Christy Jordan's Southern Plate
The 700 Club
Appearance Date: December 10, 2010
Christy Jordan comes from a long line of Southern cooks who taught her that home cooking is best, life is good, and there is always something to be grateful for. “When my mother would go visit her grandparents, they would immediately get her in the kitchen and put her to work,” says Christy. "Being in the kitchen together has been a way of passing down our heritage.”
“When I started out as a mother, I wanted to give my kids the kind of Christmas I’d had growing up. My parents didn’t have much money but our family sure had a lot of love—and plenty of homemade cakes, candy and every kind of cookie imaginable,” says Christy.
By the time Christy’s son, Brady, was two years old, she was feeling the pressure of filling the space under the Christmas tree with store-bought gifts. “I was feeling pulled in so many directions,” she says. “I wanted that old-time feeling in a hurry-up world.” Christy asked her grandmother, Lucille, what her mother, Lela, would do at Christmastime.
Even though they were sharecroppers during the depression in rural Alabama, Christy’s great-grandmother, Lela, always managed to make it special despite their hardships. Starting in January Lela would tuck away any baking ingredients she could get her hands on. When she tucked her four children into bed Christmas Eve, she would head back to the kitchen and using only what she had saved all year and no recipe for the cakes. “She would stay awake all night baking cakes in her little wood stove,” says Christy. “She’d make an apple stack cake, a raisin cake, yellow cake with chocolate icing, peanut butter cake, and so on. There was never a plan beyond that of needing to make seven of them—one for each day from Christmas until the New Year.”
During a time when sweets were a rarity, “those cakes were extra special,” says Christy. Lela’s seven cakes of Christmas is a story and tradition that has been passed down the family through-out the years.
Christy's Southern Plate cookbook is full of family stories and traditions. “I created Southern Plate so that I could share the recipes and stories that have been passed down through my family for more than nine generations,” she says. The recipes in her new cookbook are easy, no-fuss southern favorites including Chicken and Dumplings, Homemade Banana Pudding, and all her family's favorite holiday treats.
Christy started the Southern Plate website in 2008, it has grown tremendously in the past two years with 43 million readers. “I started it as a hobby, I have always loved to write,” she says. “My first post was step-by-step instructions for a friend who had never had homemade banana pudding.” Her cookbook and website are for any level of cook. “I receive emails from children as young as seven and older people as old as 90.”
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