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Bobbi Jo's Southern Sunday Suppers

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"Bobbi Jo's Southern Sunday Supper Cookbook"
from her food musical
"Cookin' With A Right Smart Of Love"
by Bobbi Jo Lathan
"Cookin' With A Right Smart Of Love"


 ABOUT
Bobbi Jo Lathan 

         Bobbi Jo began her acting career starring in the Broadway musical, "The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas." On our day off, I would pick up the phone and tell a few friends I was cookin', and by 8PM, I'd have 30 people over for supper!," laughs Bobbi Jo. It wasn't long before she was flown from New York City to L.A. to shoot a television pilot, and decided to stay a while. The pilot wasn't picked up, but she quickly began guest-starring on such shows as "Seinfeld", "Larry Sanders Show" and "Beverly Hills 90210."

          Then, in 2001, she decided it was time to integrate her love of cooking with her acting and wrote a Southern Kitchen Musical entitled "Cookin' With A Right Smart Of Love." "In the show, the audience and I bake a blueberry cobbler together, cream corn, "gig" frogs, "grunt worms" and call a turkey! You know, all the usual Southern stuff! It's a hoot! And the audiences love it!" says Bobbi Jo. When she work-shopped the production at Pasadena City College, so many people requested the recipes that she decided it was time to write her own cookbook. And her colorful, "Bobbi Jo's Southern Sunday Supper Cookbook" was born.

          Before she could even get her musical on it's feet, the culinary director at Williams-Sonoma in Beverly Hills read her cookbook, loved it and asked Bobbi Jo if she would teach a series of Southern cooking classes using the recipes from her book. She agreed and the classes sold-out! Her ability to instruct by interacting with the students in an entertaining fashion, quickly made her classes the most popular on the circuit . "My students loving refer to me as their "Beverly Hillbilly of food!", says Bobbi Jo.

          She is now one of L.A.'s most sought after instructors, giving classes on a variety of cuisines. As Bobbi Jo puts it, "From grits to grapeleaves!" Her lively ,interactive cooking classes are always booked solid in such venues as Sur La Table, Gelson's Cooking Connection, and Let's Get Cookin', as well as several Williams-Sonoma. Due to the popularity of these classes, Bobbi Jo has now become a private chef for many of her Beverly Hills patrons, as well as for an elite group of Hollywood record and television producers.

 

          Bobbi Jo can be seen as a regular "guest chef" on STYLE ! Network's popular show, "You're Invited," and has just shot a new cooking show pilot of her own entitled "Dishin' It Up!" In addition, Borders Books on La Cienega is presenting "Bobbi Jo's Holiday Buttermilk Pie and Brownies Book Signing Event" ( in conjunction with Lodge Cast Iron Mfg. Co.) on December 20th of this year.

Some Reviews For "Bobbi Jo's Southern Sunday Supper Cookbook":

"I believe that food is fun, food is entertainment, and food is theater. So does Bobbi Jo, and her new book proves it. Each recipe is right in line with the Chinese concept of "sik, heung, mei": appearance, aroma, taste. Bobbi Jo has written her cookbook with a passion for food and family that's entertaining and irresistible. Keep wokking!" Martin Yan - "Yan Can Cook Show"

"With my own flair for 'over the top', I can tell you that Bobbi Jo is a hoot! Can folklore, humor and cooking live in the same pot? "Bobbi Jo succeeds in making lip-smacking humor at the expense of a drumstick!" Christopher Lowell - "The Christopher Lowell Show"

"What fun!" Nathalie Dupree - "Nathalie Dupree's Comfortable Entertaining"

Contact For Booking :
PGartists@aol.com
fax: (818) 241-4706
or
Pam Hyatt (818) 241-6523

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      I learned to cook in my Grandmama Watson's kitchen that my Granddaddy built for her by kerosene lamp. Cause see, in those days, if you wanted to marry a girl, you had to have a house for her to live in. So, he worked all day as a carpenter over to Tallahassee, buildin' government buildings, then worked on that house at night 'til it was finished. That's what I'd call a "right smart" of love.
      Now, some of you are problee' wonderin' just what the heck a "right smart" is. Well, it was Grandmama Watson's means of measurin' somethin'. Like a "dab" of this or a "pinch" of that. To be honest, I never really asked her exactly how much a "right smart" of somethin' was! You just sort of learned by watchin' her cook.

      Now that I think of it, there were lots of things Grandmama said that I never questioned. Like she'd hold up the can of bakin' powder and instruct me, "Remember. Rumford's. Only Rumford's!" And to this day, I've never even thought of usin' nothin' else! Course, she also used to say to me, "Barbara Jo? (that's my birth name) If you cain't laugh, you're problee' dead!" And I'm still tryin' to figure that one out.
      One thing I know for sure. Wasn't nuthin' like Grandmama's fresh home-cookin'! All the food found in her country kitchen had been sleepin' in the garden the night before. Fresh-picked corn, white-acre peas, little baby okra, speckled butter beans and the most beautiful, fat, red, juicy tomatoes you've ever tasted! I mean, the kinda tomato that tastes like a tomato! Yum! And when you peeled one of Grandmama's fresh-picked peaches for a cobbler, the whole kitchen smelled of peach! When was the last time you passed the peaches in the grocery store and could smell em' from the aisle? Well, I'll tell you what, if you cain't smell em', you best move on to the bananas!
      In Grandmama's house, you woke up every mornin' to the smell of fresh coffee brewin' on top of the stove and venison sausage fryin' up in her cast-iron skillet. Grandmama didn't even own a toaster. She'd butter the bread on one side, place it butter-side-up in a bakin' dish and broil it in the oven. So, you'd end up with toast on one side and soft white bread on the other. Just perfect for dunkin' in your red-eye gravy! Served over grits.
      Now where would us Southerners be without our grits? Just like them Yankees with their bagels and them Brits with their crumpets. We gotta have our grits! Smothered in red-eye gravy and topped with two fresh eggs over-easy. Boy howdy! Bring on them hogs to slop and that field to plow! I'm ready!
      I guess you could say that life in Grandmama's house centered around food and family. And nuthin' ever went to waste. Even the chicken bones or the left-overs on somebody's plate (not mine! I cleaned mine!) or bacon grease was ground up and mixed into the slop for the hogs.
      Yes, Grandmama's kitchen ran as smooth and efficient as Granddaddy's tractor. And, not unlike his tractor , she never rested either. Even when she took a break between breakfast and supper to come out on the front porch and rock in her rockin' chair, she'd still be shellin' peas or shuckin' corn. But, it was never in a begrudgin' way. She was happy doin' what she did best. Runnin' her kitchen and feedin' every grateful mouth that sat down to her supper table. So, it's no accident that all kinds of folks seemed to just "happen-by" around supper time!
      But, you know what? I'm not so sure it was just the food. Although it was plenty delicious! I think it was more what was back of it. LOVE. Plain and simple. LOVE. There wasn't no pea that was shelled, no chicken leg that was fried and no cobbler that was baked in her oven without a "right smart" of love.

      And that's why I wrote this cookbook. For US. Cause' it just ain't no fun to cook alone. And, besides what good is a "right smart" of love if you got no one to share it with? But, we don't want it to stop there. You fill in your own Sunday Supper on the blank pages at the end of the book and pass the book onto someone you love. Believe me, you'll give em' a tickle in their heart they cain't itch.
      OK! Enough of this chattin'! I'm gittin' hungry! Let's bake!

The Watson House in Woodville, Florida

     

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Aunt Betty's Cream-style Corn

      As Aunt Betty says, "You'll know it's done when it 'plops' on the plate!" There's not a soul alive that doesn't love this recipe!

20 ears Yellow corn (field corn)
1/4 cup Evaporated milk (or more)
1/3 cup Butter
Salt and pepper (to taste)

      OK…now this recipe will take a little work, but believe you me it's worth it! First off, you better put on an apron 'cause it'll get messy! Put a big bowl in your sink and a grater inside your bowl. Take your fresh ears of shucked corn and gently grate the corn on the smallest holes of your grater. Keep turnin' the corn - you don't want to get the hull part in the bowl. So, once you've "popped" all the kernels by turning and grating, then gently take the cob and scrape what you missed with a dull knife. Squeeze the remaining juice from the cob (like you were milking a cow) into the bowl and throw away the cob. Now, twenty ears'll only make about a pint of cream-style corn. Put that corn into a pot, add the evaporated milk, salt and pepper to taste and let it start to bubble. While whisking it, add butter and cook for about 10 minutes. It should be thick and "plop" on the plate when served (at least that's how I like mine!). Every time I serve this up, people take one bite and their eyes get real big and they say, "Wow! What is this!?? It's delicious!" Believe me, once you serve Aunt Betty's Cream-style Corn you'll have to put a lock on your screen door when you're cookin'!

Note: Instead of evaporated milk, you can substitute water to make it more "ploppy."

Grandmama Watson's Fresh Blueberry Cobbler

      When my Grandmama Watson taught me how to bake, I came to realize she had her own system of measurement, "A pinch of this" and "A right smart of that." I never did ask her exactly how much A "right smart" of something was, because after a while, you just sort of learned by watchin'. So, when my Italian girlfriend from New York City was copying down this recipe, she suddenly stopped writing, looked at the recipe, stared at me and asked, "Exactly how will I know when I have measured out a 'right smart' of juice?" I thought a minute, then said, "Well…when I was a little girl and Grandmama Watson was teachin' me how to cook, right before we'd put the cobbler into the oven, she'd give me a great big ol' hug, and say, 'OK, Barbara Jo (that's my birth name), now we're cookin' with a right smart of love!' So, I guess A 'right smart' must be when your heart feels full and you know it's just enough."

1 pint Fresh blueberries (or 1 bag or box frozen)
1 stick Butter (softened)
1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking powder
1/2 cup Evaporated milk

Mix butter and sugar together, add milk and flour and baking flour until "used" (that's when you cain't tell one ingredient from another). Put fruit in a pot. Cover with water, add sugar (about 1/2 cup), and bring to a boil (2 to 3 minutes). Pour fruit into baking dish. Pour flour mixture over the fruit. Bake at 350° F for about 30 minutes 'til golden . Be sure you have "a right smart of juice!"

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Southern Sunday Supper Contents
(from "Bobbi Jo's Southern Sunday Supper Cookbook")

Introduction
Sunday Supper #1
 
  Granddaddy's Favorite Fried
Chicken
Lee Ann's Cracklin' Cornbread
Mustard Greens With
Uncle Henry's Hot Sauce
Uncle Henry's Hot Sauce
Aunt Betty's Cream Style Corn
Cole Slaw
Grandmama Watson's
Fresh Blueberry Cobbler
 
Sunday Supper #2  
  Michael B's Pork Chops
Aunt Betty's Rice With Tomato
Gravy
Sister Linda's Angel Flake Biscuits
Southern Speckled Butter Beans
Fried Okra
Aunt Ina's Southern Butter Cake
Butter Sauce
 
Sunday Supper #3  
  Fresh Baked Ham
Cousin Margaret's Buttermilk Cornbread
Sweet Tallahassee Carrots
Black-eyed Peas With Okra
Baked Sweet Potatoes With Molasses
Aunt Jean's Lemon Buttermilk Pie
 
Sunday Supper #4  
  Fresh Baked Hen
Eula Janeen's Twice Baked Potatoes
Fresh Green Beans
Plain Ol' Corn On The Cob
Fresh Sliced Tomatoes
Momma's Yeast Rolls
Wendy Dale's Florida Carrot Cake
 
Sunday Supper #5  
  Aunt Henrietta's Fresh Fried Bream (fish)
Fried Hush Puppies
Yummy Cheese Grits
Fried Okra Patties
Fresh Beets
Leapin' Lil's Frozen Lemon Custard
 
Sunday Supper #6  
  Bobbi Jo's Baked Brisket with Gravy
Cousin Sharon's Mashed Potatoes
Nene's Yellow Squash
Brenda Jean's Hot Water Cornbread
I Love Them Lima Beans
Sliced Tomatoes With Fresh Dill In Vinaigrette
Aunt Noni's Southern Pecan Cake
 
Sunday Supper #7  
  Fresh Roasted Turkey
Daddy's Oyster Cornbread Dressing
 

  Giblet Gravy with Fresh Mushrooms
Wild Rice With Cranberries
White Acre Peas With Okra
Fresh Cranberry Sauce With Orange Zest
Choctaw Indian Fry Bread
Fresh Turnips
My, Oh, My Sweet Potato Pie
 
Sunday Supper Goes International
German Sunday Supper
 
  Schweinebraten (Stuffed Pork Tenderloin)
Sauerkraut
Mashed Potatoes
Pumpernickel Bread
Obsttorte (Fruit Torte)
 
Greek Sunday Supper  
  Roast Leg of Lamb
Lemon Potatoes
Greek Salad
Dill Bread
Melomacarona (Honey/Orange Cookies)
 
Hawaiian Sunday Supper  
  Huli Huli Chicken
Somen Noodle Salad
Macadamia Nut Pie
 
Some Southern Sweets  
  Applesauce Raisin Loaf
Bobbi Jo's Brownies
Banana Bread
Aunt Betty's Chocolate Pound Cake
Grandmama's Sugar Cookies
Macaroons
Pecan Pie
Pecan Sandies
Peppermint Candy-Cane Cookies
Rocky Road Fudge
Southern Comfort Bourbon Balls
Ola Mae's Divinity Fudge
Alfreda May's Potato Fudge
Grandmama's Old-timey Gingerbread
Grandmama's White Cake With Chocolate Icing
Chocolate Icing
 
Some Southern Seafood  
  Boiled Shrimp With Daddy's Hot Sauce
Daddy's Hot Sauce
Aunt Noni's Shrimp Creole
Pasta With Shrimp And Feta Cheese
Momma's Luncheon Shrimp Dish
Blue Cheese Shrimp Dish
Shrimp And Scallop Lasagna
Daddy's Oyster Stew
Fried Oysters
Crab Stuffed Avocado
Crabmeat Casserole
Stuffed Red Snapper
 
Epilogue
Your Sunday Suppers
Index
 

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Bobbi Jo's Southern Sunday Supper Cookbook
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