Southern Food



  Loftin  Setzer    Goble    Johnson


Chicken & Dumplings






































































































































Food Our Ancestors Enjoyed


Southern Dishes & Foods

Chicken & Dumplings

Chicken-&-Dumplings is a soup that consists of a chicken cooked in water, with the resulting chicken broth being used to cook the dumplings by boiling them. A "dumpling" - in this context - is a biscuit dough, which is a mixture of flour, shortening, and buttermilk (or milk). The dumplings are either rolled out flat, or formed into a ball. This is a comfort food dish commonly found in the Southern United States that some resources said originated during the Great Depression. Other sources say that Chicken-&-Dumplings originated in the Southern United States during antebellum era and was considered a mainstay during harsh economic times.
by Curtis D. Loftin
Chicken Soup/Broth Dumplings Dumplings
2 Chicken Breast
4 Chicken Thighs
2 qt. Water
1 Tbsp. Dill
2 cups All-Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
2 Tbsp. Cold Salted Butter
1 cup Buttermilk or Milk
1 tsp. Baking Soda
Salt & Pepper to taste
   1. Add 2 quarts of water to a large stock pot, then add the chicken, salt & pepper and cook on medium-high heat. I prefer to use boneless skinless
   2. When chicken is done, remove, shred and set aside.
   3. In a medium-sized bowl, combine flour and baking powder. Then add in cubed butter. Combine using your fingers, fork or pastry cutter.
   4. Add buttermilk. Mix it all together.
   5. Dust your countertop with a generous amount of flour. Place dumpling dough on the counter and dust it with more flour.
   6. With a rolling pin, roll the dough out to about 1/4 inch thickness. Be sure to add flour as necessary to keep it from sticking to counter or rolling pin.
   7. Use a knige or pizza cutter and cut out your dumplings into rectangles.
   8. Dust dumplings with a bit more flour. The extra flour is all gonna help keep them from sticking but will also thicken your chicken broth.
   9. Bring chicken broth to a boil. Begin adding dumplings one at a time so they don't all stick together. Stir frequently while adding them.
10. Allow dumplings to cook for about 15-20 minutes. You should noitice your brothe starting to thicken and dumplings may start to sink to the bottom.
11. Take one out to taste test it. It should NOT have a doughy taste anymore.
12. If dumplings are done, add additional salt & pepper to taste. Add chicken back to the stock pot. Reduce heat and cook for additional 2-3 minutes.
13. Serve and enjoy.


Cornbreat is a quick bread containing cornmeal, popular in Native American cuisine as well as in the southern United States. Native Americans had been using ground corn (maize) as a food for thousands of years before Europeans arrived in the New World. European settlers, especially whose who resided in the English southern colonies, learned the original recipes from the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw and Creek. Cornbread has been called a "cornerstone" of cuisine in southern United States. Cornmeal is produced by gringding dry raw corn grains. A coarser meal made from corn is "grits". Cornbread can be baked or fried.
In the south cornbread is commonly eaten with BBQ, chili, pinto beans but also just about anything else. Cornbread crumbs are also used in some poultry stuffings; cornbread stuffing is particularly associated with Thanksgiving turkeys.
In the US, southern and northern cornbread are different and they generally use different types of corn meal and varying degrees of sugar and eggs. Souther cornbread has traditionally been made with little or no sugar and smaller amounts of flour (or no flour at all), with norther conrbread being sweeter and more cake-like. White cornmeal is used in most Southern cornbreads - but yellow cornmeal is also used.
In the south, cornbread is occasionally crumbled and served with cold milk (or buttermilk), similar to a cold cereal. This was a staple when I, Curtis Loftin, was growing up. I still enjoy it this way as an adult.
In Texas, Mexican influence has spawned a hearty cornbread made from cornmeal, corn, jalapeno peppers and topped with shredded cheese.
Cast Iron Skillets are often used for baking cornbread because it make a crispier crust.
by Curtis D. Loftin
1/2 cup (1 stick) Butter, melted
1 cup All Purpose Flour (or Self-Rising)
1 cup Cornmeal
1 Tbsp. Sugar
2 tsp. Baking Powder (makes it fluffier)
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda (not for Self-Rising)
1/2 tsp. Salt
*1 1/2 cups Buttermilk (Shake before using)
2 Eggs
*You can make Buttermilk by mixing 1 cup of Milk with 1 Tbsp. of Vinegar. Allow 5 minutes for it to sour before using.
1. Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly grease a cast iron skillet with butter or bacon drippings and place skillet into the oven to heat up.
2. Heat 1 stick of butter in microwave until melted - about 30 seconds. Allow the butter to cool slightly before adding to the batter.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
4. Make a well in the center and add the buttermilk and eggs. Mix together well to combine, then add in the slightly cooled butter. Mix until "just"
5. Caregully remove hot pan from the oven with oven mitts and pourt the batter into the hot skillet.
6. Bake until cornbread begins to brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (about 20-23 minutes).
7. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before slicing or sergins.
1. Cornbread gets its crunchy, buttery crust when the batter is poured into the hot skillet. The cast iron retains heat while backing which gives you the
    dark, golden crust and crisp edges.
2. If using a cast iron skillet, heat your skillet on stove top to melt your butter, then move your skillet to the oven to heat the skillet (15-20 minutes).
3. The perfect cornbread is made with the perfect ratio of four and cornmeal. If you like more cornmeal, add more. Just remember to use less flour.
    Growing up, my Mom (Willie Goble Loftin) did not use any flour in her cornbread.
4. Through the years, we've found that buttermilk creates the best texture and you can't tell the difference between the taste of cornbread made with
    milk and buttermilk.
5. Eggs make cornbread light and fluffy when compared with breads that leave the eggs out.


Grits are a porridge made from boiled cornmeal and usually served at breakfast. The dish originated in the Southern United States but is now available nationwide. Grits are of Native American origin and are similar to other thick maize-based porridges from around the world. Native Americans would grind the corn in a stone mill, giving it a "gritty" texture. The colonists and settlers enjoyed the new staple with the local Native Americans and it became an American staple dish. The word "grits" is derived from the Old English word "grytt", meaning "coarse meal". They are often served with salt, pepper and butter. They are eaten with a variety of foods including bacon & eggs, country ham, livermush and even catfish.


By Cassie L. Damewood

What is Livermush?


Combined, the words liver and mush do not sound particularly appealing, especially for those people new to North Carolina's livermush region. For those who dare to try it and like it, or those like me who were raised on it, the mere mention of this old-timey delicacy draws an enthusiastic response.

Livermush is a ground mixture of pork liver, cornmeal, and spices. It sometimes contains other pieces of the hog’s head to provide flavor and texture. By United States law, it must contain at least 30% pork liver. In some areas, it is known as poor man’s or poor boy’s pate.

Created in the Southern United States, livermush is rumored to have its roots in North Carolina. Much like scrapple, a similar mixture that uses more parts of the hog, different spices, and a lesser percentage of liver, livermush supposedly became a staple during the Depression, as it was economical to make. It could also be prepared in several ways for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

A related product called liver pudding has the same ingredients as livermush except for the cornmeal. It is smoother in texture and cannot be sliced. North Carolina residents claim liver pudding is made by people who live east of the Yadkin River and people on the west of the river make livermush.

Though it is not clear why North Carolina is considered the birthplace of the poor boy’s pate, several factors may have been influential. Hogs were popular livestock in North Carolina, as they flourished in the hot, humid atmosphere that cattle could not withstand. Wild pigs typically roamed the land in North Carolina and were plentiful and popular sources of food.

When farmers butchered hogs, they used every part of the animal. When it came to serving the hog’s liver, many people found the taste of the liver objectionable. To make it more palatable, it was ground up with other pig parts, mixed with cornmeal and spices to make livermush.

Hunters Livermush is made in Marion, North Carolina and several other companies make it as well. A Livermush Festival began in 2007 in Marion and is sponsored by Hunter’s Liver Mush. The festival is noted for its livermush eating contest and the hog calling contest. The event also includes performances by local musicians and inflatables for children. Shelby, North Carolina also has had a Livermush Festival since 1987.


Persimmon Pudding

Persimmon Pudding is a traditional southern dessert made with persimmons.
Persimmon Pudding
by Willie Gogle Loftin
2 cups Persimmon Pulp
2 cups Sweet Milk
2 cups Self-Rising Flour
Pinch of Salt
1 1/2 cups Sugar
3 Eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla
1/2 cups Brown Sugar
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Baking Soda
Mix persimmon pulp, sugar, butter, slightly beaten eggs, vanilla and milk together. Stir in flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Beat until smooth. Pour into greased pans. Bake at 300F for about 1 hour.