when they menttion "coke and peanuts" and I just think it's funny that the magazine interpreted it literally as Coca Cola.

If you're ever in Norfolk (why would you ever be?) and want to try some really good red-eye gravy, there's this place called Handsome Biscuit. On the menu they have the Hella Fitzgerald, which is a home-made sweet potato biscuit, with fried chicken, red-eye sausage gravy, bacon, and cheddar. It is immaculate.
posted by FirstMateKate at 12:05 PM on July 31, 2018 [2 favorites]

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