Thanks to Kate from Social Forces for sharing her Thanksgiving day experience at The Lady & Sons Restaurant.
We all know New Years is a time to both start fresh and remember highlights from the year past. Many of us think back on things like our career growth, our personal fitness and travel experiences, but for the food-lovers among us, what about culinary experiences?
This year, I decided to do just that — and share my most memorable foodie experience of 2011 with you — a special Thanksgiving Dinner at Paula Deen’s famed The Lady & Sons Restaurant in historic Savannah, Georgia.
Anyone who’s seen Paula Deen toss a few full sticks of butter into the pot knows that she is the definition of “over the top” when it comes to cooking. Now imagine, if you will, what happens when you combine Paula Dean cooking with the perennial feast-ival that is the holiday season…
I’ve heard horror stories of several hour waits for meals at The Lady & Sons and was pleased to not experience any such thing. Since we were visiting the restaurant on a holiday, we were able to make reservations for our small party of four, and did so well in advance. We were seated within 30 minutes of our arrival that evening. The restaurant was busy, but the staff pleasantly hummed along like a well-oiled machine.
A meal at The Lady & Sons begins with Paula’s Hoecakes — which closely resemble pancakes and are eaten with or without maple syrup. The main course is served buffet style for the holiday, featuring traditional Thanksgiving favorites like turkey, dressing and gravy. But the real stand-outs of the night were the Paula classics: southern fried chicken, collard greens and her signature Tomato Pie. Despite my preconceived feelings about buffet style meals at restaurants, everything was hot, delicious and fresh from the oven or stove. Dinner concluded with petite servings of banana pudding, peach cobbler, gooey butter cakes and four happy, full guests much in need of a post-dinner walk around the Savannah squares.
For your own mini-Lady & Sons experience, sans some of the butter, try making your own Coconut Oil Hoecakes.
1/4 cup Kelapo Coconut Oil
1 cup self-rising cornmeal, or cornmeal from a mix
1 cup self-rising flour
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon sugar
Kelapo Coconut Oil for frying (2-3 teaspoons extra)
Mix all of the above ingredients (expect for the extra Kelapo Coconut Oil for frying) in a medium size mixing bowl. Heat up the extra Kelapo Coconut Oil in large skillet. Once the coconut oil is hot, spoon in hoecake batter onto the skillet. Use approximately 2 tablespoons per hoecake.
Allow each hoecake to fry until they turn crisp and slightly brown underneath, then flip with a spatula to brown the other side. Remove from the skillet and serve with our without maple syrup.