CURATE: Must Have Items for a Southern Kitchen

Oct 2 2013

by Kate Spears

A southern kitchen is a special place, mainly because of the culinary magic that happens there. I recently asked readers of my blog, Southern Belle Simple, to share (via Facebook) what they consider to be the number one must-have for a southern kitchen. Can we just say I was blown away by the response?

I combed through the reader responses and pulled out the most popular. Then I added a couple of my own to share as a blog post.

Without further ado, here are the top 5 must-have items that belong in a southern kitchen…(according to me and Southern Belle Simple readers)

1. Well-Seasoned Cast Iron Cookware

This was probably the most popular response on Facebook and I have to agree. Cast iron cookware is a must have for any southern kitchen and any southern cook. My favorite piece of cast iron cookware is my grill pan because it’s perfect for giving veggies those perfect grill marks right on the stove top or in the oven…all without firing up the grill. Don’t commit the cardinal sin of cast iron…NO washing with soap!

2. Deviled Egg Plate

Anyone who has ever tried to take deviled eggs to a party or picnic without a deviled egg plate knows the importance of this kitchen item. Every southern cook knows that deviled eggs are an important addition to certain meals and you can’t have deviled eggs without a proper plate.

3. Biscuit Cutter (and a Trusted Biscuit Recipe)

Every southern kitchen needs a biscuit cutter as well as a go-to biscuit recipe. I grew up watching my granny cut biscuits with a hollowed-out tomato paste can, but these modern fancy biscuit cutters work great too! Just don’t ever twist your cutter as you lift it out of the dough…unless you want flat biscuits.

4. Iced Tea Pitcher

Iced tea is the house wine of the south. I can’t remember a time when there wasn’t a pitcher of in my grandmother’s refrigerator. And when it got to running low, there was always a pot of boiling water on the stove starting another fresh brewed batch.

Just knowing I have iced tea in the house does wonders for my mood! It’s the simple things that make a big difference.

5. A Stash of Community Cookbooks

Community cookbooks should be in every southern cook’s arsenal. I collect vintage Junior League Cookbooks, but old church cookbooks are great too. I love buying them second hand, especially when they come with the previous owner’s margin notes. It’s like holding a little piece of history knowing that another cook used a book before passing it on to you.
This list is nowhere near complete…some of the other answers I got on Facebook included things like a KitchenAid mixer, food choppers, cutting boards, sharp knives and a slow cooker. A few readers even got cute with answers by adding things like “a man who can cook.”
Since Southern C community members are the cream of the crop, I just know you have some thoughts on this subject. What other items do you think belong in a well-stocked southern kitchen? I’d love to hear what might be missing from our list!


Kate Spears View More Blog Posts from this Author

Kate Spears is a self-proclaimed Southern belle who grew up in a tiny town near Nashville, but now calls Knoxville home. She graduated from the University of Tennessee (Big Orange Country!) with an undergraduate degree in art history and a master’s in public relations & advertising. In 2009, she started her blog, Southern Belle Simple, with the simple hope of giving herself a creative outlet. She continues to be amazed each time it leads to a new opportunity and cherishes the relationships that are formed along the way.

Kate is passionate about family history, time-honored traditions, and her Southern heritage. Her people hail from across the South, from the Lone Star State of Texas to the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. She grew up spending summers on her great-grandparents’ Tennessee farm where she developed a deep appreciation and admiration for people who could coax beautiful and delicious things out of a mound of dirt. She comes from faithful men, devoted women, hard workers and wickedly good cooks.

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2 responses on “CURATE: Must Have Items for a Southern Kitchen

  1. kimholloway

    Love the list, Kate! I just last year got my mom’s deviled egg plate, and happily took it to an Easter brunch here in the Pacific Northwest. Quite a hit. I, too, love to pick up cookbooks at estate sales where you get a previous cook’s notes. (and sometimes some clipped or hand-written recipes thrown in for good measure.) The Southern kitchen item I’ve been wanting since forever is one of those cast-iron cornbread stick pans.

  2. leesechler1

    I agree with Justin Cave. Everything tastes better from cast iron. But I still don’t know how to clean one. Going elsewhere with my request. If I get a plan that works I will post it her for you folks.

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