• Brining your turkey will result in a moister, more flavorful bird

     That beautiful, bronzed, succulent roast turkey! For most of us, the Thanksgiving dinner usually revolves around the big bird. This is probably one of the easiest parts of the meal. Preparing all the other dishes that complement the bird and making sure they’re all done at the same time is the real challenge.

    Most of us buy a frozen turkey and thaw it ahead of time. It takes at least 24 hours in the refrigerator for every 5 pounds of turkey, so a 20-pound bird will take four to five days to thaw.


  • Do we really need all these ‘low-fat and ‘low-carb’ choices?

     While at the supermarket the other day, I came across my favorite soda of choice, Coke, which was on sale if I bought four 12-packs of cans. But as I checked out the choices, I encountered vanilla Coke, black cherry vanilla Coke, Coke Zero, Coke cherry Zero, diet Coke, caffeine-free Coke, caffeine-free diet Coke, diet Coke with lime and diet Coke with Splenda. Where was my just plain regular Coke?

  • Anyone for boiled peanuts? Send me your best recipes

     One day last week, a gentleman stopped by the Beacon to talk with “Norm.” Since I was not there at the time, he spoke with Cindy Turner, our office manager. He said he was looking for my best recipe for boiled peanuts.

    I told Cindy I really wasn’t into boiled peanuts, since my first and last taste of them was more than 30 years ago. At the time, I thought they tasted like cooked kidney beans, but not as good. So I figured I should do some research on them.

  • Pennsylvania Dutch food is still quite popular in the South

     Late in the 17th century, a cultural group formed by early German-speaking immigrants, including Mennonites from Switzerland and Holland and the Amish, an offshoot of the Mennonites, began migrating from Europe to Pennsylvania. They tilled the land and built big barns and homes. Since then, they have come to be known as the Pennsylvania Dutch.

  • Corn on the cob is plentiful, available at farmers markets

    When they are fresh, pulled right from the fields, they are crisp and flavorful. Even though it’s available year round, I love corn during the summer when it is at its peak.

    Like tomatoes, corn is best when grown locally. Check out our local farm markets and farmers markets. Usually, the corn sold there has been picked that morning, unlike corn sold in supermarkets. Corn loses it freshness very quickly.

    Corn on the cob is usually prepared one of three ways: boiling, roasting or microwaving.

  • Mix and match varieties of lettuce for a new taste combination

     The past few weeks have been blisteringly hot, and the appeal of crisp, healthy and delicious summer salads has been rising with the temperature. As the temperature rises, my appetite goes down. Heavy food tends to take a back seat during these warm days and lighter meals seem more appealing.

  • Many dessert recipes come from family, friends and the doctor’s office


    Family and friends have given many dessert recipes to me over the years, and many recipes I’ve just found while perusing through those “Family Day” or “Good Housekeepng” magazines while waiting around in the doctor’s office.

    Some of my favorite dessert recipes are classic French recipes, suitable for family meals or for entertaining family and friends. And the best part is they’re not so difficult to make!

  • Cool, refreshing summertime drinks made with fresh fruit

    The sunny season is here, so why not raise a cool one with friends on your patio or by the pool? It’s time to just relax in the comfort of our home and just enjoy the summer season as long as it lasts.

    Some of the most refreshing drinks are those made with fresh fruit. The fruity drink you choose may be a berry-flavored vodka creation, a blender drink using fresh fruits or even a little twist on the always-popular lemonade.

  • It’s summertime, and fruits and vegetables are at their peak

    Ripe produce is overflowing from our gardens. When fruits and vegetables are at the peak of their season, there’s no need to do anything fancy with them.

  • Many Southern dishes were created with frugal ingenuity

    When you think of Southern food, you think about home cooking and comfort food –– Creole, Cajun, Carolina Lowcountry, soul food and even Tex-Mex. These foods include an abundance of fresh vegetables, rice and/or corn, inexpensive cuts of meat (usually pork or chicken) and, of course, fresh seafood.