Southern Snacks Cookbook

The Southern Sympathy Cookbook

I'm P.C., and I have studied food and cooking around the world, mostly by eating, but also through serious study. Coursework at Le Cordon Bleu London and intensive courses in Morocco, Thailand and France have broadened my culinary skill and palate. But my kitchen of choice is at home, cooking like most people, experimenting with unique but practical ideas.

I live, mostly in my kitchen, in my hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.

Surprise Fun Finds! Stock the Pantry and Support Southern Producers

So maybe you are at home, in the kitchen, looking to expand your repertoire, try a new recipe or conquer a project you’ve always wanted to try. Or maybe you just need something different. But you don’t want to go to the grocery. Or maybe you’d like to send a little something to a friend you haven’t seen in a while.  So I thought I’d put together a list of mail-order ideas. These are some independent, Southern-based retailers that are shipping fabulous products around the country. And like most small businesses, they could use a boost.  As usual, I have received no compensation for these products, they are just things I like. At the time of writing, all of these businesses are still shipping and have most products in stock, but things are moving fast so I apologize if items are no longer available. But keep checking back!

If you haven’t already, give Anson Mills heirloom grits and grains a try. Having a bag of grits in the freezer (which is the best way to store them) is a real boon. Cook them simply with water or jazz them up with cheese or spices you have on hand.  War Eagle Mill has a whole array of flours, cornmeal, and grains, plus baking and bean soup mixes. Those mixes are fabulous pantry meal savers. Two Brooks Farms offers a whole host of rice varieties, plus rice grits and rice flour. Try the red rice or sable for a change. Baking bread seems to be all the rage right now, and Bellegarde Bakery can ship you some amazing milled heirloom flours. Slather homemade bread with creative jams from Friends Drift Inn.

New Orleans based St. James Creamery will ship cheeses from around the world. Sweet Grass Dairy makes some of my favorite cheeses, and they offer great gift boxes. Don’t miss the “Quarantine Blues” collection featuring their Asher Blue. Or Dayspring Dairy can ship some fabulous goat milk cheeses. And add a jar of their caramel sauce while you are at it! Callie’s Charleston Biscuits are always comforting. Try a variety pack to mix things up! Keep up your vitamin intake with citrus from Boudrias Groves. They even have tomatoes!

The Harris family in Georgia are pioneers in sustainable farming, and you can order their White Oak Pastures grassfeed beef, pork and pastured chicken and turkey for shipping – they even have lamn and rabbit. Porter Road Butcher in Nashville has an impressive array of sausages, plus meat cuts of all kinds.  Hebert’s Meats from Louisiana will ship crawfish pie, boudin, stuffed crabs, gumbo and more for a real taste of the bayou. And don’t forget Benton’s bacon. If you’ve wanted to try, it now is the perfect chance. And don’t forget their famous country ham either! Whether you are planning a (small, socially distant) Easter celebration or just know how practical a ham can be, New Braunfel’s Smokehouse has you covered. I particularly like that they sell smaller hams, but they also have other smoked meat. Fresh filets, smoked trout, trout dip, trout sausage. Take your pick from Sunburst Trout Farm. In addition to a variety of sweet versions, Southern Baked Pie Company will ship chicken pot pie or quiches. And of course, you can have world-famous Memphis barbecue shipped from The Rendezvous or Central Barbeque.

Memphis’s own Shotwell Candy will send a sweet treat to you or your friends. I love their flavored caramels and toffee. I am always recommending Sugaree’s Cakes, and what could be more comforting than a caramel cake right now? Makeda’s butter cookies are a Memphis must have, but you can order them anywhere! Muddy Pond makes the deepest, richest, sweetest sorghum syrup, perfect for baking or for drizzling on pancakes or waffles. A classic cheese straw is a welcome snack or a perfect nibble for at home cocktail hour. Mississippi Cheese Straw Factory makes a good one – but wait to you try their sea salt caramel cookie straws!

Asheville-based Spicewalla will really zazz up your pantry cooking, and give you a chance to try new flavors. Order a spice collection for inspiration. Beautiful Briny Sea creates unique salt blends and super fun sugars (hello, Mr. Gigglepants). You know I love a good homemade sweet tea punch, but on a regular basis I sip Southern Breeze tea, which has sweetener mixed right in the teabags. Try some new coffees from Muletown Coffee for a change.

And I would never forget the cocktails. We may all need a few these days! Camp Craft Cocktails sell beautiful and tasty kits for infusing your own cocktails, so it’s a project and a party! Withco serves up really unique mixers. I’ve long been a fan of Jack Rudy Tonic Syrup and their other bar essentials are worth a taste as well. Flying Fox Vermouth is delicious and beautifully packaged. Mississippi’s Cathead Honeysuckle Vodka is perfect for spring sipping. And Charboneau Rumfrom Natchez is a very special bottle. (There are restrictions on shipping liquor state to state).

Goldbelly is a nationwide business, but they offer restaurant and bakery favorites from around the South, from Central Grocery Muffalettas to fried chicken biscuit kits to low country shrimp boils and Delta tamales, coconut cakes and key lime pies.

The spring growing season is ramping up, so look into local CSA (community supported agriculture). These local growers will often deliver or have convenient pick-up for fresh, seasonal, local and heathy produce with the added bonus of supporting your neighboring businesses. Here’s a tool to find one close to you. And check in with your local farmers markets – many vendors are offering pick-up and some delivery. Support local!

Here’s wishing you and your family a safe and healthy Spring, isolated but not alone!

All photos from vendors.

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