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Maystar Family Cookbook
Southern Recipes
Barbara Carter


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Breads & Rolls

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and Sandwiches


Beef, Veal,
Ham, and Pork





Pizza and Lasagna


and Misc.


Cakes & Icing



Holiday Recipes

Appetizers, Sauces

Canning, Misc.

Kids' and Camping

The South, more than anyplace I have traveled is not just an area; it is a state of mind. From the columned white mansion, ancestral homes and Cypress Gardens where you can be a "debutante for a day" to the redneck bars, barbecue places and swamp boats, the South is more diverse than any other area in the country.

From state to state the mood changes. Charles Kuralt says, in his book Charles Kuralt's America: "Charleston was founded by lords and ladies in the home of the only American nobility. It was meant to be a reflection of the English Restoration across the sea. Only here can the barons, landgraves and caciques live on, minus their titles and perhaps their land holdings, but secure in their lineage. They believe in their hearts that theirs is the Holy City, set aside for their ancestors and themselves. Nothing like the Charleston aristocracy exists elsewhere in the United States. It ought to be preserved in amber. I suppose, in a way, it is."

He grew up in North Carolina, which he says is a different state with an entirely different state of mind. Regarding the cavalier Virginians and the haughty South Carolinians, it is said that "North Carolina is a vale of humility between two mountains of conceit." He says that North Carolinians are might proud of being humble. 

Floridians are not considered to be true southerners by the rest of the south. They are usually transplanted Canadians or North Easterners. 

The scenery is as varied as the food and the people. Palm trees and beaches, magnolia trees and beautiful white-columned mansions, ironwork fences and falling down shacks exist in this area Many of the cities have existed for centuries and have beautiful gardens 

Southern recipes seem to fall in several categories; Cajun, Creole, old South, which was a mixture of Southern and Northern, and those from Florida which includes now Cuban and Haitian.

I have been collecting recipes for many years. Some of the recipes are in response to a letter that Belva and I wrote to state governors back in 1971 when we were working on our cookbook "Nail Soup".

There are some southern specialties that I couldn't find a recipe for; such things as boiled peanuts and Goo Goo Clusters. I did find a recipe for Moon Pies on the Internet. Judy Crout sent in a recipe which you can find at the "All Recipes" site.

The Cajun recipes, except for Red Beans and Rice are from a couple we knew in Brinnon, Washington. They lived in New Orleans for years. He was a great story teller and could keep us entertained for hours. At one of our Christmas parties, she kept us in stitches when she read the poem "Cajun Night Before Christmas". In the Cajun version, Santa drives a skiff pulled by 8 'gators. 


1/2 cup oil
1 cup milk
2 Tbsp. water
2 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2-2/3 cups flour

Spray baking pan with cooking oil, or grease with oil or butter. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix oil, milk and water in a large bowl. Mix baking powder, salt and flour in a separate bowl. Gradually add dry ingredients, mixing until smooth. Roll dough 1/2" thick with a rolling pin. Cut out rolls with a 3" biscuit cutter. Place rolls 1 inch apart on baking pan. Bake 15 to 16 minutes until golden brown. Serve hot with honey butter (1/2 honey and 1/2 butter mixed), butter, jam or jelly. Makes 13 biscuits or rolls.

Belva was an expert at bread making. She even taught classes at the local college. This recipe, however, was one that stumped her. The day that we tested this recipe, we beat the dough until it almost cried 'mercy', but the biscuits were hard as rocks.. We hope you have better luck.

Belva says, "Southern folklore has it that you could tell a genuine lady by the fact that she made these herself and did not entrust the job to a servant. Our feeling is that there must be a lot easier ways to make biscuits than this. If you don't have leavening--try tortillas, sourdough or something--anything."

3 cups flour
2 tsp. Sugar
½ tsp. Salt
4 Tbsp. (1/4 cup) chilled shortening
¼ cup cold milk and ¼ cup ice water, combined

Sift flour, salt and sugar together. Cut in shortening with pastry blender or 2 knives. Work in milk and water mixture. Knead well. Beat for at least half an hour with a rolling pin; turn over dough every few minutes. Roll out ½ inch thick. Cut with biscuit cutter, glass or etc. Prick with a fork. Place on ungreased baking sheet and bake at 325 degrees until ivory colored.

NOTE; The quality of these biscuits depends on the amount of beating. Several people have had good results by placing dough in a plastic bag and hitting it against a solid surface. Another way that has been somewhat successful is kneading the dough, then putting it through a meat grinder-using the coarse blade.

FLUFFY BATTER BREAD - Claudine T. Lee, Extension Agent, Virginia Polytechnic
1/3 cup cornmeal
¼ tsp. Soda
2 tsp. Baking powder
½ tsp. Salt
3 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup sweet milk
2 Tbsp. Melted butter

Preheat oven very hot (475 deg.) Sift meal with other dry ingredients. Beat eggs with the 2 milks. Melt butter in pan in which bread is to be baked. Add dry ingredients to liquids. Pour immediately into a hot greased pan and place in a hot (475 deg.) oven. Bake until firm in the center. Test by inserting toothpick or knife. When firm, the bread will not stick to toothpick or knife.

SPOON BREAD 375 deg. for 45 to 50 minutes
A contribution from the south that doesn't seem quite like a bread to some of us northerners. It may be served as either a bread or a side dish.

1 cup cornmeal
3 cups milk
¾ tsp. Salt
¼ cup butter or margarine
3 eggs, separated
1 tsp. Baking powder

Gradually add cornmeal and salt to milk in a saucepan and place on heat. Stir constantly until mixture boils and becomes very thick. Remove from heat, add butter or margarine and permit to cool until lukewarm. Beat in egg yolks. Meanwhile, beat egg whites until stiff. Fold in baking powder, then fold egg whites into the prepared mush. Spoon at once into well-buttered 2 quart baking dish. Bake at 375 deg. for 45 to 50 minutes or until top is golden. We find it difficult to describe any other test, but you will find that although it still shakes, it won't jiggle in the middle when done. Don't overcook.

These are served at barbecue place in Orlando where we were served lemonade in quart Mason jars and a bucket of peanuts which we were encouraged to shell onto the floor.

¼ cup sugar
2 tsp. Baking powder
1 tsp. Salt
¼ tsp. Pepper
½ tsp. Garlic salt
2/3 cup chopped onion
1 egg, beaten
1-1/4 cups milk
1-1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
1-1/2 cups flour
Oil for frying

Heat oil in deep fryer or deep skillet to 375 degrees.   Mix sugar, baking powder, salt, pepper and garlic salt. In blender, mix onion, egg and milk until smooth. Mix wet mixture into dry mixture. Let sit for about 5 minutes, until bubbles begin to form. Mix cornmeal and flour and whisk into liquid mixture. Batter should be thickness of drop cookies.   Drop hush puppies by heaping teaspoon into hot oil. Fry only a few at a time. They will surface in 2 minutes and be golden brown in 4 to 5 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Makes 30.

1 tsp. Salt
4 cups water
1 cup uncooked corn grits

Heat salt and water to boiling. Slowly stir in grits. Lower heat and stir until thickened. Cover and cook slowly, stirring as needed to keep from sticking. Makes about 4 cups cooked grits.

A good way to use leftover grits. Place thick corn grits into a loaf pan. Chill. Remove from pan and cut in slices. Heat a frying pan. Add a small amount of oil. Brown grits slices on both sides.

These a wonderful invention. I brought some home with me from Florida. You can use them any way you would use mashed potatoes. I had mine with Red Eye Gravy. They are also good with butter, or as a cereal or side dish with eggs and bacon. 

Cook in boiler 45 minutes:
1 cup grits
4 cups boiling water
1 tsp. Water
Cool slightly. Add 3 eggs yolks, one at a time. Beat after each addition.

Mix together:
3 Tbsp. Butter
3 Tbsp. Flour
2 cups grated sharp cheese
1 tsp. Dry mustard
Stir. Fold in three stiffly beaten egg whites. Put into casserole. Grate 1 cup of cheese on top. Bake at 350 deg. for 1 hour. Serves 8 - 10.


Slice large, firm, green, unpeeled tomatoes ¼ inch thick. Discard end and stem slices. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and sugar. Dip into cornmeal or flour and fry in a skillet containing enough bacon drippings or melted butter (or a combination) to be ¼ inch deep in the skillet Have the fat hot when the tomatoes are added, then reduce heat and brown on one side. Turn and brown on the other. 



5 potatoes
6 oz. cooked ham cubes
3 cups milk
2 Tbsp. butter
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. salt
3/4 cup shredded cheese

Pour water into a medium size pan until it is 3/4th full. Bring water to boil on high heat. While water is coming to a boil, wash potatoes. Place them in boiling water with skins on. Boil 20 minutes or until you can pierce them with a fork and they appear soft. Drain potatoes and run cold water over them. Let cool 10 minutes. Peel potatoes and chop into 1" squares. Place in medium size pan and add milk. Warm milk slowly on medium heat, stirring often. Add ham, butter, salt and pepper and cheddar cheese. Simmer 5 minutes. 


3 to 4 pieces of chicken
3 ears of corn
2 medium potatoes
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small green pepper
2 Tbsp. margarine
Salt to taste
2 eggs boiled and sliced.

Cook chicken until tender. Remove meat from bone. Use approximately 1 cup chicken. Leave chicken stock in pot. Add chicken. Cut corn off cob, add to stock. Stir in potatoes, green peppers, butter and salt. Cook at medium heat until potatoes are tender. Add boiled, diced eggs. Serve hot.



4 cups water
1 cup dried black eye peas*
2 slices bacon
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup long-grain rice, uncooked
1 tsp. Salt
freshly ground black pepper

Put water and peas into a 2-quart saucepan. Cover, bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer Cook peas, covered, until tender but not overdone, about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Add water as necessary. Drain peas, reserving liquid.

Dice bacon. Fry bacon and onion over medium heat until onion is clear. Add onion and rice and bacon to pot with peas. Add 2-1/2 cups reserved liquid and seasonings. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes without removing lid. Remove from heat and let stand, covered for 10 minutes. 8 servings.
*no this is not a typo. In the south they are called black eye peas, not black eyed peas.

Markay shared this recipe with Laverne Ellis, who owns a restaurant in Ellensburg called "Mama's Cookin' Cajun."  Laverne liked it so much that she added it to her menu and is still serving it daily with hot hush puppies.

1/2 lb. small red beans
1/2 lb. ham hocks, bacon or sausage
(may also be made meatless)
1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
1 Tbsp. parsley
1 or 2 bay leaves
2 large cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tsp. thyme
1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
2 Tbsp. margarine
pepper to taste
salt to taste
3 cups cooked white rice

Soak beans overnight or for several hours in water to cover. The next day, drain the water from the beans and place them in a heavy kettle. Add ham, bacon or sausage, which has been cut up and sautéed, onion, parsley, bay leaves and garlic.

Add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then turn to simmer. Simmer, uncovered for 2 hours, being careful that the beans don't stick, adding water as needed.

After the first 2 hours of cooking, add the margarine, pepper and Tabasco. Continue cooking for 1 hour more with the lid on the pot. Check the seasonings and salt. Do not add salt until this point, as the meat may be salty enough. Serve over rice.*

I like to cook the rice with the red beans for the last 1/2 hour instead of cooking it separately as it gives it a better flavor.

Sauté in heavy skillet until lightly browned:
8 oz. sausage, cut into ½ inch lengths
1-1/2 cups diced ham
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped green pepper
¾ cup thinly sliced celery

3-1/2 cups beef or chicken stock
2-1/2 cups of cooked rice or bulgur
2 Tbsp. Chopped parsley
¼ tsp. Thyme
1/8 tsp. Powdered cloves
1/4 tsp. Chili powder
¾ tsp. Salt
¼ tsp. Pepper
Dash of cayenne pepper

Cover and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture is thickened, about 45 minutes. 5 to 6 servings.

(30 minute recipe)
1 cup bean sprouts
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 cup sliced mushrooms (3 oz.)
3 cups cold cooked long grain rice 
1 cup cooked shrimp
2 Tbsp. sliced green onions
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
Dash of white pepper

Rinse bean sprouts in cold water and drain. Sauté mushrooms in 10-inch skillet over medium heat using 1 tablespoon of the oil. (This will take about 1 minute).

Add bean sprouts, rice, shrimp, onions and cook over medium heat approximately 5 minutes. Stir and break up rice until hot.   Push rice mixture to side of skillet. Add 1 tablespoon of oil in other side of skillet. Cook eggs in oil, stirring until eggs are thickened, but still moist. Stir eggs into rice mixture. Finish by stirring in soy sauce and white pepper.

We received kind letters from many governors in the South. While we don't agree with his politics, Lt. Governor Lestor Maddox sent a very courteous, cordial reply to our request for a recipe.

1 - 2-1/2 pound chicken
1 egg
Salt and pepper to taste
flour to coat entire chicken

Salt and pepper disjointed chicken. Pour egg over chicken, and then roll in flour until well coated. Fill skillet ¼ full of cooking oil and heat until hot. Place chicken in skillet with the bony side up. Fry until brown, then turn and cook until done - approximately 40 minutes. Keep skillet covered. Will serve 4 people.

1 young frying chicken (about 3-1/2 lbs.) Cut in serving pieces
1 cup flour
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Paprika
1 small brown paper bag
1 cup Crisco

Soak the chicken in cold salt water. Drain the chicken and dredge it with seasoned flour. To do this, place flour, salt, paprika and chicken in the brown paper bag and shake it until all chicken parts are coated.

Melt the Crisco in a black iron skillet. When the fat has reached the point of fragrance, add the chicken and brown on one side. Reduce the heat, turn the chicken over, using tongs and place a lid on the skillet and cook for 20 to 30 minutes or more according to the size of the chicken. Cook only until tender, as further cooking will dry and toughen the chicken.


2 cups grated raw sweet potatoes
1 cup sugar
½ cup butter or margarine, melted
4 eggs
4 cups milk
Cinnamon and nutmeg to taste
Mix well. Grease heavy iron skillet with butter. Heat and add mixture. Bake in moderate oven. As pudding browns on the bottom, sides and top, stir in. Cook for about 1-1/2 hours. This will be quite stiff. Serve with whipped cream or hard sauce.

1-1/2 quarts half and half
3 eggs, beaten
3 cups sugar
3 oranges, juiced
2 lemons, juiced
1 lime, juiced
Combine ingredients. Chill before pouring into ice cream freezer. Use instructions for your machine to freeze the ice cream.

FRESH APPLE CAKE - Claudine T. Lee, Extension Agent, Virginia

¼ cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 cups chopped apples (2 - 3 medium sized apples)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. Baking soda
¾ tsp. Cinnamon
½ tsp. Salt

Soften shortening. Gradually beat in the sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Break egg into a separate bowl. Beat until yolk and white are well mixed. Add to shortening-sugar mixture. Stir in chopped apples. Mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together; add to mixture in thirds. Stir only until well blended. Do not over-beat. Pour into greased and floured 8x8x2" cake pan or one of similar size. Bake at 350 deg. F for 45 minutes or until done. Serve either warm or cold. Makes 8 to 10 servings.


Jack Maybee, President of the Maybee Society, and his lovely wife, Mary live in Schenectady, New York and have a winter home in Florida. Mary served us this delicious pie last year when we went for a reunion. 

Mary says, "My key lime pie is very easy."

Soften: 8 Oz cream cheese
Beat in: l can condensed milk
l/2 to 3/4 cup of key lime juice
1/2 tsp vanilla
Pour into baked pie crust (I use the shortbread crust by Keebler) 
Chill at least two hours.  ENJOY

Sure couldn't be any easier, could it? Yet everyone seems to love it. 

PECAN PIE - Annie Thompson - Missouri
(I received this recipe almost 40 years ago.

1 cup sugar
1 cup White Karo
1 cup pecans, chopped
3 whole eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla
¼ tsp. Salt
3 Tbsp. Flour
Lump butter (About 2 Tbsp.)

(Preheat oven to 350 deg.) Cream sugar, butter, salt and eggs. Add syrup, pecans and vanilla to sugar mixture. Mix well. Cook in unbaked piecrust about 30 minutes or until thick, but not too thick. 


1 quart milk
Yolks of 3 eggs
1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. Cornstarch
(mixed with cold water)
Have ready 3 Tbsp. Cornstarch, which has been dissolved in cold water. Heat milk in double boiler. Beat egg yolks with and mix in sugar. Pour scalding milk into egg mixture. Add cornstarch/water mixture. Cook until thick. Add vanilla or almond flavoring. Top with meringue.
3 egg whites
3 Tbsp. Sugar
Juice and rind of 1 lemon

Beat egg whites until stiff. Add 3 Tbsp. Sugar and juice and grated rind of 1 lemon. Spread over custard and brown meringue.

WEST VIRGINIA FRENCH APPLE PIE - Mrs. Arch A. Moore, Jr., wife of former Governor
Make one crust and set aside:

6 apples, pared and sliced very thin
½ cup sugar
½ tsp. Cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
Mix sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg with apples and dot with butter. Put in unbaked crust.
½ cup sugar
½ tsp. Cinnamon
½ tsp. Nutmeg
¼ cup butter, melted

Combine all ingredients and spread over top of apples. Bake at 300 degrees until brown.

LADY BALTIMORE CAKE - VIRGINIA - 375 deg. - 3 8" layers

3-1/2 cups cake flour (note to self: add substitute)
4 tsp. Baking double acting powder
½ tsp. Salt
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1 cup milk
1 tsp. Vanilla
¼ tsp. Almond extract (optional)
7 to 8 egg whites (depending on size of eggs)

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Cream butter and sugar. Add to flour mixture alternately with 1 cup milk to which vanilla has been added. Whip egg whites until stiff, but not dry. Fold them into cake batter. Bake in 3 greased 8 inch pans for about 25 minutes. Cool. Ice with following icing or your own favorite white icing. 

2 egg whites, unbeaten
1-1/2 cups sugar
5 Tbsp. Cold water
¼ tsp. Cream of tartar
1-1/2 tsp. White Karo syrup

Place ingredients over rapidly boiling water. Beat them constantly with rotary beater or wire whisk for 7 minutes. Remove icing from heat. Add 1 tsp. Vanilla. Continue beating until icing is right consistency for spreading.

6 dried figs*
½ cup seeded raisins
1 cup nutmeats

Reserve enough icing for the top and sides. Add nuts, figs and raisins to the rest of the icing for filling between layers. Spread reserved icing on sides and top.
*can substitute dates, if desired


(Serve with ham)
1 8 oz. jar pineapple preserves
1 8 oz. jar apple jelly
1 box Coleman mustard
1 bottle fresh horseradish
Salt & pepper

Mix all ingredients in mixer. Makes 3 cups. Keeps in refrigerator indefinitely. 



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