This post has been a long time coming. Way back in November I posted Nashville Part 1 and for the last 5 months I have been meaning to share some more of our trip to the deep south, especially as I gave the suggestion there would be no doubt a Part 2. Yesterday we had afternoon tea with our neighbours who were giving us the run down on a few good restaurants in downtown Boulder and a place called Lucile’s Creole Cafe was suggested for Creole cusine, which I have yet to explore, and southern style breakfasts such as Buttermilk Biscuits, Shrimp & Grits etc. This reminded me of all the southern food we had in Tennessee.
One of the trip highlights for me was having lunch at Arnold’s in Nashville. Arnold’s is a meat and veg diner which is only open on weekdays with a set menu for each day of the week. We had to line up for a fair while but it was part of the experience and gave us the opportunity to check out everyone else’s trays and what they were eating. The staff were bustling around and were encouraging the customers to befriend each other at the long communal table. There were big cups full of iced tea and plastic trays loaded with fried chicken, mac and cheese, collard greens, fried catfish, fried green tomatoes, black eyed peas and my favourite, a baked squash. There were also pies and I think we had a chocolate cream pie but I didn’t get much as the kids demolished it. The food tasted like it was loaded with salt and fat but the whole experience was incredibly fun and I would go again and again if my arteries didn’t get a say.
We experienced our first Thanksgiving with family and Joel’s brother and sister-in-law put on an incredible feast. Ben was in charge of the turkey and roasted it to perfection – I need a lesson. Rachel was super organised and made so many dishes using recipes from her family and some from The Pioneer Woman. The Jack Daniel’s Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie was my favourite and Rachel shared the recipe with me but I have yet to cook it. I’ll be sure to make it for Thanksgiving this year.
Another recipe that Rachel shared with me was for Cranberry Bread. It is essentially a loaf cake and it is really simple to make and very yummy, especially when it is still warm from the oven. Fresh cranberries were plentiful around Thanksgiving. Cranberry season starts late October but I’m sure you could use frozen cranberries if fresh ones aren’t available.
On our final day in Tennessee we all went to Loveless Cafe for a hearty feed of biscuits and gravy, fried chicken and bottomless coffee. And when it was time to go home it was hard to resist all the pies so I bought some to try and for the life of me I can’t remember what they were. I think one was a Coconut Cream Pie but I’m not 100% sure. I think the reason my memory is a little fuzzy is that I needed to block that food memory out. I started to feel very sick that evening and felt horrible for the next 24 hours which included our flight back to California.
When we had first arrived in Tenessee, Joel’s brother had been feeling unwell. But it wasn’t until I decided to treat all our kids plus my little niece to an evening at the movies that I realised that it must be contagious. My poor niece was sick right at the end of the movie which had me and 5 kids pushing past the big bathroom line to get the poor girl cleaned up. Over the next few days Tilly and Levi also picked up the tummy bug and neither of them want to eat a Thanksgiving feast again. For me, I don’t think I can eat biscuits and gravy again and I can’t even bring myself to write about them. Suffice it to say, we loved our meal at Loveless Cafe and it was incredibly fun but I’ll have to order something different in future. Anyway, what extended family holiday isn’t complete without a contagious tummy bug! Thankfully it only really affected our appetites and everyone was well enough to get around and see lots.
One cafe that I really liked was Frothy Monkey as they had delicious lattes. The kids loved their steamers and one evening my curiousity got the better of me and I had to try their Rosemary Honey Latte. It was not good, but it wasn’t bad. I guess it was just interesting and I didn’t mind the herbal hit. But I do prefer my lattes to consist of just coffee and milk.
On our last afternoon, Rachel and I took the kids to Carnton Plantation for a tour of the house and a walk through the gardens. A beautiful place with incredible history. I really wish I could go and visit the gardens in the late Spring as I’m sure they would be beautiful. The skies in Nashville were very grey while we were there and it was a strong contrast to the blue skies that greeted us in California when we got home.
I loved our time in Tennessee but left feeling that is just so much more to see so hopefully we can return. I particularly enjoyed time with my sister-in-law who shares a love for cooking and pointed me in the direction for some Southern style recipe books. I purchased three books mostly because the titles were so enticing – Bless Your Heart – Saving the World One Covered Dish at a Time; You Be Sweet -Sharing Your Heart One Down-Home Dessert at a Time; At My Grandmother’s Table – Heartwarming Stories & Cherished Recipes from the South.
All three books are delightful and they’ve opened my eyes to a whole new food world. There are lots of recipes that just don’t appeal to me (usually involving cans of crescent rolls, miracle whip or instant pudding mix) but I enjoy the read and some of the recipe titles just make me want to cook them:- No Flames, No Fuss, Easy Bananas Foster; Best Thing You Ever Put In Your Mouth Yellow Cake With Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing; Strawberries On A Cloud; Make Ya Wanna Slap Your Grandma Chocolate Cobbler.
Out of all these new recipes I am really enjoying this Cranberry Bread and will be making it again and again. Thanks Rachel!
2 cups plain flour
1 cup sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 Tbsp grated orange rind
¾ cup of freshly squeezed orange juice
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp melted coconut oil
1 cup fresh cranberries, whole
1 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C (350 degree F) and grease a loaf tin.
Mix together the dry ingredients and make a well in the center. Mix in oil, orange rind, juice and egg until blended then fold in cranberries and pecans.
Bake for one hour and 10 minutes.