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The Legend of the Spanish Moss

There’s an old, old legend, that’s whispered by Southern folks,

About the lacy Spanish moss that garlands the great oaks.

A lovely princess and her love, upon their wedding day,

Were struck down by a savage foe amidst a bitter fray.

United in death they were buried, so the legends go,

‘Neath an oak’s strong, friendly arms, protected from their foe.

There, as was the custom, they cut the bride’s long hair with love,

And hung its shining blackness on the spreading oak above.

Untouched, undisturbed it hung there, for all the world to see,

And with the years the locks turned gray and spread from tree to tree.

Describing Southern Cities:

PERHAPS IT WAS THE MASSIVE oaks draped with Spanish moss, or the gracious wrought-iron-accented buildings, or the cobblestone walkways along the riverfront, but my first and lasting impression of Savannah was a sense of deja vu, like a vague distant memory evoked by some provocative fragrance. — Alice Ross, Gobelle website.

I was a typical farm boy. I liked the farm. I enjoyed the things that you do on a farm, go down to the drainage ditch and fish, and look at the crawfish and pick a little cotton.  Sam Donaldson, Reporter and News Anchor from Texas

About fifteen miles above New Orleans the river goes very slowly. It has broadened out there until it is almost a sea and the water is yellow with the mud of half a continent. Where the sun strikes it, it is golden. Frank Yerby, Author

Growing up Southern is a privilege, really. It’s more than where you’re born, it’s an idea and state of mind that seems imparted at birth. It’s more than loving fried chicken, sweet tea, football, and country music…it’s being hospitable, devoted to front porches, magnolias, moon pies and coca-cola… and each other. We don’t become Southern – we’re born that way

“True grits, more grits, fish, grits, and collards. Life is good where grits are swallered.”–Roy Blount, Jr

“All I can say is that there’s a sweetness here, a Southern sweetness, that makes sweet music. If I had to tell somebody who had never been to the South, who had never heard of soul music, what it was, I’d just have to tell him that it’s music from the heart, from the pulse, from the innermost feeling. That’s my soul; that’s how I sing. And that’s the South.” — Al Green

“When I go to the Gate, I’ll play a duet with Gabriel. Yeah, we’ll play ‘Sleepy Time Down South’ and ‘Hello, Dolly!.’ Then he can blow a couple that he’s been playing up there all the time”– Louis Armstrong, on his 70th birthday

Southern weather forecast: tolerable, hot, really hot, and scorching.

“Tough girls come from New York. Sweet girls, they’re from Georgia. But us Kentucky girls, we have fire and ice in our blood. We can ride horses, be a debutante, throw left hooks, and drink with the boys, all the while making sweet tea, darlin’. And if we have an opinion, you know you’re gonna hear it.” ~~Ashley Judd, Actress

It’s so hot in the South, the cows are giving evaporated milk.

“A Georgia peach, a real Georgia peach, a backyard great-grandmother’s
orchard peach, is as thickly furred as a sweater, and so fluent and sweet that
once you bite through the flannel, it brings tears to your

-Melissa Fay Greene, ‘Praying for Sheetrock’

A Southern farmer discovers the local kids have been feasting on his watermelons in the patch. He posts a sign saying, “Warning! One of these melons contains cyanide.” A week later the farmer returns to check on his melon patch to find another sign that says: “Now there are two!”.

Well it’s way, way down where the cain grows tall. Down where they say, “Y’all”

Walk on in with that Southern drawl. ‘Cause that’s what I like about the South.

She’s got backbone and turnip greens. Ham hocks and butter beans

You, me and New Orleans. An’ that’s what I like about the South~~Bob Wills

“She was so Southern that she cried tears that came straight from the
Mississippi, and she always smelled faintly of cottonwood and peaches.” ~~Sara Addison Allen

It is so hot in the South tonight, the mosquitoes are carrying canteens.

There’s a Southern accent, where I come from

The young’uns call it country

The Yankees call it dumb

I got my own way of talkin

But everything is done, with a Southern accent

Where I come from ~~Tom Petty

“The true Southern watermelon is a boon apart, and not
to be mentioned with commoner things. It is chief of this world’s
luxuries, king by the grace of God over all the fruits of the
earth. When one has tasted it, he knows what the angels eat.”, Mark Twain

“Red beans and ricely yours.”

Louis Armstrong loved red beans and rice so much he signed his personal letters thus

Well, I was raised up

Beneath the shade of a Georgia pine

And that’s home you know

Sweet tea, pecan pie and homemade wine

Where the peaches grow ~~Zac Brown, Chicken Fried Lyrics

Yeah, I like my rice and gray and my black-eyed peas.
Corn on the cob, I want a big glass of tea
Some okra and tomatoes and some turnip greens
I want some real soul food, Do you know what I mean? ~~Kenny Bill Stinson

Jesus is my friend, America is my home

Sweet iced tea and Jerry Lee, Daytona Beach. That’s what gets to me

I can feel it in my bones

Smooth as the hickory wind, that blows from Memphis down to Appalachicola

It’s hi ya’ll did ya eat well. Come on in child. I’m sure glad to know ya. ~~Southern Voice Lyrics

There’s buckwheat cakes and Injun batter, makes you fat or a little fatter

Look away! Look away! Look away! Dixie Land

Then hoe it down and scratch your gravel, to Dixie’s Land I’m bound to travel,

Look away! Look away! Look away! Dixie Land

I’m a Southern girl. I like when they open the door and pull out a chair. I’m really into a man’s man. Brooke Burns

Southern nights and the living is easy, Southern weather is humid and hot

Southern living is roots and tradition, Southern ways they never forgot

Southern drawls and soft gentle voices, whisper through the magnolia trees

Southern belles and porch swings a-swayin, enjoying the touch of the warm evening breeze. ~~Judy Yeager

Are you from Dixie, I said from Dixie, where the fields of cotton beckon to me

Hello, how do you feel, I’m glad to see you. Here’s the friends I waited to see

If you’re from Alabama, Tennessee or Caroline. Anyplace below that Mason Dixon line

Then you’re from Dixie, hurray for Dixie, cause I’m from Dixie too.~~Lyrics from song, Are You From Dixie

Born and bred on Southern ground. No place I’d rather be found.

But down in Dixieland, with my feet in the sand

Drinking sweet iced tea under a magnolia tree. No place I’d rather be

No matter where I roam, I’ll always come back home

Cause Dixie is a part of me. My Dixieland. ~~J. Yeager

Johnnie! Susie! Come to supper! The music of iron skillets, the flitting of lighting bugs, are in that antique invocation. Supper, in the South, was the light meal: cereal or sandwiches, sometimes bacon and eggs. No culinary folderol, anyway. All of that belonged to the midday repast known as dinner, when the whole family turned up, from office or school, to feast in solidarity on meatloaf and turnip greens.~~by William Murchison, The Dallas Morning News Columnist 3/13/96

“O magnet-South! O glistening perfumed South! my South! O quick mettle, rich blood, impulse and love! Good and evil! O all dear to me!”–Walt Whitman

Our Southern homeland, beautiful and so grand.
Your laid-back Southern ways,
Your long, hot, humid days,
Your traditions from long ago and your speech that flows so slow.
Your native sons and daughters, too
My Dixieland! I love you.~~J. Yeager

In the South, we “sip” sweet tea, mimosas, and mint juleps while “swayin” in the porch swing or “rockin” on the veranda. These things are all guaranteed stress relievers! ~~J.Yeager


Rules of Southern Cookin: 1.Cook everything ’til well done & then some. 2. Fry when possible. 3. Don’t measure. Southern cookin is done by taste, not by book. 4. Cook in iron pots & skillets. 5. Always have biscuits or some form of soppin’ bread every meal. 6. Always cook large quantities in case company stops by. 7. Don’t toss out grease. Keep a can on the stove for all drippins. 8. Don’t waste anything. 9. The more you grow, catch or shoot, the better it will taste. 10.Always bless the food.


37 Responses

  1. born and raised in the south. southern ky to be exact!!! our fav. meal was homemade kraut, soupbeans, cornbread, fried corn, killed lettuce, and fried porkchops with a sugary coffee glaze, and fresh tomatoes from the garden. lordy, how I love my southern roots!!!!!

  2. I was born in Flint, Michigan. My father and most of my family were General Motors employees. The mothers, fathers and grandparents of nearly everyone I knew were originally from the southern states. All these “southern” expressions are SO familiar and dear to me. My family was blue collar and “country” as you will ever find….yes, Michigan is FULL of rednecks, y’all. lol The hey day of the auto factories is long gone and everyone seems to be moving back to their southern roots. Here I am in Kentucky…. northern born…southern raised… and in God’s good time.. buried in the rich soil of the Bluegrass.

  3. I also love Southern sayings. I wonder if this transplanted Yankee to the South had grandparents/great grand parents that had Southern genes. I grew up in a small town in the mts. of Northern PA. and I heard some of these “sayings” from them and have a knack for saying them myself. I wonder if some aren’t just rural or mountain “speak” or Scotch=Irish. One of my great grandmothers named Minnie Belle (and she was a Yankee) even smoked a corn cob pipe while sitting in her rocking chair.

  4. I like your Southern Thangs part of the site but I wanted to give ya a couple of other phrases I grew up with: 1st- I’m fixin’ ta go ta the market. 2nd- And I’ve known ya since ya was knee high ta a grasshopper. 3rd- betcha a buck ya can’t doit. And 4th- I be thar if the crik don’t rise
    I could probably come up with more but these were ones that popped in my head. Lol

  5. ,Love your site and it reminds me of how lucky I have been to have been born and raised in the South. There is definitely a phenomenon known as Southern Hospitality The farther South you travel, the more apparent it becomes.! I am going to have to try some of these recipes, especially the dips and desserts. Thank you. I enjoyed it so much.

  6. I’ve seen your recipes on Facebook many times & finally decided to check out your web site – ABSOLUTELY love it!! It’s already in my favorites. Brought back so many memories, especially of my Mother who died when I was 15. I was born in Augusta, GA, but grew up in Huntsville, AL, married a yankee, but converted him – he’s ALMOST southern, have lived in Oklahoma (kinda Southern) for 25 years. One thing I saw on here, I believe in the “Southern Thangs” section, was southerners like sugar on their grits – that’s what Yankees and Okies do, not true southerners. Also, about the manners & saying yes sir/yes mam – I still do this even though I’m almost 65 years old! I hope to live in Sweet Home Alabama again before I die. Thanks for stirring up my southern pride.

  7. I’m a southern girl from a little town called Culleoka Tenn. Culleoka means sweetwater named by the Indian tribe that fished and hunted there. It is a beautiful and majestic place to live; you cant get anymore southern then the ppl who have lived there great greater on down the line. I now live in another lil Tenn town who has a long history is Lawrenceburg. Yes I love southern cooking and take great pride in my recipes. They are always made with a scoop of love. Love your posts; have trully enjoyed reading it and will surely use some of your recipes. Bless your heart!!!!

  8. I moved down south to Louisiana and it was the best 6 years of my life….never thought there were people like that …so much nicer and so sweet compared to Yankees…..I can’t wait to get back down there and live the rest of my life with the best people there is,

  9. This makes me remember that I’m not crazy – just the offspring of 2 southerners who is forced to live in the north.

  10. This site has brightened my day. Thank you so much for such a wonderful site.

  11. I was born an raised in Ohio. parents from Pa. I moved south to Virginia. the people are by far nicer, respectful . I also moved west L.A. 3 yrs. Im now back in Ohio . I would move back down south in a heart beat. northern people are nothing like southerners.

  12. I just love friendly people, they make you feel so good to be alive, being friendly is a wonderful thing to be!!!!!

  13. just found your site and i surely do love it. i was born and raised in eastern ky,left the hollow when i was 32 yrs old.now i live in michigan.i miss my old life in ky. hope to return and live there again.

  14. I love love love this site. I am a Georgia peach. And I say you hit the frawg on the head with this site.

  15. Lord have mercy, I don’t know how I’ve missed out on this site for so long! I’m here now though and I don’t reckon I’ll be long away from it. It’s a well-done and beautiful site, Southern Lady. Bless your pea-pickin’ heart for putting it together. My place ain’t near as nice as yours, but y’all are sure welcome to come for a visit. Drag up a cheer and set a spell, you’re bound to find something you like over there!

  16. I’ve lived in the western states all my life and when I visited North Carolina it was a real culture shock. Every time we ate at a restaurant we were treated like we were family, by the workers there, and complete strangers sitting next to us would start up a conversation. Tea was sweet tea, which is not what you get out west, so when I started to add sugar to my tea the waitress was aghast. I loved it there, the lifestyle, the food, the plants, the mountains, the people especially, always saying hi, waving at you, so many smiles. We hiked up into the mountains, waking up to a fog covering the mountains and rivulets of fog trailing between the trees brought me to tears. You could feel the history on those old Indian trails that the Confederacy used so long ago. It was an incredible experience I will always remember. Coming home after two weeks in the South to no smiles, no sweet tea, no biscuits and gravy, made me homesick for North Carolina. This page is wonderful, thank you so much for the privilege to enter your kitchen and enjoy your southern hospitality.

  17. Born in the north Rome, New York but always teased for saying y’all and my southern accent. some words always had a drawl to em for some unknown reason. It was never put on just happened naturally. !5 years ago moved to Kissimmee florida and I am home. I am not the odd person anymore. I am so proud of my cracker grandson. Cannot live without sunlight. Tingle at the sight of longhorn cattle, dirt roads (albeit next to Wal Mart}.

  18. Really enjoyed this site. Having been born and raised in Orlando Fl. before Disney we were really in the South. Fishin, Shrimpin, Horse back riding. No Malls but plenty of dirt roads to ride our horses on. Yes I am blessed to be from the south!!!!!!!

  19. When I lived in the south I developed a passion for southern cooking, which I learned from a beautiful African AMERICAN housekeeper this lady also taught me patience, compassion and how to laugh at myself! In the south I always felt like I had come home and finally belonged.

  20. I am a Carolina Girl born and bred and when I die I’ll be Carolina dead. Bless You Heart !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. yankee here but i life at ft bennin, ga for 4 years i remember the food to be rather different esp the chicken and those funny things that kept looking back at me on the plate, i also went to school in southern ill. it was just as southern as columbus ga.

  22. One of the first solids my 3 boys ate were grits with a little hard boiled egg mixed in. Their grandfather would make them grits with garlic when the got a little older. They still refer to them as “grandpa grits”.I couldn’t take the heat in Louisiana anymore so we are loving it in Clarksville, TN!

  23. I like to say I’m a transplant from Michigan, was born in Northern IL. I moved here in 2005 to Texas, and I love it here! I still haven’t gotten rid of my Yankee accent, and people instantly know I’m from the north. Even when I use Southern phrases, Down here near Galveston, the seasons are: Winter, Spring, and Hurricane season! So far, I’ve been in one hurricane.

  24. Having been raised on fat back, hog jowl and cracklin bread this is a Southern boys type site. Love little white onions with them long green stems and white beans cooked on an old wood stove with ham hocks. Nothing better than a fresh churned glass of cold buttermilk and cornbread crumbled up in it. Growin up we raised everything we ate and if we didn’t raise it we didn’t eat it. How many high school girls today could go out to the yard catch a old hen chop her head off, clean out the insides, scald her real good so the feathers would come off, cut up the chicken and fry it? Not many!! I was born a country boy, was lucky enough to go to college and eventually get a law degree. But I am still a Southerner. I had rather have a pot of beans(white or pinto), some cornbread(with or without cracklins), fried taters(sweet or arsh), some vinegar cole slaw, and a big glass of ice tea as to eat at the fanciest restaurant in NY City, Paris France, or Rome Italy. Just so long as they’s plenty of it. I can’t stand to watch those cookin shows on TV that serve just a smatherin of food. Not enough to fill a holler eye tooth. Southerns like to have a plate full of food and know that if they are still hungry they can go back and get another un.

  25. This is all just too cute! I’m a ‘reformed Yankee” (once a yankee, always a yankee, i know lol) and love living in the south. I didn’t quite fit in up there and sure enuf some will say I may never here either…but in my heart i’ve always been a southerner! Love the site!

  26. Just reading all this about the South made me swell with pride in my Southern upbringing. We “don’t get above our raisin” or daddy’ll “take us down a notch”! We love to go to the “far tar” where we get a great view of the surrounding forest which are woods to us! In the summer we sleep out (take quilts and pillers outside and sleep in the yard)! We don’t leave the door standing open cause we weren’t “born in a barn” or mama will yell at us or make us bring her a switch so she can stripe our legs for us! Oh sear, this ite is wonderful! ~<3~. Bless your hearts for havin it…

  27. I am from outside of the Augusta area, born and raised. I now live in Cleveland near Chattanooga. I adore your web site. Reading it brought back sooo many memories. we lived up in West Virginia on the ohio border for a few years. OH MY GOSH was it an eye opener. They don’t teach their children manners, no respect for older people. I’m 55 now have raised 5 children now have 6 grandchildren and I’m soo glad to have been raised in the south. It only takes a trip up north to have a true appreciation for your southern heritage! I have an old poem called “COLLARD GREENS” that I’ve misplaced over the years. I thought it might be on your site. I am going to track it down and send to you. I think you will want to add it to your page.

    • I do not know what part of W.V. you refer too. I was raised there, and that is not the case. Children are very well trained in their manners and are most respectful to their elders. Pride in that state is beyond measure, we worked twice as hard to get just as far as the next one. If you were there only for a short time. . perhaps, but not anyone I know is disrespectful. Even if we live up a hollow, it is beautiful and we do have schools., colleges, air ports, china, silver and spreads on our beds and screens on the windows. No chickens running in and out of $10,000 homes not 4500.00 , nor $1,000,000.00 ones either. It is a beautiful, lush rolling hills, huge Appalachian Mtns. and rushing white water, fishig in beautiful clean mtn water, Friendly folk and God fearing ppl and wonderful denominaion and a diverse culture of ppl. Sorry you did not have a pleasant experience, , I never found that to be true growing up there.

      • I believe he meant Ohio, as he said he was on the border of W.V. & OH. I myself was born in Texas and raised from there to Florida along the Gulf Coast. I married a ‘Yankee’ from Ohio and they don’t have the same emphasis on manners that you and I learnt being raised in the South. I don’t think that makes us ‘better’ necessarily, but yes mam/sir, no mam/sir is just nicer than ‘nah’, huh and yeah. I’m carrying on the same raisin with my daughter that I received. Respect is such a valuable trait down here and with good reason. A Yes Sir will get our children a lot farther than a Yeah, I’m sure you would agree. Anyhoo, I truly don’t think he meant to imply that about West Virgianians in total, as I have known only a few and think y’all are so lovely. Jus sayin… 😉

  28. I have to say you forgot one that has always gotten me laughed at. Tars, the black round things on a car that spin around when you drive!

    • Sheila, I was just talking about ‘tars’ the other day! I live in the Middle East now and all my friends are just amazed by our Southern English!

  29. Wow, what a wonderful site this is! I’m from south Louisiana and we do have a Cajun influence but believe me, we are true Southerners! Thank you so much for reminding me how blessed I am!

  30. Love this. I was born and raised in the south and no place I’d rather be. I do travel alot and very often as soon as I start talking someone will say, hey your from the south. I am always filled with pride when I hear this. I have even had people ask me to talk to them more because they Love the voice of a Southern Lady. Yep no matter where I roam I can’t wait to get back to LANTA, my Dixie home; SWEET GEORGIA!!!!


    Thanks so much

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