Darlene's Redneck Recipes




 I decided a while back that I would put together a recipe book for the younger girls in our Southern family that would reflect how their grandmothers and great-grandmothers cooked. I'm one of the last members of my family who grew up with these women and their food. That being said, I didn't want it to be just another cookbook.

I love writing humor and I knew I had the perfect character for it. Darlene Higginbottom. She made her first appearance in a 50's Southern comedy I wrote called "Laid to Rest." Actually, she was never supposed to be the main character but once she came on stage, I knew the story belonged to her and not Richie and Tommy Ray as I had planned. Darlene is an outspoken, ambitious, assertive country girl who believes you should dream big. Her dream is to become a movie star like her idol, Marilyn Monroe. I always thought of Darlene as looking like Marilyn, acting like Lucille Ball and talking like Madea. Darlene has always been one of my most popular characters. I've had more readers ask me about her than any other character I've written. 

Then I had to come up with a title. Darlene's Cookbook was meh. So I finally settled on Darlene's Redneck Recipes: Humor and Home Cooking. Darlene, who is from the '50s, talks about cast-iron skillets, cooking pies, picking poke sallet, etc. Plus she adds comments to the recipes every so often. Her comments and stories are all fictional, but they are based on things that I recall being told about or either doing growing up and as an adult. I also talked to my friends to see what they remembered about their mothers cooking and meals at the house. 

Regarding the recipes, my one stipulation was to use only recipes that required simple ingredients found in most kitchens. Nothing fancy or hard to make. Many of the recipes came from my recipe box and that's what I wanted for the book. Like looking through a recipe box with over 200 recipes. 


The cookbook contains my mother's chocolate pie recipe. It is the only recipe of hers that I have in her handwriting. She wrote "very good" at the end and circled it. That's true. That chocolate pie is awesome. Other recipes I had accumulated over the years were some from our patients at the medical clinic where I worked years ago. The patients used to make goodies for us at Christmas. Two of my favorites were Miss Jessie's sour cream pound cake, which was heavenly and Miss Amelia's pineapple filling that she put in little tart shells. They brought me their recipes, which I still have and included in the book. They have both been dead for many years, but their cooking lives on. Then there are the co-worker recipes like the one for a lemon pie that was written on a Post-It note.

In my quest for recipes and how women once cooked, I headed to a country beauty owned by an old friend of mine. On Fridays, she does all her "old ladies" hair for the weekend, especially church on Sunday. So I went out there on a Friday with a notebook in hand and sat and talked with women who came in about cooking and what memories they had of their mothers and grandmothers in the kitchen. Plus I gathered more recipes. 

The women I grew up around cooked constantly. I had one aunt that practically lived in her kitchen. She was always in the kitchen cooking something. When we went to her house, we all sat at a big white and chrome table that was in the dining area of the kitchen. We never sat in the living room and I don't remember her ever being anywhere but in the kitchen puttering from the stove to the sink. 

She couldn't drive as was true of many of the farm-raised women who were my kin and ancestors. They lived on farms, milked cows, had chickens, hogs, and vegetable gardens.
They used what they had on hand when they started cooking a meal. They didn't have ready access to grocery stores and they didn't have the money for specialty items. So all their dishes were simple and homemade. I tried to stay true to that in this book

In Darlene's cookbook, I leave it up to the cook to add whatever additional spices, herbs or flavors they want to try. That's how new recipes are created, so be creative in the kitchen and enjoy some good food!

Here's an interior picture:


Here's a list of all the recipes:

SOUTHERN SWEET TEA
BRIDAL SHOWER PUNCH
EASY HOT CHOCOLATE
HOT APPLE CIDER
PARTY-TIME PUNCH
PRAYER MEETING PUNCH
CLAYBURN’S UDC CHAPTER’S MINT JULEP
RED VELVET PUNCH
HALLOWEEN WITCHES’ BREW
CAPTAIN KATHY’S PEG LEG COCKTAIL
HO-HO-HO CHRISTMAS PUNCH
PUCKER UP LEMONADE
THE MUST-HAVE CAST IRON SKILLET
BREAD & BISCUITS
BASIC SOUTHERN BISCUITS
DONNA JEAN’S SAWMILL GRAVY FOR BISCUITS
MISS BRADLEY’S CAT HEAD BISCUITS
MAYONNAISE DROP BISCUITS
MAYONNAISE DROP ROLLS
SUPER BUTTERY DROP ROLLS
GARLIC CHEESE BREAD
COUSIN LEROY GOOCH’S
BEER BISCUITS
TOMMY RAY’S MOMMA’S MUFFINS
PAPPY HIGGINBOTTOM’S HUSH PUPPIES
DARLENE’S DELIGHTFUL FRENCH TOAST
BANANA NUT BREAD
THE SOUTH’S MOST BASIC CORNBREAD
DARLENE’S DIVINE SLAW & DRESSING
GOOD WITH EVERYTHING COLESLAW
MISS INEZ’S SWEET AND SOUR SLAW
CHILLED FRUIT SALADS
FROSTY STRAWBERRY SALAD
SOUR CREAM FRUIT SALAD
MISS ALMA’S BOOZY FRUIT SALAD
CHILLED ORANGE DELIGHT
BUTTER PECAN SALAD
COOL CHERRY SALAD
CHERRY PINEAPPLE CHILLED SALAD
STRAWBERRY PINEAPPLE SALAD (Pink Stuff)
SNICKERS AND APPLE SALAD
CAULIFLOWER SALAD
SUPER SPINACH SALAD
RAY BABY’S ENGLISH PEA SALAD
THE BEST HOMEMADE CHICKEN SALAD EVER!
SAUERKRAUT SALAD
HOT CHEESE & PINEAPPLE SALAD
DARLENE’S FAVORITE CORNBREAD SALAD
QUICK SNACK CHICKEN SALAD
POKEWEED AKA POKE SALLET
POKE SALLET RECIPE
SOUP RECIPES
HILLBILLY HAMBURGER-VEGETABLE SOUP
BROCCOLI CHEESE AND POTATO SOUP
FIRED-UP TACO BEAN SOUP
POTATO SOUP
COUNTRY CORN AND BLACK-EYED PEA SOUP
GARBAGE SOUP
BEST BARBECUE HAM
EASY BAKED HAM
HAM GLAZE
SLOW COOKED BEEF ROAST
CHEESE, MACARONI AND BEEF BAKE
PERFECT PORK CHOP BAKE
CHICKEN PARMESAN
GRANNY HIGGINBOTTOM’S EASY CHICKEN AND DRESSING WITH GIBLET GRAVY
MUST HAVE GIBLET GRAVY for DRESSING
MRS. UNDERWOOD’S CHICKEN POT PIE
CHICKEN TORTILLA DUMPLINGS
CHICKEN SPAGHETTI
LEMON CHICKEN
COCA-COLA CHICKEN
CRISPY UNFRIED CATFISH
SUPER EASY CROCK-POT STEAK
CHESTER CALHOUN’S CHILI
QUICK CHILI FOR BLACKBERRY WINTER
COOKING A ROAST
BARBECUED PORK ROAST
LAZY MAN’S ROAST
BARBECUED PORK CHOPS
BREAKFAST EGG DELIGHT
WHO DAT SHRIMP BAKE
OPAL PEARL’S BAKED BEANS AND GROUND BEEF
PAPPY’S REAL GOOD BAKED FISH
DARLENE’S FAVORITE MEATLOAF
ABOUT SOUTHERN VEGETABLES
SCRUMPTIOUS SWEET POTATOES
CANDIED APPLE SWEET POTATOES
DARLENE’S FAVORITE SWEET CREAM-STYLE CORN
PURPLE HULL PEAS
GOOD WITH EVERYTHING TATER SALAD
WHITE BEANS & PINTO BEANS
REAL MAC AND AMERICAN CHEESE
COUNTRY TURNIP GREENS/COLLARD GREENS
TRISHY’S FAVORITE SQUASH DRESSING
BAYOU RED BEANS AND RICE
ALABAMA-STYLE HOMINY
WHIPPED POTATOES
CARROT PUDDING
LIP-SMACKING GREEN BEANS
GRANNY'S GREEN BEANS
MAUDIE’S SPINACH
STUFFED BELL PEPPERS
GRILLED CABBAGE
FRIED GREEN TOMATOES
FRIED TATERS
FRIED ONION RINGS
FRIED OKRA
FRIED OKRA PATTIES
FRIED CAULIFLOWER
FRIED SQUASH
FRIED CUCUMBERS
FRIED RICE
FRIED CHICKEN LIVERS
SOUTHERN FRIED CHICKEN
FRIED OYSTERS
MISS CAROLYN’S FRIED BUTTERMILK SALMON PATTIES
FRIED SALMON PATTIES
FRIED APPLES
FRIED PICKLES
FILL-YOU-UP POTATO CASSEROLE
CHICKEN CASSEROLE
TATER-TOPPED CASSEROLE
SWEET PEA CASSEROLE
TUNA DELIGHT CASSEROLE
PARMESAN CHEESE POTATO CASSEROLE
GREEN BEANS AND GROUND BEEF CASSEROLE
HEAVENLY HAMBURGER CASSEROLE
SPINACH CASSEROLE
TASTY TURNIP GREEN CASSEROLE
WATER CHESTNUTS AND RICE CASSEROLE
OLD MAN BOWER’S CRABMEAT CASSEROLE
CLEMMIE’S SQUASH AND PECAN CASSEROLE
GRANNY’S TURNIP GREEN CASSEROLE
LOTSA CORN CASSEROLE
EAT YOUR VEGETABLES CASSEROLE
STACKED TO HEAVEN CASSEROLE
ASPARAGUS CASSEROLE
YELLOW SQUASH CASSEROLE
RICHIE’S FAVORITE RICE AND TACO CASSEROLE
HUNTER’S BREAKFAST CASSEROLE
THE BLUE RIBBON CHOCOLATE PIE
MERINGUE TOPPING FOR PIES
EASIEST COBBLER EVER
MELT IN YOUR MOUTH PECAN PIE
ALL AMERICAN APPLE PIE
CRUSTLESS COCONUT PIE
EFFORTLESS FRIED PIES
COCONUT MERINGUE PIE
GOOEY MOLASSES PIE
PEANUT BUTTER PIE
LEMON ICEBOX PIE
LUSCIOUS LAYERED LEMON PIE
MISS JESSIE’S SOUR CREAM POUND CAKE
AUNT ALTA’S HOMEMADE CHOCOLATE CAKE and FROSTING
CHOCOLATE FROSTING FOR CAKE
MANDARIN ORANGE CAKE
PINEAPPLE ANGEL FOOD CAKE
OLD-TIMEY ORANGE CAKE
GRANNY FRANK’S NO-BAKE FRUIT CAKE
MY 5-MINUTE PINEAPPLE UPSIDE-DOWN CAKE
SUPER QUICK CAKE IN A CUP
LUCINDA LEDBETTER STROUD’S MINIATURE FRUIT CAKES
HERSHEY CHOCOLATE CAKE
STRAWBERRY CAKE
HOSTESS CUPCAKE CAKE
MISSISSIPPI MUD CAKE
CANDY AND COOKIES
COCONUT CHOCOLATE PECAN DELIGHT
PEANUT BRITTLE
PERFECT POPCORN BALLS
PECAN NUT ROLL
RAY BABY’S OATMEAL CHOCOLATE COOKIES
CHOCOLATE COBBLER
BROWNIE DELIGHT
BIG RED’S YUMMY PEANUT BUTTER AND CORN FLAKE TREATS
TRISHY’S WHITE PECAN BALLS
BIG RED’S IRRESISTIBLE CHOCOLATE GRAVY
COCONUT MACAROONS
OREO COOKIE AND ICE CREAM DESSERT
COUSIN CLEMMIE’S CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRIES
CLAYBURN GARDEN CLUB LA-TI-DA TEA CAKES
BLUEBERRY PINEAPPLE TREAT
LEMON WHIPPED CREAM COOKIES
EASY CHOCOLATE FUDGE
BEST EVER HOMEMADE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
GLENDA FAYE’S HAMBURGER BUN PEACH COBBLER
MISS AMELIA’S PINEAPPLE FILLING
MOMMA’S BEST EVER BANANA PUDDING WITH MERINGUE
DIVINE LOUISIANA PRALINES
HOT PEPPER SAUCE
HOT PEPPER JELLY
HOT TOMATO RELISH
SLUGBURGER RECIPE
SLOPPY JOES
CHEESY DOGS
PRONTO PUPS
STONE GROUND GRITS
CHEESE GRITS
OPAL PEARL’S RICE AND RAISIN PUDDING
AWESOME APPLE BUTTER
AT THE FAIR CANDIED APPLES
SALTED PECANS
DARLENE’S QUICKIE JAM
SAUSAGE BALLS
DELICIOUS DEVILED EGGS
BRING ON THE CHIPS SPINACH DIP
RICHIE’S DRUNK HOT DOGS
CHERYL’S PERKY PIMENTO CHEESE
SWEET AND SOUR SAUCE
SMOKED TUNA DIP
TOMMY RAY’S TASTY BARBECUE SAUCE
THOUSAND ISLAND DRESSING
CHEESE FONDUE
YUMMY FRESH FRUIT DIP
DEVILED HAM DIP
ROLL TIDE DIP
TOMMY RAY’S SAUERKRAUT AND WEINERS
AWESOME TRACTOR PULL DIP
NEW ORLEANS BEIGNETS
GLAZED CINNAMON RAISIN MUFFINS
DEER ROAST
PAPPY HIGGINBOTTOM’S DEER TENDERLOIN
WILD QUAIL BAKE
UNCLE FRED’S DUCK CASSEROLE
WILDERNESS RABBIT FIXINGS
RICHIE’S FROG LEG FRY
DONNA JEAN’S SQUIRREL DUMPLINGS

Here's a photo of the interior of the cookbook:


At the present time, the cookbook is available in print and ebook on Amazon.


You can read more about the background of this cookbook in this blogpost:




And the book will make a great Christmas stocking stuffer! 

If you enjoy Darlene's cookbook, please leave a review. Thank you so much!!! Happy eating!!! 

No comments: