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.

Peach Bourbon Buttermilk Pudding with Candied Pecans

Peach Bourbon Buttermilk Pudding with Candied Pecans

The combination of fresh summer peaches and Southern bourbon is a favorite of mine, and I use it in savory dishes, like Peach Bourbon Grilled Pork Tenderloin, or in sweets, like Peach Butterbourbon Sauce. Faced with an abundance of gorgeous peaches this year, I wanted to create a simple, cool dessert – perfect for [...]

Bacon Fried Pecans

Bacon Fried Pecans

I don’t know who makes these decisions, but there is an endless list of “National Days” celebrating foods, dishes and ingredients.  I recently saw that it was National Pecan Month, so I thought I better pull out a preparation for the iconic Southern nut.  These are a salty, crunchy snack for the bar, or [...]

Sweet Tea Pecans

I don’t know that I have ever attended a holiday party where there wasn’t a pretty little bowl full of seasoned nuts. Sometimes a silver or cut crystal bowl, sometimes shaped like Santa or a Christmas tree, usually on the bar or an end table.  And there are always people hovering around, picking up [...]

Southern Candied Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Streusel

Sweet potatoes are a foregone conclusion on the Southern Thanksgiving table.  I would never consider serving mashed white potatoes at the big meal.  For most of my life, I only had sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving, though a pie may have snuck in at some other time during the year.  I have now discovered the [...]

Buttermilk Pecan Chicken with Herb Cream Gravy

I am a devotee of the transformative powers of buttermilk.  It makes chicken tender and biscuits light.  Cakes have a fine crumb and dressings a nice tang.  I use buttermilk whenever I can, and I go out of my way to buy the best, farm-fresh buttermilk available.  I make biscuits of all sorts, marinate [...]

Pralines for Idiots

Candy making is not something I typically try my hand at. All that talk about thermometers and stages and testing methods.  Those recipes always look like the kind of thing I don’t have the patience for.  Plus, once you’ve been badly burned by hot sugar, it makes you candy-shy. But this is an exception.  [...]

Bourbon Rosemary Pecans


I love a flavorful toasted nut, but I have always found it difficult to get enough flavor into nuts without burning them, or the seasonings just fall right off.  My solution has become to soak the nuts in a flavorful liquid then toast them until perfect.  My Lemon Garlic Cashews were my first [...]

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 [...]