CURATE: Must Have Items for a Southern Kitchen

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! 

Views: 240

Tags: C-teamblog, Chefs&Dining, Lifestyle, Music&Movies&Books

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Comment by Lee Sechler on October 16, 2013 at 9:43pm

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.

Comment by kim holloway on October 16, 2013 at 6:51pm

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.

Comment by Lee Sechler on October 3, 2013 at 1:23pm

Kate, I recently aquired a couple of cast iron skillets, from my mother,  that were my grandmothers.  One is a Griswold #5 8" and the other is an unbranded 12".  Both appear to be in good shape but have a bunch of "old goop" in and on them.  It seems that they were probably purchased prior to 1940.  What is the best way to clean and re-season them.  BTY, I agree with your list! 

Comment by Cheri Leavy on October 3, 2013 at 10:04am

I am having more and more fun picking up community cookbooks.  I have some of my grandmothers' and now look for neat old ones in used bookstores.  I will admit to buying tons of cookbooks in general - just got the newly released one from John Currence from Oxford, MS  and it reads like he is talking to you and story telling and I highly recommend it. 

Comment by Jennifer Lauren Bost on October 3, 2013 at 9:37am

I love this list! I will definitely have to add a few of these things to my wedding registry! 

Comment by Emily Laborde Hines on October 3, 2013 at 9:36am

I need a deviled egg plate to finish off my collection!

Comment by Shannon Reeves on October 2, 2013 at 4:39pm
Oh I love this list! Definitely a few I need to add to my own kitchen!
Comment by Nikki Lehnhardt on October 2, 2013 at 2:20pm
I absolutely agree particularly about the deviled egg plate and a very specific ice tea pitcher. I have several deviled egg plates but my ice tea is served in an olive green Fostoria pitcher from the 1960s that looks like it is made of cracked ice. Just adds so much to the enjoyment of the tea. My mom had one just like it in the 1960s that I remember as a child.
Comment by Justin Cave on October 2, 2013 at 9:08am

Everything tastes better from cast iron! 

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