July 29th, 2013
04:30 PM ET
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Editor's note: The Southern Foodways Alliance delves deep in the history, tradition, heroes and plain old deliciousness of Southern food. Today's contributor, Virginia Willis, is the author of cookbooks "Bon Appétit, Y’all" and "Basic to Brilliant, Y’all." She is a contributing editor to Southern Living and a frequent contributor to Taste of the South. She also wrote Eatocracy's most-commented post of all time.

In this series for the Southern Foodways Alliance, I am examining iconic Southern foods that so completely belong to summer that if you haven’t relished them before Labor Day, you should consider yourself deprived of the entire season. My plan is to share a little history and a few recipes that I hope you will enjoy. This week, I’m spilling the beans - and the peas.

Though their origins are different, I’ve paired field peas and butter beans together for this post because they ripen at about the same time in an incredibly short season, and they are similar in their luscious texture and taste.

My family always planted a large garden near the house and often kept another plot in the black, fertile soil down by the river. Among the many, many vegetables my grandfather planted were black-eyed peas and butter beans. In the summer, we’d sit on the porch shelling the black-eyed peas that Dede had picked that morning. The purple hulls dyed our fingers a smoky violet. He’d also bring up bushel baskets of pale green butter beans, which were my favorite. I dearly love fresh peas, but without question, my absolute favorite summer vegetables are butter beans. Oh my. There is simply nothing like them.
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July 24th, 2013
02:00 PM ET
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Editor's note: The Southern Foodways Alliance delves deep in the history, tradition, heroes and plain old deliciousness of Southern food. Today's contributor, Virginia Willis, is the author of cookbooks "Bon Appétit, Y’all" and "Basic to Brilliant, Y’all." She is a contributing editor to Southern Living and a frequent contributor to Taste of the South. She also wrote Eatocracy's most-commented post of all time.

In this series for the Southern Foodways Alliance, I am examining iconic Southern foods that so completely belong to summer that if you haven’t relished them before Labor Day, you should consider yourself deprived of the entire season. My plan is to share a little history and a few recipes that I hope you will enjoy.

Fresh tomatoes are only ever good in summer. There is nothing as wonderful as the full, rich, almost wine-like flavor of a vine ripe tomato—just as there is nothing as disappointing as the dull, insipid, lifeless flavor of a cold storage tomato shipped from halfway around the world. I don’t eat those and strongly suggest that you don’t, either. So, when it’s tomato season, I heartily endorse eating those glorious ripe ones as often as possible.
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Summer foods: Crazy for corn
July 17th, 2013
01:00 PM ET
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Editor's note: The Southern Foodways Alliance delves deep in the history, tradition, heroes and plain old deliciousness of Southern food. Today's contributor, Virginia Willis, is the author of cookbooks "Bon Appétit, Y’all" and "Basic to Brilliant, Y’all." She is a contributing editor to Southern Living and a frequent contributor to Taste of the South. She also wrote Eatocracy's most-commented post of all time.

In this series for the Southern Foodways Alliance, I am examining iconic Southern foods that so completely belong to summer that if you haven’t relished them before Labor Day, you should consider yourself deprived of the entire season. My plan is to share a little history and a few recipes that I hope you will enjoy.

We kicked off the series with homemade ice cream. Coming up, I’ll feature tomatoes, squash, peas & beans, okra, peaches, and finish up right before Labor Day with a barbecued Boston butt. This week, we’re going crazy for corn!

Corn is not only an iconic Southern food; it’s All-American. Granted, as a country, we have perhaps become overly dependent on corn. But instead of the unpleasantries of industrial agriculture, let’s focus on buttery juices dribbling down your wrists, old-fashioned miniature plastic corn forks jauntily stabbed into the ends of the cob, and bacon fat melting in the cast-iron skillet, ready to receive freshly cut, milky kernels for creamed corn.
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5@5 - Make the most of the farmers market
June 20th, 2013
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

Say the name "Franny's" to any pizza-loving New Yorker, and they'll grow visibly excited. Francine Stephens and Andrew Feinberg, have developed a large and loyal following for their Brooklyn restaurant, due in large part to their commitment to using sustainable, in-season, locally-grown ingredients.

In their new book, "Franny’s Simple Seasonal Italian," the duo, along with food writer Melissa Clark, celebrate the fundamental pleasure of fresh food gotten straight from the men and women who grow, raise and craft it.

Creating those trusting relationships is an essential and enjoyable part of the process. It can also be a little intimidating for people who aren't used to coming face-to-face with the people who produce their food, or fruits and vegetables that don't come shrink-wrapped from the grocery store.

Feinberg and Stephens are here to help your confidence bloom.

Five Ways to Maximize Your Farmers Market Visit: Andrew Feinberg and Francine Stephens
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Filed under: 5@5 • Cocktail Recipes • Farmstands • Local Food • Make • Recipes • Sip • Spirits • Think • Vegetables


Here is how to cook vegetables
June 18th, 2013
01:45 AM ET
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Vegetables are leafy, crunchy, luscious, colorful little presents the earth gives out to say it loves us. They're packed with the vitamins and nutrients we need to keep from perishing of all manner of dreadful pirate diseases like rickets, scurvy and beriberi.

The least we can do is prepare them as deliciously as possible. Here's our best advice for making the most of the season's bounty.
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Filed under: Corn • Greens • Okra • Potatoes • Spring Vegetables • Summer Vegetables • Vegetables


National eat your vegetables day
June 17th, 2013
09:00 AM ET
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While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.

Vegetables are dirt candy - so dig in. June 17 is National Eat Your Vegetables Day!

It’s one of those things in life that we should just accept: toast will always fall to the floor buttered side down, and mom is usually right - especially when she tells you to eat your vegetables.
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National asparagus month
May 30th, 2013
09:00 AM ET
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While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.

May the spargel be with you - it's National Asparagus Month!

For many, it isn’t spring until asparagus arrives. Ancient Romans and Greeks prized asparagus spears not only for their deliciousness but for their alleged medicinal properties. They weren’t far off: Asparagus contains no fat or cholesterol, and is low in sodium.
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Filed under: Asparagus • Breakfast Buffet • Food Holidays • News • Vegetables


National strawberries and cream day
May 21st, 2013
09:00 AM ET
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While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.

Mmmm...dreamy. May 21 is National Strawberries and Cream Day!

How could we forget one of the most obvious uses for all those strawberries you’ve been picking? We speak of course, of strawberries and cream.

The beauty of the dessert lies in its simplicity – it really is just strawberries and thickened cream. Kitchen types aren’t known for leaving well enough alone, so there are a few ways to dress up this basic dessert.
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Filed under: Breakfast Buffet • Food Holidays • Fruit • News • Spring Vegetables


What to drink with green vegetables
May 20th, 2013
01:45 PM ET
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Ray Isle (@islewine on Twitter) is Food & Wine's executive wine editor. We trust his every cork pop and decant – and the man can sniff out a bargain to boot. Take it away, Ray.

Spring is in full flower - I know this, because I am sneezing continually - and in addition to the burgeoning boughs and all come asparagus, snap peas, watercress, spinach, artichokes, you name it. Basically, everything’s gone green.

With that, if you’re a wine lover, there’s also the question: What wines go best with green vegetables?
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Filed under: Artichokes • Asparagus • Content Partner • Food and Wine • Sip • Spring Vegetables • Vegetables • Wine


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