New Beginnings 01-01-2012

| January 1, 2012 | 1 Comment

Happy New Year!

This is my first official post on this Taste of Southern website.  Well, at least the third attempt to build this website.  And, if the old saying is true, I’m in hopes that “third times a charm,” will take hold.

I’ve been working on this site for over a year now.  I got inspired to start it back towards the end of 2009 when I found myself out of full time work and trying to figure out what my next move should be.  I’ve always enjoyed eating so when this “blog” thing starting lingering around in my head, it almost seemed like a logical move.

The original idea was to create a website and eventually a cookbook in conjunction with my nephew and brothers website  They sell some awesome pig cookers and I built a website for them several years ago.  They were also involved, along with my niece, in a restaurant over in Apex, North Carolina.  Cooking has been a family thing for as long as I can remember, but I’ll not go into all those details just yet.  Stay tuned.

I started working on the new recipe website and contacted a lot of the folks that had purchased pig cookers about getting some recipes for both the site and the proposed cookbook.  As it would turn out, they didn’t want to give them up.  I guess they all have their “secret recipes,” and sharing them just wasn’t part of their plan.

From that point, I switched the website and cookbook idea over to what I was more familiar with.  That of course, is old fashioned, down home, Southern Cooking.  You know…like mama use to make. 

Back around 1980, I hosted a radio program that sometimes included local folks calling in recipes over the air.  Even back then, I wanted to take those recipes and develop a cookbook, but it just never happened.  Still, I had about 5 or 6 composition books filled with handwritten recipes from our listeners and I’ve kept them over the years. 

My mama was a fantastic cook in her own right.  I hung around in the kitchen with her a lot as a young boy.  She taught me how to do some things around the kitchen, but we never really had real cooking lessons I don’t guess.  I just picked up stuff watching her.  Mama didn’t use recipes very often unless she was trying something new and I think even then, she would adjust it to her liking along the way.

My late wife and I operated our own small restaurant for about 2 years.  My brother opened a seafood restaurant after that and I managed the kitchen for that one for a period of time.  Thus, I’ve cooked professionally, but I’m not a trained chef.  I just learned by doing and in the school of hard knocks….trial and error.  I sold the first biscuits I ever made, but that too is another post still to come.

I started work on the website pretty seriously during the summer of 2011 when I got into doing some canning.  I started cooking recipes, taking pictures and developing the “second attempt” at the website.  I built the site, posted about 10 recipes, fully photo illustrated, and then….I got called back to work full time.  That happened about 2 days after I had fully decided that I wanted to move forward with the website idea.

My family and some of my friends knew of my plans but I never would tell them the name of the website.  I wanted to get about 25 recipes loaded on it before I would announce the big reveal and start looking for visitors. 

So now, I’m back working full time and just don’t feel like doing any more cooking and photographing at the end of the day.  I’m not as young as I once was.  I was two months back at work and realized I hadn’t cooked one single thing here at home since the day I’d returned to work.  Then something else happened.  The website got “hacked.” 

I’d had about a dozen websites on the Internet for over 10 years and never had any problems with any of them.  But not this one, the one with all the hard work, it got hacked and I couldn’t fix it.  The only option was to just completely delete it and hope to start over. 

Around the end of October, 2010, I deleted everything.

Things started to get busy at my work and I just moved further away from any thoughts of rebuilding the website.  Of course, we then moved into Christmas programming at work and that pretty much took care of any plans to do much of anything.  Christmas came and went before I could hardly turn around.

I did most of my Christmas shopping at a gourmet type store about 20 miles from home.  I love those type of places and that just built up the desire to try again.  Then I thought, maybe with 3 days off of work for the New Year weekend….I might get something started again.

Today is Sunday, January 01, 2012.  It’s 7:11pm as I type this.  I spent my entire Saturday off, setting up the shell for the new and “third attempt”  to create my Taste of Southern website.  The name is the same but the elements of the design have changed once again.  I loaded my first recipe late last night as I watched the clock tick down the end of 2011.  I finished it up and posted it just as the New Year of 2012 began.  It’s a New Beginning….in more ways than one.

I really wanted to get something online for this first day of the year, and thankfully I did.  As I stated, I’ve been working off and on with this project for just a little over a year now.  I’ve learned a lot during that time and even became an Award Winning Food Preservationist back in October.  I’ll be telling you more about that in future posts and recipes.  I’ll be able to draw upon some of the work I’ve already done as we move forward so maybe it just wasn’t time to launch the site until today.  Perhaps all the previous work was just prep work that needed to be accomplished.  Any good recipe requires some prep work right?

I was also determined to have the New Years Day Meal for today, and I’m still working on it.  I actually just placed some soaked black eyed peas in the pot of hot water with the cooked down hog jowl.  They’ll cook for about an hour, then I’ll warm up some previously cooked collard greens.  But, that’s OK because I DON’T LIKE COLLARDS.  Ha!  (You’ll have to read the post and recipe.)

I’ll take a bite of them just for the sake of having my greens and black eyed peas.  Tonight I’ll eat plain white sandwich bread and try to pretend that it’s cornbread.  Its so late now and I don’t think I’ll pull out the cast iron skillet at this hour.

I’ll have a little bit of fried country ham and a piece of Southern fried chicken and all will be good as we kick off this New Year of 2012.

It’s my prayer that you’ll come along for the journey as we try to share and save some great family recipes here on Taste of Southern.  I’m looking forward to your visits and hope you’ll leave a comment while you’re here so I’ll know you stopped by.  Check out my very FIRST recipe for Southern Collard Greens and see why I made it the first recipe on all three attempts to start this website despite the fact that I really DON’T LIKE COLLARDS.

Whenever you find this, please know that it’s my wish that you have a Safe, Healthy, Prosperous, Blessed and Happy New Year…for 2012 or whichever year it might be that you find us.

Be Blessed!!!
Steve Gordon


Category: Life at TOS

About the Author ()

Award Winning Food Preservationist, Fisherman, Author of three cookbooks. "From Mama's Big Oval Table, From Mama's Big Oval Table - BOOK TWO and Carolina Christmas Sweets and Appetizers." Online Contributor to Our State Magazine Newsletter.

Comments (1)

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  1. Sally Vining says:

    I always cook collards greens blackened peas hopping johns for New Years. I cook rice to eat with the hopping johns, they are delicious. Hope you have have a happy New Year.

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