Carol Remsburg is a long time friend of ours who describes herself as “Surrounded by water and lulled by the tidal pull”. A passionate wife, mother and friend, her blog title declares she is “Tidewater Bound- where amid the murky depths of an ordinary life are found joy.” Although she feels her life is ‘ordinary’, her passion for food and cooking certainly are anything but. She told us she cooks in large quantities so she doesn’t have to prepare new meals every day; quantities large enough for a Super Bowl party. She was gracious enough to share them with us so we could pass them on to you. Bring friends…lots of them. Enjoy!
10 lbs russets, peeled, into two pots, I don’t have a single one big enough, water/salt.
One very large Vidalia, diced
One entire stalk of celery hearts, chopped
1/2 jar of salad cukes (I cheated, I could dice up baby gherkins but I didn’t)
15 hard boiled eggs…okay, I boiled up 18 but somebody ate 3 of them, it wasn’t me.–They will fart, very noxiously later–glad SHE sleeps upstairs.
Boiled the potatoes until tender, drained. The eggs shelled and chunked up with the old fashioned pastry cutter…the kind with the blades. All into the BIG bowl, (yes, I have one that big.)
Into another big bowl, 1 jar and 1/3 of another of mayo, real mayo, no fake stuff.
1/2- 3/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 – 1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup of yellow mustard
2 teaspoons salt
1 or more teaspoons freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon or more of onion powder
1 teaspoon marjoram or more (If you can’t get that, Sylvia’s Seasoning)
(mix the dressing well with a spoon)
-Pour over the steaming mass of potatoes, eggs, onions, celery, and salad cukes —
-Incorporate the dressing carefully, then into the BIG Rubbermaid container, then into the fridge to chill down. The dressing is a classic. Many will opt just to glop ‘salad dressing’ over it, but a true dressing isn’t commercial. The mayo (which I can make but won’t), mustard and cider vinegar is a classic, what you add from there is up to you.
-Taste the dressing; work it to fit you, more salt, and pepper.
That’s MOM’S potato salad, just on a much larger scale than she ever made it. She never had leftovers–ever
Fireman’s Chicken BBQ Sauce
Fireman’s Chicken is special. Most aren’t familiar with it from what I’m finding out. It must be a regional thing. I grew up with it; it was MOM’s BBQ sauce. I never knew it was called “Fireman’s BBQ Sauce” or anything else. I just remember Mom making up huge jars of it to take the American Legion. For a few years during the summer months when Dad was Commander of the Salisbury American Legion Post #64, we spent a LOT of time there, often at the big grill in front of the Legion on Route 50. There was lots of summer traffic and they were selling BBQ chicken, Mom’s BBQ chicken. No red sauce here.
It was tangy sweet with cider vinegar, spices, and the char from the fire that made it. It had that indefinable goodness that foodies call “Umami” now. It had the right balance of everything and the chicken was never dried out, it was just PERFECT.
My sisters and I, would stand by the roadside flagging down traffic as the incredible scent of the barbecued chicken wafted everywhere. Actually, the passersby didn’t need us hanging out in the breakdown lane waving our arms to pull over. They just followed their noses, they were eager to stop.
It was only in recent years (and by that I mean the last 25-30) that I realized Mom’s BBQ chicken wasn’t hers alone. I had certainly encountered it on roadside stands, it was almost the same. The recipe is pretty basic, how you make it your own is yours and you can vary it at will.
It’s oil (I prefer canola, corn, or peanut for this), vinegar, heavy on the salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, and an egg. Mix well. If you have bone-in chicken or are using chicken halves — marinade at least 12 hours. If you are using boneless chicken breast, do it at room temperature but never over 2 hours, or you’ll pickle the chicken breast and make it rubbery. Boneless chicken breast is flexible, but not THAT flexible. My preference is the chicken thighs, bone-in, and the longer you let them go, the better.
Measurements are 1/3 oil, 2/3 vinegar ratio–don’t stint on the salt, lots of salt, and pepper, generous with the poultry seasoning, the egg is a given–lemon pepper if you have it, a hint of sugar, and some Tabasco sauce too–rounds it out. But mostly it’s those primary three—basic ingredients.
My preference today was the corn oil (because I had it), a mix of both cider and white vinegar (white vinegar has more bite, but cider has the sweet–I wanted both), plenty of kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, some lemon pepper, lots and lots of poultry seasoning, and some tabasco sauce. On the side, I had mixed up a smaller lot save the egg for mopping the chicken once it was seared.
Have your grill, if gas, one side HOT, the other side cool. Sear skin side down, flip, sear, move the the cooler side to finish. Watch well because this stuff is highly combustible.
You want a char but not a burn, get it crispy. It’s tangy, sweet, and that flavor you really want!
3 cups Indianhead white cornmeal
3 cups boiling water
2 ½ cups whole milk
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter
3 eggs beaten
2 ½ cups whole milk
Dollop oil (corn/vegetable)
Put cornmeal, salt, sugar into LARGE bowl, stir, make cavity for butter. Preheat oven to 400 degrees (prep 12” x 9” pan with non-stick spray and then drop dollop of corn oil in bottom of pan).
Add boiling water to cornmeal/sugar/salt/butter –stir well to incorporate, then add eggs, stir until the cornmeal mix ‘eats’ all the egg mix…Then stir in the milk, pour into prepared pan, into the oven, set the timer for 1 hour, but depending upon the humidity of the cornmeal at time of cooking, it could be done in 45 minutes, keep checking, you’ll know when it’s done.
The only real requirement is that once you have the cornmeal, sugar, salt, and stick of butter in the big bowl, incorporate each additional ingredient, hot water, eggs, and milk, one at a time. Then into the 400 degree oven and set the timer for the 45 minutes, if it’s humid it can take longer. You’ll know when it’s done. Take it out, let it set for 15 minutes before you cut it up and serve.