Friday, April 2, 2010

April 2010

Volume 6 Issue 4

*** Random Thoughts

It’s funny the things that we learn when we’re young- the little traditions and routines we get used to and that we keep. Or the things we think we remember and then adopt as rule. Like when we had pork chops, it was almost always with macaroni and cheese. That seems like a Tuesday night meal. I have no idea if we had this most Tuesday nights but it strikes me as a Tuesday meal.

I grew up in Humphreys County, Mississippi, the Catfish Capital of the World. Of the world, mind you.

Belzoni hosts a festival each April and every year April, my mind turns to catfish and all the different ways it can be prepared.

I don’t know if we had a catfish-palooza the month of April at my house growing up. I’m thinking not, and I haven’t lived in Belzoni in almost 20 years so I’m not sure why each spring as azaleas bloom and daffodils appear I have catfish on the brain.

And on the plate.

In other news, my blog has a new look and a new address. You can still visit it at and you can also get there at ! Graphic designer Marley Sullivan worked her magic a few weeks ago and I’m so happy with the results. I hope you’ll visit and let me know what you think.


You can follow my blogs! Just click “Follow This Blog” to sign up and you’ll receive alerts when new posts are up.

*** Great Quotes

The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month. - Henry Van Dyke

No doubt. The first day of spring skies were blue, the sun was shining, and the temperatures were in the 70s. The second day of spring? It snowed and highs were in the 40s.

*** Fun Food Idea

We’re still on catfish, the world’s easiest fish to prepare. (I have no idea if that’s true. I just made it up. Sounds good, though, and I believe it’s probably true.)

Cheesy Baked Catfish
This is ideal for a weeknight dinner; it’s fast and easy and kids like it. For a party, you can use the same method with catfish nuggets rather than filets.

6 catfish fillets
1/2 c. melted butter
1 c. finely crushed round cheese crackers
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp. chopped parsley
1/4 tsp. red pepper
1/4 c. sesame seeds
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Thaw fish if frozen. Combine cracker crumbs, cheese, sesame seeds, salt, parsley and both peppers. Dip fillets in melted butter and roll in cracker crumb mixture.

Place fillets on foil lined baking sheets. Bake for 20 minutes or until fish is golden brown. Top with additional grated Parmesan if desired. Yield 6 servings.

Creole Catfish Cakes

1 pound catfish fillets, broiled
6 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 1/2 cups finely chopped bell pepper
1/2 cups finely chopped green onions
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco
1 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs

Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan. Add the flour. Stir constantly for 2 to 3 minutes, while the roux bubbles. Add the milk slowly, continuing to stir until the cream sauce is thick, 10 to 12 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and mustard, mixing well.

Flake the catfish fillets into a bowl. Add the cream sauce and the remaining ingredients, mixing thoroughly. Use the fish mixture immediately or refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Using a large spoon, make cakes with the fish mixture and coat them completely with more fresh bread crumbs. Using a heavy skillet, sauté the patties gently in 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter, until they are browned. Keep warm while you continue cooking the cakes, adding more oil and butter as needed.

Serves 8 or more.

This recipe is courtesy of “Classic Catfish,” a cookbook my friends, Evelyn and Tony Roughton of Indianola, Mississippi. If you have never visited their restaurant, The Crown, you should as soon as possible. A Delta institution, The Crown’s praises have been sung everywhere from the pages of Southern Living magazine to the Food Network. Be sure to sample their smoked catfish pate if you get by for lunch.

In the Kudzu Kitchen:

Old fashioned coconut cake


Meals from leftovers – nothing makes me feel more efficient or more frugal

*** Pass It On

Email me at kudzuuu at gmail dot com to subscribe and the Delta Dish will be delivered fresh to your mailbox each month.

*** Hit the Highlights - a few choice blog posts from last month:

Even at the library; I never know what The Child will say.

House story: The Husband’s Office

Easter recap

Scenic and not so scenic photos

Be the first in your neighborhood to know when fresh blog posts are up! Visit and click on “Follow This Blog” to the right, about midway down the page. You’ll be alerted when a new content is posted. It’s fast and no cost, of course.

*** Shameless Bid for Commerce

“Keetha DePriest Reed's "More Culinary Kudzu: Recollections and Recipes from Growing Up Southern" is part cookbook, part collection of wonderful essays on food, family and growing up Southern and altogether great fun…

I would very highly recommend "More Culinary Kudzu" to anybody who enjoys good food and good writing as well as to anybody who wants to find out more about the South. As for me, I only have one question left - how do I get invited to one of their family reunions?” – review by

*** Recommended Reading

I’ve read so many good books lately. Like Mississippi native Steve Yarbrough’s Safe From the Neighbors. I couldn’t stop turning the pages.

And The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen. I loved it, as I did her books “Garden Spells” and “The Sugar Queen.”

Books read last month.

*** Adorable Thing My Child Said

On the phone with me while he was visiting my grandmother, an expert bridge player:

“Mee Maw is going to give me some cards - 52 of them!”

*** Mississippi Writers Guild

The Mississippi Writers Guild sponsors writer workshops, conferences, writer retreats and reputable writing contests. Membership dues are only $40.00 per year.

The Mississippi Writers Guild is a non-profit association of writers from all over the state and is a growing part of Mississippi’s literary art landscape.

*** Calendar

Saturday, April 10 – World Catfish Festival, Belzoni, Mississippi. It’s also my 20th class reunion. My word. Twenty years. How did that happen?

Monday, April 12 – I’m speaking at the National Library Week luncheon in Winona.

Sunday, May 9 – Mother’s Day

Sunday, May 30 – Wedding anniversary

*** Reminders and Unsubscribe Info.

If you would like to unsubscribe from this newsletter, simply send an email with “unsubscribe” in the subject line to kudzuuu at gmail dot com - we’ll miss you but won’t harass you about staying or coming back.

2010 © Pecan Street Press. All rights reserved.

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