Tonia’s modern Appalachian cornpone

“You can put in baking powder. You can put in cracklings. You can even add jalapenos and bake it in a muffin tin. But whatever you do, don’t you dare put sugar in my cornbread!” — I used to say, and write, that with pride. Then two things changed. One: Michael Twitty of “The Cooking…

Tonia’s best cream biscuits

Decadent and quick cream biscuits are often attributed to James Beard, who credited his family’s Chinese cook with the recipe found in his classic baking book, Beard on Bread. I’m skeptical, however, that the recipe for these working girl (or guy) friendly biscuits originated with Beard’s cook. I’ve found similar recipes in numerous cookbooks, and…

Holiday cooking the lard way

By Tonia Moxley CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. – Surely two 40-plus women enjoying a glass of red wine and some Trader Joe’s cocoa truffles late on a Saturday should not giggle so loudly. But the tinkling sound of two dozen canning jars full of hot, honey-yellow lard sealing themselves sent us into paroxysms. “Oh, there went another one….

Lardy pie pastry

I made a mistake the first time I used leaf lard in pie crust. Unaccustomed to lard pastry as my wife and I were, it made a dessert pie that had a strong farmyard essence. For a long time after, I stuck to roasting and frying potatoes in the lard and left the pie to…