Bonaventure Cemetery, Savannah, Georgia, USA
Bonaventure Cemetery, Savannah, Georgia, USA
Photographic Print

Wells, Joanne
Buy at




WB01419_1.gif (2752 bytes)

      La Belle Cuisine

from our Food Feature Archives:

In the Fine Southern Tradition -
Comfort Food for Times of Loss

WB01419_1.gif (2752 bytes)

Fine Cuisine with Art Infusion

"To cook is to create. And to create well...
is an act of integrity, and faith." (McIlhenny Company) 

"Food, like a loving touch or a glimpse of divine power,
has that ability to comfort."

~ Norman Kolpas

Recipe of the Day Categories:

 wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Recipe Home

 wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Recipe index

 WB01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Recipe Search  

 wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Appetizers

 wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Beef

 wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Beverage

 wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Bread

 wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Breakfast

 wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Cake

 wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Chocolate

 wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Cookies

wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Fish

 wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Fruit

 wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Main Dish

 wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Pasta

 wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Pies

 wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Pork

 wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Poultry

 wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Salad

 wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Seafood

 wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Side Dish

 wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Soup

 wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Vegetable

 wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Surprise!








Magnolia II
Magnolia II
Pamela Shirley
Buy This









Expectation II
Expectation II
Art Print

Osborne, Susan
Buy at








Chocolate Gifts from 











Roses and Magnolia
Roses and Magnolia
Joe Anna Arnett
Buy This









Southern Comfort II
Southern Comfort II
Art Print

Caruthers, M.
Buy at










The Sweet Potato
Queens' Big-Ass Cookbook (And
Financial Planner)


 Your patronage of our affiliate partners supports this web site.
We thank you! In other words, please shop at LBC Gift Galerie!


Cemetery at Sunset, New Orleans, Louisiana
Cemetery at Sunset, New Orleans, Louisiana
Photographic Print

Leigh, Kevin
Buy at


La Belle Cuisine


Homemade meals can soothe a family's loss
by Marcelle Bienvenu

Thursday, March 31, 2005
The Times-Picayune, New Orleans, LA

“Recently I read about two ladies, Charlotte Hays and
Gayden Metcalfe, from Greenville, Miss., who wrote

Being Dead Is No Excuse:
The Official Southern Ladies Guide
to Hosting the Perfect Funeral

(Miramax, $19.95)

Now why didn't I think of that? [Amen, Sister Marcelle! Wish I'd thought of it!]
I certainly can relate to the subject of the book. In my hometown (and I'm sure
in others across the South), it was easy to recognize who brought what to after-
funeral family gatherings. Aunt Lois always made fabulous ambrosia. Mrs.
Martin was known for her hot tamales. My mother's signature dish was stuffed
bell peppers. And Aunt Git's pepper-stuffed turkey [recipe follows] has always
been the star of not only funeral tables but also at christenings.
And who can forget Aunt Rita's seven-layer salad? These days I'm known for
potato salad with homemade mayonnaise and slow-cooked brisket. And my sister
is the queen of the sweet table; she always comes with cookies and cakes in hand.
Just last week I was called to help organize an after-the-funeral reception. I
belong to a group of ladies (we work in teams) who prepare and bring food to families following the funeral services of their loved ones. Most of the time we
have only one- or two-day notice, so we have become very organized. For in-
stance, we have several menus that we can offer to the grieving family, as well
as recipes and checklists that are at the ready when we are called for our services.
On the day of the service, we had several large 6-foot folding tables that were
draped in sparkling, carefully ironed white tablecloths, arranged on the large
patio. Napkins, plastic cups, sturdy paper plates and disposable eating utensils
were stacked neatly on side tables. Nearby another table held assorted soft
drinks and bottled water, iced down in huge deep bowls. Various and sundry
chairs were scattered around the yard.
I heard the bells tolling the end of the funeral Mass at St. Martin de Tours in
St. Martinville, and that was my cue to get the food out.
The tables were laden with several slow-cooked briskets, sliced and ready to serve. Potato rolls were set out in baskets and condiments in small bowls stood alongside the platters of meat. Two crawfish and shrimp fettuccine casseroles were coming
out hot from the oven. Aunt Git had sent her pepper-stuffed turkeys, kept moist
and warm in the pan juices. We had potato salad, mixed green salad and a salad
of carrot and raisins.
And of course, there were cakes: coconut, carrot, and pineapple upside-down as
well as chocolate chip cookies and macaroons. By the time guests arrived, two
huge urns of coffee were freshly brewed.
Three hours later our team (which includes my sister Edna) had the house spick
and span; the tables had been dismantled; the leftovers put away. Whew! It had
been a long day.
My sister and I packed my Jeep with unused paper plates and trash bags and
headed home. We laughed on the way about our family funeral gatherings.
'Remember Mr. Broussard tripping and his plate of food went flying through the living room? What about the time two spaghetti casseroles slid off the oven door and crashed on the floor? What a mess! Then one time, Aunt Eva inadvertently seasoned the tuna fish casserole with sugar rather than salt? And what about
the time Uncle Cowboy had one too many, fell asleep on the swing and snored
the afternoon away?'
Ah, the memories!
Here are some recipes you might want to have on hand should you be called
upon to send something after a funeral.”

Aunt Git's Pepper-Stuffed Turkey

Makes 10 to 12 servings

2 sticks butter, cut into 1/4-inch slices
8 teaspoons salt
4 teaspoons cayenne
1 cup minced onion
1/2 cup minced green bell pepper
2 tablespoons minced garlic
8 to 10 Cajun Chef sport peppers
(or pickled jalapeno peppers)
3 tablespoons pickle juice from
the pepper jar
1 turkey, 10 to 12 pounds

Put the butter slices in a bowl and season with 2 teaspoons salt and
1 teaspoon cayenne. Freeze for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Combine 4 teaspoons salt and 2 teaspoons cayenne in a small bowl.
In another bowl, combine the onions, bell peppers, garlic and sport
peppers, the remaining two teaspoons salt and one teaspoon cayenne
with the pickle juice.
Prepare a work surface, either a large tray or cutting board, topped with
a large clean towel to prevent the turkey from sliding around while you
work. Remove the neck, gizzards and livers from turkey cavity. Rinse
the turkey under cool water and pat dry with paper towels. Place the
turkey, breast side up, on the work surface with the cavity facing you.
Make two to three slits on either side of the breastbone, inside the cavity, with a sharp pointed knife, without piercing through to the skin. Insert
two to three slices of the frozen butter into each slit. Next, spoon about
1/4 teaspoon of the salt and cayenne mixture into the slits. Insert about
one teaspoon (or more if you can) of the vegetable mixture into each
hole, pushing with your fingers. Gently pull the drumstick forward and
outward to expose the inner thigh. Pull the skin away from the meat.
Make a slit following the bone lines from the top of each leg. Use your
index finger to make a path and repeat the stuffing procedure described above. Where the skin has been loosened on the inner thigh, spoon in
about 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and cayenne mixture.
Turn the turkey breast side up, with the neck opening facing you. Lift
the skin flap and make a slit down each wing from the shoulder, again following the bone lines. Repeat the stuffing process on both wings.
Season the outside of the turkey with any remaining salt and cayenne mixture. Place any leftover butter or vegetable mixture inside the cavity. Secure the wings by folding the lower half back over the top of the wing.
Tie the legs together with kitchen twine. Place the turkey in a large deep roasting pan. No fat or cooking liquid is required.
Roast at 400 degrees [F] for 15 to 20 minutes to get the browning process started. Lower the temperature to 350 degrees [F]. Cover with a lid and
bake for 3 to 3 1/2 hours or until the juices run clear.
Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Lift the turkey out
of the pan and carve. Serve warm with pan juices.
For a buffet, lay the carved pieces in the gravy.


Slow-Cooked Brisket

Makes 12 to 14 servings

“Make sure the brisket isn't trimmed. The fat prevents the meat from drying
out. It can be removed after cooking and before serving if you wish.”

1 brisket, about 8 to 10 pounds (untrimmed)
1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (12-ounce) can beer

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Rub the brisket with the oil and soy sauce. Season it with the salt, cayenne and black pepper. Put the brisket in a large roasting pan and bake for 15 to 20 minutes to brown it well. Reduce the heat to 250 degrees and add the
beer to the bottom of the pan. Cover the pan with a lid or with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Bake until fork tender, three to four hours. The brisket can
be basted with the pan juices several times during the cooking time. When cooked, remove from the oven and let rest for about 15 minutes.
Skim as much of the fat from pan juices as possible. Thinly slice the
brisket and drizzle with the pan juices before serving.


Seven-Layer Salad

Makes about 10 servings

1 large bag fresh baby spinach, washed and patted dry
1 medium size head lettuce (romaine or iceberg), washed,
patted dry and torn into bite-size pieces
8 hard-boiled eggs, coarsely chopped
1 purple onion, skinned and thinly sliced
1 pound bacon, crisply fried and crumbled
1 (16-ounce) can baby sweet peas, sliced beets
or string beans, drained
1 cup shredded carrots
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons sour cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Combine the spinach and lettuce in a large bowl and toss to mix.
Arrange the mixture in the bottom of a large, deep platter. Sprinkle
with the chopped eggs, then arrange the onion slices over the eggs.
Make a layer of the crumbled bacon, one of the peas (or beets or
green beans), and shredded carrots.
Combine the mayonnaise, cream cheese and sour cream in a food
processor and pulse several times to blend. Season with salt and
black pepper. Using a rubber spatula spread the mixture over the
salad. Top with the shredded cheese.
Cover and chill for at least four hours before serving.

"Comfort food: quirky, quaint, quixotic. Personal patterns of consolation,
encoded on our taste buds past all forgetting, as unmistakable as greasy
fingerprints. When the miseries strike, and you’re down in the dumps,
food transformed by love and memory becomes therapy... When hearts
are heavy, they need gravitational and emotional equilibrium.
~ Sarah Ban Breathnach
(from Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy )

But wait! There's more! Check out the Sweet Potato
Queens' ideas about What to Eat When Tragedy Strikes...

From the Spice Cabinet Archives:
Comfort Food
Comfort Food Revisited
More Comfort Food!
Nothing bad could ever happen
to me in a cafe...

Nursery Food
So... what about your wake?


Featured comforting recipes:
Annie Lou's Fried Chicken
Emeril's Funky Brined Turkey
Lazy Texas Brisket
Marcelle's Stuffed Brisket
Monte's Ham
NewOrleans Shrimp Jambalaya
The Ultimate Macaroni and Cheese
Layered Salad Collection
Favorite Layered Mexican Dip
Favorite Shrimp Dip
Kansas Pan Rolls
Mrs. Stern's Noodle Kugel
Cherry and Peach Cobbler
Pound Cake: The Ultimate Comfort Cake
Ultimate Chocolate Cake
Plain Ole Dixie Chocolate Pie

More Cream Pies
Southern Pecan Pie

Index - Food Features
Index - Favorite Recipes
The Spice Cabinet
Daily Recipe Index
Recipe Archives Index
Recipe Search

WB01419_1.gif (2752 bytes)

WB01507_.gif (516 bytes) Home  WB01507_.gif (516 bytes) Sitemap  WB01507_.gif (516 bytes) Recipe of the Day  WB01507_.gif (516 bytes) Art Gallery  WB01507_.gif (516 bytes) Cafe  WB01507_.gif (516 bytes) Articles  WB01507_.gif (516 bytes) Cookbooks
WB01507_.gif (516 bytes) Cajun Country  WB01507_.gif (516 bytes) Features  WB01507_.gif (516 bytes) Chefs  WB01507_.gif (516 bytes) Food Quotes  WB01507_.gif (516 bytes) Gift Gallery  WB01507_.gif (516 bytes) Favorites
WB01507_.gif (516 bytes) Basics  WB01507_.gif (516 bytes) Recipe Archives  WB01507_.gif (516 bytes) Links  WB01507_.gif (516 bytes) Guestbook   WB01507_.gif (516 bytes) What's New

LinkShare-Get Your Share!

Webmaster Michele W. Gerhard
Copyright © 1999-2011 Crossroads International.  All rights reserved.
Some graphics copyright
Revised: July 23, 2011.