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.

Simple Soda Bread

Soda bread is really a recipe to have in your pocket.  Serving a nice, warm loaf of homemade bread at a moment’s notice is serious kitchen magic.  And I’ve made the process for making Irish soda bread even easier by letting the mixer do the work.  Soda bread is substantial and hearty – the […]

Gingerbread Pillows

I set out to make a cookie reminiscent of good-old fashioned gingerbread cake.  When I managed to achieve this, it occurred to me that if I called them gingerbread cookies, it would bring to mind the crispy, crunchy type – like gingerbread men or tree ornaments.   That is not what these lovelies are at […]

Cane Syrup Cupcakes

Any good Southern cook has a supply of sweetening syrups that would put Willy Wonka to shame.  Corn syrup, light and dark, and generally known by its brand name Karo (pronounced KAY-Ro).  Molasses, regular and blackstrap.  Sorghum.  Cane syrup.  Maybe even maple syrup, though that smacks somewhat of the Yankee.  I use them all. […]

Sticky Clementine Quick Bread

I love clementines.  They are the perfect, bright refreshing little sunshine snack.  They are so portable, you can just carry one around all day until you need a pick-me-up.  But I also find clementines annoying, largely because around here they are sold almost exclusively in five to seven pound bags.  I cannot […]

Peppermint Angels

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Peppermint is the one flavor that transforms itself at the holidays.  Some of the traditional tastes, eggnog, fruitcake, even gingerbread, hardly make an appearance at any other time of the year.  But not peppermint. I eat peppermint candy all year.  The little hidey-hole in the arm on the door of […]

Southern Pecan Pie

Southern Pecan Pie

Tough Nut to Crack

Pecans, it seems to me, are thought of as a particularly Southern nut.  I cannot tell you anything about its growing condition or to what region or country the pecan is indigenous, but the trees proliferate around here.  And the nuts feature prominently in Southern cooking […]

Hearty Pumpkin Cookies

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My favorite time of year is finally here – pumpkin time!  I love pumpkin – in cake, soup, risotto, muffins, bread and, of course, cookies. I am sure over the next few months my pumpkin obsession will manifest itself with a host of recipes, so be prepared! We’ve just had our first cool […]

Apple Pie Bars

Apple Pie Bars

Once upon a time there was a beautiful apple tree. When I was maybe 10, my dad took me to the plant nursery and let me choose whatever kind of tree I wanted to plant in the backyard, to replace one that had died.   My family had just enjoyed some magnificent apples, bright red with little […]

Super-Quick Smoky Cheddar Loaf

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Enjoying a warm loaf of freshly baked bread right out of the oven is truly one of life’s sweet pleasures.  But if time and patience are short, try this quickie. You will truly impress your family and friends, or just treat yourself, when you mix up this quick, cheesy loaf of fresh bread […]

Tennessee Blackberry Jam Cake

Blackberry Jam Cake

My grandparents lived on a farm in Middle Tennessee.  It was a wonderful place for grandkids, and my brother and I made great use of it.  Lots of rolling, verdant land to run around on, cows mooing in the background.  There was a creek running through the property, shallow enough that we […]