Icons of Southern Baking

I consider certain recipes to be symbolic of Southern cooking. These recipes in particular are ones that came from good hardworking folks, have spanned generations and used locally available ingredients. These same recipes link us to our history and remind us of our heritage.

It’s especially important at this time of year to acknowledge what a blessing fruits and vegetables were to our ancestors and to also remember how imperative it was to prepare for a time when very little fresh produce would be available. Before freezing food was an option, canning, curing and drying were the best ways to preserve most fruits and vegetables. For many of our ancestors, much of their summer was spent preserving as much food as possible to get them through the winter months.

I find it nearly impossible to make a comprehensive list of the recipes I consider the best examples of traditional Southern cooking and baking. Instead, I’ve opted to share three of my favorite recipes appropriate for this time of year.

All three of these recipes are known for their simplicity. The Southern Cornbread has a subtle nutty flavor, crisp texture and moist crumb inside. The Old-Fashioned Peach Cobbler is a perfect combination of delectable sweet fruit and a flaky, slightly salty crust. You can’t forget the Southern Biscuit Shortcake with its brilliant use of a slightly sweet biscuit combined with perfectly ripe strawberries and billowy whipped cream.

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