Go South with slow cookers

It’s getting closer to fall, so time to break out the slow cookers! And why not enjoy some Southern-style cooking at the same time?

That’s where “The Southern Slow Cooker” by Kendra Bailey Morris comes in.

And a bonus – the author’s grandmother and aunt are from West Virginia and included some of their recipes.

There are plenty of great Southern recipes to choose from in this book.

The book is divided into five chapters that are easily put together in the morning and are ready when you come home from work, which is what the author says she was aiming for.

The first chapter is Soul-Warming Soups, Stews and Chilis. They include Mom’s Fully Loaded Potato and Onion Soup, Smoked Ham, Potato and Rice Soup, Chicken and Cornmeal Dumplings and Frito Pie with Chili con Carne.

The second chapter, Low and Slow Meats include such main dish meals as Beer-Braised Po’ Boys, Pasta with West Virginia Three-Meat Gravy, Dr. Pepper Sorghum Roasted Ham, Red Beans and Rice with Smoked Sausage, Cornish Game Hens with Apple Butter BBQ Sauce and Shrimp Creole.

The third chapter, Vegetables and Sides, offers vegetarian options or a hearty side with Nannie’s New Potatoes in Cream Gravy, Cabbage and Stewed Tomatoes, West Virginia Brown Beans and Fatback, Orange Sorghum Sweet Potatoes with Cornflake Topping and breakfast dishes like Country Breakfast Apples, Country Ham and Egg Breakfast Bread, Red-Eye Style and Creamy Cheesy Grits.

The fourth chapter, Desserts and Sweets, ends the meal with Buttermilk Chocolate Spice Cake, Gingersnap Peach Upside-Down Cake, Chocolate-Banana Cheesecake in Jars and Lemon Blueberry Buckle.

The final chapter, Southern Odds and Ends offers a few non-slow cooker essentials like Apple Butter, Caramel Sauce, Cornbread and Potato Dinner Rolls.

Since we are in West Virginia and my oldest is a fan of hot dog sauce, I made West Virginia Slaw Dogs, without the slaw because I knew there was no way she would eat that. The chili sauce for the hot dogs cooked on low in the slow cooker all day, as advertised, the hamburger marinating in the spices. It was a hearty sauce that wasn’t too messy, I just missed the tomato sauce that is usually in hot dog sauce.

The author noted that you could add tomato sauce, tomato paste or ketchup if you like, and if I made it again I probably would.

My oldest actually added ketchup to her hot dog and shredded cheese and said that she liked it better with the addition.

For some down home Southern cooking that you can have ready when you get home for work, check out the recipes in this book!

“The Southern Slow Cooker” is published by Ten Speed Press. It is $19.99.

Contact Amy Phelps at aphelps@newsandsentinel.com