Dressing or stuffing? Pumpkin or sweet potato pie? Brine, baste, roast or deep-fry the bird? What you consider to be the “correct” answer to these and other culinary questions about our nation’s annual Thanksgiving feast depend largely on where you live.
It’s that time of year again, when we deck out in red, white and blue to celebrate our nation’s independence. Virginia is indisputably the birthplace of our country: it’s home to the first permanent colony of settlers at Jamestown and played a leading role in the American Revolution. Nicknamed the “mother of presidents,” Virginia was also the birthplace of eight of our leaders, including George Washington, our first president, and Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and our third president—who not only played a role in the birth of our country, he helped give birth to modern American cuisine.
Georgia-born Chef Virginia Willis's cookbooks have become staples for southern cooking. Need a foolproof chess pie or cornbread recipe? Consult Bon Appetit, Y'all. What about a lighter version of cheese straws or chicken and dumplings? Just pull the James Beard Award-winning Lighten Up, Y'all off the shelf. With five previous cookbooks under her apron, Willis also serves as an editor-at-large for Southern Living and writes a regular column “Cooking with Virginia” for SouthernKitchen.com.