Damon Lee Fowler

Damon Lee Fowler

Writer and cooking teacher who lives and eats in Petersburg, Virginia Welcome to the Facebook Fan page of Damon Lee Fowler! Mrs. Hill. The Savannah Cookbook.

Cookbooks and Commentary by Damon Lee Fowler

Classical Southern Cooking: A Celebration of the Cuisine of the Old South. New York: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1995. Revised edition: Gibbs-Smith Publishers, September 2008. Hill’s Southern Practical Cookery and Receipt Book by Annabella P. Facsimile reprint of the 1872 edition with historical commentary by Damon Lee Fowler. Columbia: University of South

Damon Lee Fowler :: 18 October 2023: The Comforts of Split Pea Soup 18/10/2023

It's been a long, hot, and busy summer, but cool weather is back and so am I with a new post on the Recipes and Stories page of my website about that warming, cool-weather classic Split Pea Soup. It's good to be back and sharing with you all again. I hope you'll visit, read, cook, and enjoy. Blessings!

Damon Lee Fowler :: 18 October 2023: The Comforts of Split Pea Soup We're finally having autumnal weather in our corner of Virginia: chilly nights and mild days, enough rain to bring out the color of the leaves and holly berries in our garden, and lots of sunshine giving that golden light that only happens as the year winds its way to a close. It's perfect.....

Damon Lee Fowler :: 5 July 2023: Summer Comfort and Vegetable Soup 06/07/2023

Summer comfort in a bowl and making the most of what we have (both in the pantry and within our selves) in the latest entry to the Recipes and Stories page of my website. I hope you'll visit, read, cook, and enjoy. Blessings!

Damon Lee Fowler :: 5 July 2023: Summer Comfort and Vegetable Soup When most of us use the words "comfort food" we usually mean something that warms us both inside and out, wrapping us up physically and emotionally. But during the dead heat of summer, when the humidity turns the air into hot mayonnaise, the sun turns the pavement into a short-order griddl...

Damon Lee Fowler :: 18 April 2023: Spring Vichyssoise 20/04/2023

I've been back out in the jungle we call a garden since Easter, beating back overgrowth and digging up buried treasures in the form of pathways, curbs, and street pavement (that's another long story), so I'm late revisiting the iconic cold soup that began our Easter dinner and made for a delightful cold lunch later in the week. Find out why this classic may be old but should never be out of style in the latest entry to the Recipes and Stories page of my website.

Damon Lee Fowler :: 18 April 2023: Spring Vichyssoise Easter dinner in our house always begins with a chilled soup. Even if the weather outside isn't exactly spring-like, it's a welcome reminder that warmer days are on the way. But mainly, it's because a cold first course can be made ahead and, as a bonus, is often the better for it. My usu...

Damon Lee Fowler :: 16 March 2023: Comfort Casserole 16/03/2023

Thoughts on what we think of as comfort food, my mother's casseroles, and a simple beef and potato casserole in the latest entry to the Recipes and Stories page of my website. I hope you visit, read, and cook up some comfort of your own. Blessings!

Damon Lee Fowler :: 16 March 2023: Comfort Casserole 16 March 2023: Comfort Casserole It's funny how we all talk about "comfort food" as if it's a simple, clearly defined thing. From time to time we even see stories about an "ultimate" comfort food such as mashed potatoes. But the reality is that the concept is among the mo...

Damon Lee Fowler :: 11 March 2023: Mama's Bread Pans and Buttermilk Bread 11/03/2023

My mother's bread pans, her buttermilk yeast dough, and baking comfort, in the latest entry to the Recipes and Stories page of my website. I hope you'll visit, read, bake, and enjoy this lovely old-fashioned bread. Blessings!

Damon Lee Fowler :: 11 March 2023: Mama's Bread Pans and Buttermilk Bread Once my parents were finally settled into assisted living and we knew for certain they were never going back to their house again, last fall my elder brother and his wife began the daunting task of decluttering it. Thirty years is a long time for two children of The Great Depression to be savi...

Damon Lee Fowler :: 28 February 2023: Into the Wilderness in Lent—New Potatoes with Garlic and Olive Oil 01/03/2023

Working in the wilderness, catching up with Lent, and a simple recipe for getting a little spiritual discipline in the kitchen and at the table without giving up on flavor, in the latest entry to the Recipes and Stories page of my website. i hope you'll visit, read, cook, and enjoy. Blessings!

Damon Lee Fowler :: 28 February 2023: Into the Wilderness in Lent—New Potatoes with Garlic and Olive Oil While I've been out in the jungle we call the back garden, hacking away at the briars that have surrounded our sadly neglected greenhouse like Sleeping Beauty's castle, Lent has crept up on me. For those who don't observe the Christian calendar, Lent is a penitential season of spiritual....

Damon Lee Fowler :: 10 February 2023: Winter Gardening and Spinach Gratin 11/02/2023

Winter Gardening (also known as beating the overgrowth into submission), comfort cooking, and revisiting an old favorite from my youth in the latest entry to the Recipes and Stories page of my website. I hope you'll visit, read, cook, and enjoy! Stay warm and well!

Damon Lee Fowler :: 10 February 2023: Winter Gardening and Spinach Gratin The weather here in Virginia has been unusually mild, cool enough to invigorate, but not too warm to make working in the garden uncomfortable. Since there are only a few weeks left in the dormant season, I've been back out in it, trying to get as much as possible under control before spring. ...

Damon Lee Fowler :: 30 January 2023: Winter Nesting, Missing Teaching, and Pork Scaloppine 01/02/2023

Even when you love what you do, it's not always easy. Thoughts on the effects of stress that sometimes linger, winter nesting, and missing teaching in the latest entry to the recipes and stories page of my website. Oh, and a truly lovely recipe for pork scaloppine.

Damon Lee Fowler :: 30 January 2023: Winter Nesting, Missing Teaching, and Pork Scaloppine For twenty years, fully half the time that Savannah, Georgia, was my home, aside from writing cookbooks and traveling to promote them, I also wrote a cooking column for the daily paper. The challenge at the beginning was adjusting to tight deadlines and keeping the copy short and to the point....

Damon Lee Fowler :: 12 January 2023: Post-Holiday Refreshment—A Quick Sauté of Chicken Breast with Butter and Herbs 12/01/2023

The joyous cycle of seasons of holidy indulgence and thoughtful post-holiday restraint, and a lovely quick saute of chicken that only tastes indulgent, in the latest entry to the Recipes and Stories page of my website. I hope you'll visit, read, cook, and enjoy! Blessings!

Damon Lee Fowler :: 12 January 2023: Post-Holiday Refreshment—A Quick Sauté of Chicken Breast with Butter and Herbs In the late seventies and early eighties, the airwaves of public radio were graced with the homespun wit and wisdom of Kim Williams, a naturalist and writer from Missoula, Montana. Her commentary covered just about every aspect of life, but the one that has stayed with me, and is inevitably br...

Damon Lee Fowler :: 5 January 2023: Twelfth Night and Christmas's Last Hurrah—Winter Squash Soup 05/01/2023

This evening is Twelfth Night, the actual last day of Christmas, which means that the feast continues . . . to that end, I'm sharing a nice puree of winter squash to begin this last bit of feasting, in the latest entry to the Recipes and Stories page of my website. I hope you'll visit, read, cook, and feast on!

Damon Lee Fowler :: 5 January 2023: Twelfth Night and Christmas's Last Hurrah—Winter Squash Soup If your Christmas tree is lying at the curb, the decorations are already packed away, and you've started your New Year's resolution to cut back and lose weight, that's too bad. Because today—not December 26, is the actual end of Christmas—its last hurrah, if you will. That means we& #...

Damon Lee Fowler :: 30 December2022: The Sixth Day of Christmas 30/12/2022

In the latest entry to the Recipes and Stories page of my website, in our house the Christmas feasting continues, and this lovely vegetable is always a part of it. I hope you'll visit, read, cook, and enjoy! Blessings!

Damon Lee Fowler :: 30 December2022: The Sixth Day of Christmas In our household, we observe the old twelve days of Christmas: Not with a collection of strange symbolic gifts (no geese a-laying here), but our halls are still decked and ringing with Christmas carols, and our feasting continues through Epiphany (January 6). An unsung and underappreciated el...

Damon Lee Fowler :: 23 December 2022: Rescuing Mistakes and Christmas Fudge 24/12/2022

In the "do as I say and not as I did department," if by chance you are staying in on this frosty Christmas Eve, here's a tasty project for a holiday treat that's well worth the trouble I caused myself with it. Dark Chocolate Fudge and the importance of paying attention in the kitchen, in the latest entry to the Recipes and Stories page of my web site.

Damon Lee Fowler :: 23 December 2022: Rescuing Mistakes and Christmas Fudge Let's begin with a full disclosure that what you are about to read outlines a not-terribly-stellar moment in my life in the kitchen. Last week, I decided to make a batch of homemade fudge for Christmas, basing it on one of my own recipes for a dark chocolate fudge frosting. Most chocolate ...

Damon Lee Fowler :: 20 December 2022: Continuing Education in the Kitchen and Potted Ham 20/12/2022

Our ever evolving kitchens, learning new and old tricks, and a lovely old pantry staple that's perfect to have on hand for the holidays, in the latest entry to the recipes and stories page of my website. I hope you'll visit and enjoy reading about growing as a cook, making potted ham, and eating it with a nice cup of tea or yuletide cheer. Blessings!

Damon Lee Fowler :: 20 December 2022: Continuing Education in the Kitchen and Potted Ham One of the most challenging and irksome things about writing recipes is that they, like their authors, are imperfect. But unlike their authors, once they hit print, they're static. We humans aren't: We're constantly learning and evolving—and that includes what we do in the kitchen. The...

Damon Lee Fowler :: 14 December 2022: Meatballs Bourguignon 14/12/2022

Thoughts on holiday entertaining and the cozy, delicious, and warming comfort of old-fashioned cocktail meatballs bourguignonne in the latest entry to the Recipes and Stories page of my website. I hope you'll visit, read, cook, and enjoy! Holiday blessings!

Damon Lee Fowler :: 14 December 2022: Meatballs Bourguignon As we move into our first almost-normal holiday season in three years, I've been thinking about something the late Marcella Hazan once said of her American cooking students. Whenever she taught a dish that was new, at least one of them was sure to say that he or she was going to make it for a .....

Damon Lee Fowler :: 12 December 2022: Christmas Shortbread 12/12/2022

The lure of Christmas Cookies and my Christmas Shortbread in the latest entry to the Recipes and Stories page of my website. I hope you'll visit, read, bake, and enjoy regardless of what your own mid-winter holiday traditions are . . . and even if you don't have any. Blessings!

Damon Lee Fowler :: 12 December 2022: Christmas Shortbread It's Christmas cookie baking time at our house, and one of our old holiday cookie tins has already been filled with shortbread cookies that I am vainly trying to forget about. The rest of the year, I have the most underdeveloped sweet-tooth of any Southerner you will ever meet, and don't fin...

28/11/2022

Three Quarts of delicious Liquid Gold, AKA turkey broth, made from the remains of our Thanksgiving Turkey, with at least 2 quarts already used, I think I got my money's worth out of that bird!

Damon Lee Fowler :: 27 November 2022: Mastering Thanksgiving Dinner X—Turkey Soup 27/11/2022

One of the loveliest things to do with the broth made from the leftover turkey is a fragrant bowl of turkey and pasta soup. Find the recipe for this one and the story that goes along with it in the latest entry to the Recipes and Stories page of my website. Thank you for following, reading, and cooking! I hope you'll enjoy this simple soup.

Damon Lee Fowler :: 27 November 2022: Mastering Thanksgiving Dinner X—Turkey Soup Of all the turkey leftovers that we enjoy in the days following Thanksgiving, the one I most look forward to is soup. All of them have their charms: sliced and piled into sandwiches; creamed and ladled over dressing; mixed with rice; molded into croquettes, and of course diced and folded into ...

Damon Lee Fowler :: 26 November 2022: Mastering Thanksgiving Dinner IX—Making the Most of the Leftovers 26/11/2022

Closing out my Mastering Thanksgiving Dinner series, it is not over until the fat stockpot sings. Loving the fact that broth-making begins and ends this cook's holiday, my stockpot is filling the house with the lovely aroma of turkey broth simmering away. I hope you're doing the same!

Damon Lee Fowler :: 26 November 2022: Mastering Thanksgiving Dinner IX—Making the Most of the Leftovers Two of my favorite things about cooking Thanksgiving dinner are the broth pots that begin and end it. Not only does that wonderful aroma fill the house twice, that second batch of broth squeezes out every ounce of goodness the bird had to offer, and extends the holiday feasting into the weeken...

Damon Lee Fowler :: 24 November 2022: Mastering Thanksgiving VIII—The Gravy 24/11/2022

Good Morning and Happy Thanksgiving. Not that I'm not glad you're here, but if you're cooking today, then what in the world are you doing on the internet?

Well, if you're looking for help with the gravy, then here it is. I hope your gravy is silken and rich, your turkey is juicy and tender, and your pumpkin pie crust is flaky and perfect. Blessings!

Damon Lee Fowler :: 24 November 2022: Mastering Thanksgiving VIII—The Gravy It's none of my business what kind of gravy you serve today. Whether you add wine, include the giblets and add chopped boiled eggs, or thicken it with a roux or butter is up to you. But here's how to make that gravy silky-smooth and delicious. You will need a roasting pan with a heavy enough...

Damon Lee Fowler :: 23 November 2022: Mastering Thanksgiving VII—Damon Lee Talks Turkey (and Dressing) 24/11/2022

Before I turn in for the night, some thoughts on tomorrow's main job, the turkey and dressing. Sleep well and have a wonderful day tomorrow! Blessings!

Damon Lee Fowler :: 23 November 2022: Mastering Thanksgiving VII—Damon Lee Talks Turkey (and Dressing) Hands down the best turkey roasting advice of 2022 is "Just put the ******* turkey in the oven!" The more you fuss and stress over it, the more you're opening yourself to angst and disappointment. Relax: It roasts just like a REALLY BIG chicken; it just takes longer. Allow plenty of ti...

Damon Lee Fowler :: 23 November 2022: Mastering Thanksgiving VI—My Grandmother's Pumpkin Pie 23/11/2022

As promised, the next installment in the Mastering Thanksgiving, my grandmother's simple pumpkin pie. I hope you'll make and enjoy both the process and the eating! Blessings!

Damon Lee Fowler :: 23 November 2022: Mastering Thanksgiving VI—My Grandmother's Pumpkin Pie I'd like to tell you that my grandmother's pumpkin pie recipe was an old family one that has been passed down for generations, but I can't. She got it right off a can of pumpkin puree, varying it only in the spice and liquid she used, since I was allergic to cloves and my father to nutme...

Damon Lee Fowler :: 23 November 2022: Mastering Thanksgiving V—Pastry 23/11/2022

Today is pie-making day in my house. I'm making the pastry this morning so it'll be rested and ready to roll and bake later this afternoon. If you've never made pastry yourself or are a bit rusty at it, here's help. But if you're too intimidated to even try, then buy a roll-out pastry and use it without apology. But I hope you'll try: a good homemade pastry will make a big difference, and it's a skill you'll be glad you've mastered. Later today, I'll share my grandmother's pumpkin pie.

Damon Lee Fowler :: 23 November 2022: Mastering Thanksgiving V—Pastry Today is pie-making day in my house, and in the chill of the morning, I'm putting together the pastry so it'll have time to rest before I roll and prebake it later this afternoon. If you've never made your own pastry, this may not be the time to try to learn. Not that it's complicate...

21/11/2022

When you're a cook, your husband sometimes brings bouquets of flowers and sometimes it's bouquets of fresh collards. And sometimes, the latter is the most welcome.

Damon Lee Fowler :: 21 November 2022: Mastering Thanksgiving Dinner IV: Homemade Turkey Broth 21/11/2022

Mastering Thanksgiving Dinner IV: Here it comes, my almost annual sermon on homemade broth and why you should go to the trouble to make it, in the latest entry to the Mastering Thanksgiving series. This year's recipe is a little different, so I hope you'll visit, read, make your own broth, and enjoy it. Blessings!

Damon Lee Fowler :: 21 November 2022: Mastering Thanksgiving Dinner IV: Homemade Turkey Broth My late Baptist-preacher father used to love relating the story of a minister who one bright Sunday morning delivered a rousing sermon on love, and then repeated it word for word the following Sunday. And on the next one. And again on the one after that. Finally, a deacon cautiously approached...

Damon Lee Fowler :: 20 November 2022: Mastering Thanksgiving Dinner III Cranberry-Orange Preserves and Relish 20/11/2022

Mastering Thanksgiving Dinner, Part III, the cranberries. Yesterday, I tied on my apron to make two kinds of cranberry conserves for this week's big feast. Though not a fan of pairing a tart-sweet cranberry concoction with roast turkey (or any other savory meat), I appreciate that most Americans love it and would not dare omit it from my Thanksgiving Menu. Find the recipes for my cranberry orange preserves and cranberry relish in the latest entry to the Recipes and Stories page of my website. I hope they'll add the right tart-sweet dash to your own Thanksgiving table.

Damon Lee Fowler :: 20 November 2022: Mastering Thanksgiving Dinner III Cranberry-Orange Preserves and Relish In her memoire, Amarcord, the late Italian cooking maven Marcella Hazan humorously related her first encounter with one of our country's most enduring Thanksgiving traditions, that of accompanying the turkey with a tart-sweet condiment made from cranberries. Thinking the sauce that her hos...

Damon Lee Fowler :: 19 November 2022: Mastering Thanksgiving II—Menu Planning and Mama's Buttermilk Bread 19/11/2022

Mastering Thanksgiving Dinner, Part II, with thoughts on sticking to tradition, not being clever, and my mother's lovely, velvety buttermilk yeast rolls, in the latest entry to the Recipes and Stories page of my website. I hope you'll visit, read, bake, and enjoy! Blessings!

Damon Lee Fowler :: 19 November 2022: Mastering Thanksgiving II—Menu Planning and Mama's Buttermilk Bread If you've not already planned your Thanksgiving menu and started shopping for it, it's time you got cracking. You don't want to wait too late to plan and shop or you could be faced with rethinking your menu when the store sells out of some of the essential ingredients. Planning that menu...

Damon Lee Fowler :: 15 November 2022: Mastering Thanksgiving Dinner I 15/11/2022

With Thanksgiving looming large (just over a week away), as we ease our way back to larger gatherings for the holiday, I thought it might be a good year to resurrect my Mastering Thanksgiving series, sharing advice, recipes, and short-cut tips. I hope you'll visit, read, and find them useful for a happy and stress-free cook's holiday. Blessings, y'all!

Damon Lee Fowler :: 15 November 2022: Mastering Thanksgiving Dinner I Thanksgiving may be a little over a week away, but it's not too early to start planning. In fact, if you haven't already started doing that, you're a little late—but not dangerously so. Big holiday dinners don't have to be complicated, but we're easing out of a pandemic and eve...