Meet Rebecca Lang, Cooking Instructor, Author and Food Writer from Athens, GA
I recently attended Food Blog South in Birmingham which is a gathering of foodcentric writers so I don’t think it was entirely out of place for me to march up to a cute blonde and exclaim, “my scrambled eggs are so much better now because of you!” I did just that to Rebecca Lang who recently published a fabulous cookbook, Southern Living’s Around the Southern Table (Oxmoor House, Oct 2012).
Rebecca’s cookbook is one of those you take to bed with you at night and read every word of it like a good juicy novel. She narrates throughout and you feel like you are graciously welcomed into her Athens, GA kitchen with every page. And yes, if you heed her advice, she can even improve your scrambled eggs.
Rebecca Lang is also the author of Quick-Fix Southern, Southern Entertaining for a New Generation and Mary Mac’s Tea Room. As a Contributing Editor for Southern Living, Rebecca has been featured in over 50 cooking segments on the nationally syndicated show “Daytime.” She is a Contributing Editor for myrecipes.com and is the author of the popular column, “Girls’ Night In,” on the site. Having taught hundreds of cooking classes, she is also a well-respected cooking instructor.
Enjoy my recent visit with her…
Five ingredients always in your pantry:
I’m religious about keeping a well-stocked pantry. It makes it easy to cook quickly and cook well at a moment’s notice. You’ll always find cornmeal, really good anchovies, stone ground grits, fig preserves, and San Marzano tomatoes.
Five ingredients always in your fridge:
My fridge ebbs and flows more than my pantry but there are certainly items that are chilling in there on any given day. Bacon grease, goat cheese, unsalted butter, organic whole milk (it’s almost all my children drink), and eggs all have a permanent home inside.
Do you cook at home? And if so, what?
I cook at home nearly everyday. Because I do have to travel a few days a month, I tend to be a major homebody when I’m in town. Luckily, cooking at home and staying-in go hand-in-hand. With two young children, I have to cook things that are family friendly, fun, and that don’t take too much time during the week. This week, I’ve served my Oats and Bacon Meatloaf, Fried Chicken and Avocado Salad and a classic roasted chicken with grits. I’m also obsessed with cooking breakfast on weekends. If it’s before lunch on a day off from school, we are all in the kitchen together.
Where is a culinary travel destination for you and why?
I could eat my way through Charleston, South Carolina each week and still not have enough. I lived there while in culinary school (and ate my fair share then) but I sure love going back.
What are your go-to popular items you like to serve at a cocktail party?
I get really aggravated at cocktail parties when guests are required to stand, hold a small plate and a glass and then are served food that needs a utensil. That combination simply can’t be done graciously. I serve different menus at different parties, but I always serve things that can be picked up with one hand and eaten in one or two bites. It’s also imperative to choose a menu that can mostly be made ahead.
Sweet and Savory – name your favorite dishes for each.
My sweet is pound cake.
For savory, I love to eat too much to pick just one, but I’m partial to cheeseburgers, macaroni and cheese and fried chicken.
What do you like to do outside of cooking?
My favorite thing in the world is playing with my children or snuggling on the sofa to watch a movie with them. For the few times when the house is quiet, reading a book or taking a nap is nothing short of heavenly.
What would you want for your last meal?
I hope I’d have plenty of time because I’m not going out lightly. I would politely request pimento cheese, fried okra, a magnificently marbled ribeye, and lots of seared foie gras.
Other Foodie Spotlights:
John T. Edge at Southern Foodways Alliance