The Official Southern Ladies Guide to Being a “Perfect” Mother


We can’t do a cookbook without aspic. The aspic served every Christmas. It’s very clear and red and green topped with a special low cal blend of homemade mayonnaise and cream cheese. Calories don’t count at Christmas.


12 cups tomato juice
10 packets unflavored gelatin
3 cucumbers, peeled
3 tomatoes, peeled
1 large onion
1 clove garlic, peeled
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
14 stems green onions, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
2 stems celery, chopped
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
2 teaspoons white pepper
2 teaspoons Tabasco
2 teaspoons Lea and Perrin Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup lemon juice
¾ cup olive oil

In a very large pan (the size you would use to make soup) heat six cups of the tomato juice. Sprinkle the gelatin over the top and stir after each addition. Cook over low heat until the gelatin has dissolved.

Meanwhile, in your food processor “pulse” the cucumbers, tomatoes, garlic clove and large onion. Add this mixture to the gelatin/tomato juice mixture. Add the additional 6 cups of tomato juice and the balance of the chopped vegetables and seasonings. Fill 2 bundt pans and refrigerate until firm. Overnight is perfect. This recipe makes two, ten cup bundt pans.



1 cup homemade mayonnaise
8 ounces cream cheese

Blend in your processor. Use as you would mayo. Sometimes Mother would simply use sour cream as a topping. But we all preferred the version with the most calories possible.

FOOLPROOF SOUFFLE (from a non-cook)

This is an old recipe that came from the recipe book of Florence Metcalfe, Harley’s mother, written just as she recorded it. Mrs. Metcalfe might not have been a cook, but she surely could write.  Her hand was beautiful. All her recipes were written on the backs of greeting cards or stationery with the name of the “owner” of the recipe at the top. We can attest that this is delicious—and a good, easy recipe for Mrs. Metcalfe’s fellow non-cooks. It also contains one of Delta cuisine’s essential ingredients: cream of mushroom soup.


I can undiluted cream of mushroom soup
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
4 eggs, separated
Salt and Pepper to taste

Grate cheese and combine it with the mushroom soup in a saucepan. Over moderate heat, stir until the cheese has melted. Set aside to cool. When cooled, stir in the the egg yolks and mix thoroughly, Meanwhile, beat the egg whites in a soufflé dish until fairly stiff. Now, stir in the soup and cheese mixture, folding together gently so the egg whites don’t break down. Cook 30 minutes in a pre-heated 350 oven. Serve. You can’t miss!