South Arkansas Recipes

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Launch Party signing (640x640)

The big Launch day arrived, and I am happy to report that In Those First Bright Days of Elvis is pleasing my readers, according to Amazon reviews and the emails and calls I am receiving. I couldn’t be more thrilled. Naturally, I thought some people would like the book, but I never dreamed it would be so enthusiastically received, and that people would already be demanding the sequel. Thanks, to all of you subscribers for your support. If anyone feels so inclined, please post a short review on Amazon. Three or four sentences will suffice. If you haven’t posted a review before, just go to, type in the title of the book, In Those First Bright Days of Elvis, and when it comes up, click on it. There you will be able to read the other posts as well as write one yourself. Thanks in advance.

The first draft of Book II is done and I am polishing at this point. Since it will be a while before it comes out, I thought you might enjoy having some Arkansas/Louisiana recipes from my family’s collection to try out while you wait for the next installment in the adventures of Julie Morgan. Let me know what you think of them.



From the kitchen of Josephine Keenan

2 cups yellow corn meal
1 tsp. Salt
1 med. Onion, chopped
Boiling water
Cooking oil

Mix corn meal in a bowl with salt and chopped onion. Add boiling water little at a time, stirring until mixture is moist, but not sloppy. Shape mixture into flat cakes and fry in about ½ inch of hot oil (I use peanut or coconut) in a heavy (iron) skillet until deep brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately. This bread goes well with turnip greens, black-eyed peas, roast, meat loaf, fried fish, and all vegetables.


Grease and flour three 8” cake pans or two 9” cake pans

Preheat oven to 325


½ cup sugar     (Mix these three ingredients in sauce pan. Bring to a boil and cook 3 min. Let cool)
½ cup cocoa
1 cup milk

1 stick butter (1/2 cup) (Cream together butter and sugar; add eggs and mix well.)
1 cup sugar
2 whole eggs

1/2 tsp. salt (Dissolve salt and soda in water and add to sugar mixture.)
1 tsp soda
3 TBSP boiling water

2 cups all-purpose flour (Add alternately to sugar mixture, ending with flour.)
½ cup milk

Add chocolate syrup mixture to sugar-flour mixture.

1 tsp. vanilla extract (Add to sugar-flour mixture.)

Put into 3 8” round pans, greased and floured.

Bake at 325 for 20 minutes or until toothpick in center comes out clean. (Test first at 17 minutes.)



2 cups sugar
½ cup cocoa
1 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch salt
½ stick butter

Cook sugar, cocoa, and milk till it reaches the soft ball stage, or 235 degrees. Beat adding butter, vanilla, and salt, until spreadable.




From the kitchen of Fannie Keys, dietitian for Yocum School, El Dorado, Arkansas, many long years ago. This was one of my favorites served in the lunch room.


½ cup chopped onion                5 servings
2 TBSP butter
¼   tsp. black pepper
2 TBSP + 2 tsps. Worcestershire sauce
2 TBSP + 2 tsps. sugar
1 cup catsup
1/8 cup vinegar (Add more to taste, if desired)
½ cup water
2 tsp. dry mustard
1 lb. pkg. frankfurters cut into 1” pieces

Cook onions in butter. Add remaining ingredients, cook until franks are tender. Serve over mashed potatoes or cooked, pureed cauliflower, if you’re on a diet.

That’s all folks. See you in July.


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Cheryl Welch
Cheryl Welch
7 years ago

Looks good, will try the cornbread soon

Carolyn Terry
Carolyn Terry
7 years ago

Recipes look great. Thanks for sharing! We do have good food here in Arkansas and Louisiana! I’m ready for the next book! The big question: Is Julie pregnant????
Carolyn Terry