Sunday, September 16, 2007

Almost Autumn

Here we are…end of summer, almost autumn!

Goldenrod is beginning to unwrap its glorious sunny foliage. Bugs are bolder, and spiders spin their webs with abandon.

Home, family and food bloggers rearrange rooms and recipes, and some have posted pictures of shiny red apples and scrumptious ways to eat them. Gourds and pumpkins are getting attention too. Meanwhile, other blogs had end-of-summer tea parties.

Here in the Black Belt, this is the season for sweet potatoes and a hundred ways to cook them. It’s also when the catfish really gets around and re-introduces himself. He reigns as mascot of the Alabama Tale-Tellin’ Festival in Selma on Oct. 12 and 13 and appears as the catfishmobile in holiday parades.

His popularity at Tale-Tellin’ is aided by nationally known storytellers who reel in their audience with comedy, music and delightful tales about the South, including ghost stories and folk remedies told by festival founder Kathryn Tucker Windham.

For those of you who don’t know The Ghost Lady, she’s an award-winning author, storyteller, photographer and cook. She’s also an octogenarian who still travels to places like Jonesborough, Tenn., where she’s featured at the National Storytelling Festival.

When I first moved to Selma as a young wife and reporter, she lived across the street. Not long after we moved in, she brought us a cake…sorry, I don’t recall what kind! I mainly remember discussing writing and her journey from pioneer female police reporter… to feature writer …to book author. Among her 20-something books is Southern Cooking to Remember, and here are her catfish and hush puppy recipes.

French Fried Catfish

Cut catfish into slices about one-inch thick.
Pour enough oil into a deep cooking pot to completely cover the fish.
Salt the fish and dip the pieces in undiluted evaporated milk.
Roll in cracker crumbs or cornmeal and drop into hot oil.
When golden brown, drain, and serve hot with melted butter and lemon juice.

Hush Puppies

1 cup cornmeal
4 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup thick buttermilk
1 medium onion, chopped fine

Sift the dry ingredients together. Beat the egg in the buttermilk and add. Stir in chopped onion. Drop by teaspoonfuls (do not drop in big chunks) into very hot, deep fat, preferably fat in which fish has been fried. Turn when brown. Drain on paper and eat as soon as they are cool enough to handle.


Nunnie's Attic said...

I love hushpuppies but hate Golden Rod. It wreaks havoc on my allergies. Thanks for the recipe!


JANET said...

Hi Julie, sorry you are allergic to goldenrod. It is such a beautiful wildflower, and I sometimes make arrangements with it indoors. I have heard some people say that it isn't necessarily the goldenrod that causes allergies but the ragweed that grows with it. Of course, it could be all that pollen as well.
You are welcome for the recipe!

2 LMZ FARMS said...

In on part of my pasture I have a lot of goldenrod. I just love it. Hope you and yours have a blessed day.

PEA said...

Hi Janet:-) Thank you so much for coming by my blog for the neighbourhood tour!! You asked what is in the butter tarts...I had made a post with the recipe so here is the link:

Anonymous said...

this sounds great - my oldest loves catching catfish and then havig a big ole fish fry later!

Jen said...

I so love fried mom always hosts a fish fry in so hot then but the fish is always soooo good.

Becky said...

I'm a hushpuppy fan but I can't have them any more. Sigh.

Thanks for coming to visit my neighborhood. It was fun coming here to see you too.

JANET said...

Hi, and thanks for stopping by!
Laura, that would be great to just look out over the pasture and see gold!
Pea, thanks! I will check out these butter tarts. They looked so good.
April, Jen and Becky, we like our fish fried, too. But, I'm collecting recipes for other ways to cook it. It's right up there in the healthy foods lists, so I'm baking and broiling it.
Becky, that's too bad about hush puppies...I just love hush puppies with fried fish, but we've been known to eat Parker House rolls with it too!

the feathered nest said...

Hey Janet, thanks for the link to my blog! What a nice surprise!

The goldenrod is beautiful - I'm always surprised that so many people think of it just as a weed.

Thanks for the recipe - we do love hushpuppies!


JANET said...

Hi Manuela, you're welcome!
I don't think of goldenrod as a weed either! I pick it and put in vases around my house. Oh, and we do have allergies, but apparently we aren't allergic to goldenrod, but privet and pine samp are another story!

Suzie, New Jersey said...

I love this time of the year - I feel like cooking again - and I love catfish and like to try new ways to cook it, but recently I've heard alot about imported fish and how bad it is. Is it safe to eat? I ask at my local supermarket and they can't tell me where the fish is from. So much we took for granted how has a scare factor. Suzie

GardenGoose said...

ooh those recipes look good. hey..thanks for adding the link back to my website..about the tea sweet of you.:0)

am having a little drawing on my blog..ccome join the fun!
hope you have a great evening!

JANET said...

Hi Suzie. Welcome to Catfish Bytes!

So glad you came by. You will have to send me some of your recipes!
About imports...with all the recalls from China these days, I don't blame you for being concerned. The FDA did block several species of fish last summer from Asia, including catfish. Medications that aren't approved for use in farm-raised fish here were found when some of the fish were tested. Fortunately, the grocery store where I shop labels the countries where the fish is from,and I thought there was a labeling law in effect for seafood. I will try to check that out.

JANET said...

Hello Garden Goose!
Thanks for the invitation to the drawing! Thanks for the tea party recipes, too.

Renee's Ramblings said...

Great recipes! Thanks for sharing and for stopping by my blog.

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

She is one of my favorite authors and an Alabama icon. To have her as a neighbor would be too neet.
That recipe looks yummy!

Susie Q said...

Oh I too love goldenrod and using it in arrangements! So pretty...
You asked about my photos...uh huh. I tool all of them just today on our ride into the country. I look forward to taking more as the season goes on! I am a Fall freak! *big grin*

Bill loves the sound of this recipe so I think we will having a little catfish for dinner this week! : )


JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

I love hush puppies! Haven't had them in forever!

JANET said...

Hi Renee,
You are welcome to the recipes!

Sandi, Kathryn Windham is just as good a storyteller as she is an author, but I wasn't sure if a lot of people also knew she is a great cook!

Susie Q, I suppose I could qualify for "fall freak" too. I'm just beginning to bring in the autumn though. Glad Bill wants to try the recipe.

jenndz, I love hush puppies too, but I'm not so great at cooking them. I do much better with the catfish!

Sweet Remembrance said...

Nothing better than catfish & hushpuppies! Thanks for the recipe.