Another Dahlias Giveaway!

We’re having another book giveaway to celebrate the publication of The Darling Dahlias and the Voodoo Lily. You can win these four signed hardcovers for yourself or for gifting.

One of the things I enjoy about this series is writing about Southern food–especially (since these are 1930s novels) the foods that were popular in the South during the Depession. So let’s have a little fun with Southern food.

To enter this contest, simply comment below, naming your favorite Southern dish. If it isn’t evident from the name (fried chicken, for instance), you might briefly describe it (red eye gravy is gravy made with the drippings of fried ham and coffee). You never know: some of your favorites might show up on the table in the next Dahlias mystery.

Continental U.S. only, please. One entry per person. Comments close on Thursday November 19th at midnight. The winner will be selected at random. I’ll post the winner’s name/city when I’ve verified the mailing address.

Thanks for being a reader!

Update 11/16/20: The winner is Charlotte Chase, Camp Verde AZ. Congratulations, Charlotte!






234 comments on “Another Dahlias Giveaway!

  1. Fried anything! But, especially fried okra and fried chicken. Blue Bell Ice Cream for dessert – any flavor, but my favorite is Mardi Gras!

  2. I am a Yankee from Wisconsin, but when I lived in Danville, KY for three years, I fell in love with corn pudding! And learned to make fresh biscuits for every meal, even when we were so strapped for cash it was another Kraft Macaroni and Cheese night! I also eventually understood why my roommate from Paducah spoke of “Yankee beans” so disparagingly; Southern green beans tender and hot cooked with plenty of butter and onion are indeed nothing like “Yankee beans”! Kate E.

  3. I am a transplanted Yankee who married a 4th generation native Texan and have had to learn a bunch about the difference in cooking. One thing I had to learn (and do well, I might say!) is the cornbread dressing for Thanksgiving. It is so different from what I grew up with.

  4. In honor of Thanksgiving…corn bread dressing. Have you ever seen that white bread dressing they make up north!

  5. Fried chicken, mashed potatoes with cream gravy, baked beans, homemade biscuits, fried apple or peach pie, and plenty of sweet tea!

  6. My favorite southern food is sweet corn bread. Ideally it is served with outstanding barbecued chicken, ribs, pork, or brisket, as long as it is done well. Maybe gooey homemade macaroni and cheese and potato salad as sides. Now I’m hungry!

  7. I am a fan of sweet potato pie as well as pecan pie. On occasion my mom would make pecan pie along with whipped cream, a heavy calorie delight! Have read all of the Darling Dahlias books but Voodoo Lily, that will come soon. May read the Poinsettia Puzzle again next month. Happy Holidays!

  8. Yes, please to all of this!!!! I’m trying to get my family excited about picked okra – it was so hot here in the SouthWest this year that it grew and grew and grew and now I have many, many pints put up.

  9. Chicken and dumplings – a great comfort food, perfect for winter, and a good way to use up dark meat – drumsticks, wings, backs. Place cut up chicken in a large pot with a can of chicken broth and a can of water (use the chicken broth can for the water). You may need to add more water, depending on the size of the chicken. Just make sure the chicken is covered with broth/water. Add seasoning to taste (salt, pepper, and other spices of choice). Cook at a slow rolling boil until chicken is completely cooked.

    In the meantime, use your favorite biscuit recipe (I use self-rising flour for biscuit and chicken and dumpling recipes) and roll out on a floured surface. Roll out until dough is about an eighth of an inch. (Also okay to use canned biscuits. Follow directions for homemade biscuits just mentioned.) Cut dough in half-inch strips.

    Remove thoroughly cooked chicken, debone, and return chicken to broth/water pot. Add another can or two of chicken broth (so that there will be enough room for chicken and biscuit strips to float freely at a boil). Bring to a boil, break strips into one- to two-inch pieces and drop into boiling water. Dough will expand as it cooks. Check every four to five minutes to see if dough is done – the center should look kind of like biscuits when thoroughly cooked. You’ve just made a good old pot of chicken and dumplings! Turn burner off, leave pot on the burner, and dish up contents into bowls,

    Leftovers can be placed in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. I prefer to reheat them on the stove but a microwave can be used in a pinch. I don’t like to freeze chicken and dumplings – the dumplings just don’t seem to be good after they’re frozen.

    Don’t feel too bad if your first batch or two doesn’t turn out just right. This is an old family recipe that has been tweaked many times over the years, but stay with it and put your own signature on it – well worth the efforts!

  10. Seafood Gumbo. Thank goodness I learned to make a proper roux. It is getting the time of year when gumbo is perfect dish. I hope to eat some in Galveston this weekend.

  11. Oh, how I loved almost everything that my grandmother (from Georgiana, Alabama) cooked. But I especially loved her chicken and dumplings, chicken and dumplings, and chocolate pie. The only thing that I can remember that she cooked that I didn’t like was ham and egg pie. She was a master at taking some ordinary and turning it into a delicious feast.

  12. Shrimp and grits are likely my favorite Southern-rooted savory dish; pecan pie is likely my favorite sweet one.

  13. Slow simmered greens (turnip, kale, mustard, collard) and my grandmother’s pecan pie (made without corn syrup).

  14. What isn’t to like. I particularly like the low country foods: shrimp and grits, crab cakes, fried oyster po’boy, seafood boils.

  15. Grits. Plain grits w/a square of butter. I’m from Minnesota where we usually eat our corn right from the cob. But I’d swap that sweet corn for a bowl of grits.

  16. My favorite is banana pudding. It originated in the southern states and I was always asking my grandmother to make it for me. Any restaurant that I go in where it is on the menu, I have to try it. The classic recipe involves layers of sweet vanilla custard, vanilla wafers (or lady fingers but I like the wafers best, and sliced, ripe banans. Top with homemade whipped cream. It is similar to a trifle.There is even a Nationa Banana Pudding Fesetival held in Centerville, Tenn on the first weekend in Oct. I am looking forward to the new Darling Dahlias book.l

  17. I am looking forward to the next Dahlia mystery. My recipe is for Southern Hush Puppies, a quick side dish that goes with anything, usually ingredients already at hand. You need a cup of corn meal, some all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt an onion, one egg and a cup of buttermilk. If you do not have buttermilk, a cup of regular milk treated with ]vinegar can substituted. Mix all the stuff, make into golf ball sized balls, fry, enjoy! yum!

  18. Chicken and dumplings—fluffy, drop dumplings. Shrimp and grits. Cornbread and sweet milk. Pimento cheese. Biscuits and sausage gravy. Corn pudding.

  19. cheese grits, bread pudding, fried okra, coconut cake(handmade — grated coconut(not bought) and cooked icing.. my mother-in-law made a fantastic one) and homemade custard( one of the best drinks for the holidays( an aunt made some for Thanksgiving and for Christmas/New Year’s)

  20. It is so very hard to pick one Southern dish over another, but I do really love cornbread dressing with a great turkey gravy!

  21. Beignets….and I do love fried chicken, but my maternal grandmother’s [and my mom’s since she makes it exactly like Grandma] was the best. Dredged in a mixture of flour, garlic salt and pepper and fried in bacon drippin’s… so so good but not Southern since Grandma was from Nebraska and Kansas….

  22. Pan fried catfish – though I wish I knew what spices my grandmother put in the cornmeal. Salt, yes, no pepper that I knew of, and ??? She never told us. All she said was “You catch it, you clean it, I cook it.”

  23. Anything Frank Stitt serves at Highlands Bar & Grill in Birmingham. I read all the China Bayles, all the Dahlias, all the Robin Paige our library has and now I’m on the 6th Cottage Tales. I love your writing, Susan. May the force be with you. Malley

  24. Black eyed peas. Our family has a secret family recipe called tomato salad to use as a relish to go with your peas. Tomatoes, onions, okra, jalapenos, vinegar, and a little sugar. We can it as soon as the okra is ready to pick!

  25. Smothered Chicken — rolled in herb-laced flour, fried in oil, chicken removed, flour and milk in pan to make gravy, cook 1 minute and return chicken to pan for final cooking

  26. Mixed turnip and mustard greens cooked with a salted ham hock and served with a little vinegar. Also good served cold on hot biscuits

  27. Cornbread dressing with chicken. Instead of cranberry sauce, we use Granny’s or Momma’s
    Homemade jelly made with Dewberries or Black Berries picked along sides of the roads.

  28. My mother-in-law made an apple stack cake for Christmas every year. She dried the apples herself in the fall, sliced them thinly and dried them in the sun on a sheet covered table, with a screen over it to keep the flies off. The cake was a thick spicy batter cooked in paper lined cake pans and patted pancake thin. She made 8 layers. The apples were cooked down like Apple butter but thicker and spiced also. The Apple mix was spread between each cake layer and on top. Yum! 🐱

  29. My favorite southern dish is fried green tomatoes followed by green tomato pie that I learned about reading the Dahlia books.

  30. Corn bread pudding, especially with bacon and whole corn kernels. Our family often serves it for Thanksgiving as well as Christmas.

  31. Peach pie! Cornbread, fried chicken, pralines, sweet potato pie, too many choices, love them all! And the books are the icing on top of the cake, Hummingbird!

  32. I’m drooling so many choices…cornbread, chicken fried steak,hominy, sweet potato pie or pecan pie or pralines…stop!

    Enjoying all of your books and blog!

  33. Cornbread dressing and cranberry sauce this time of the year! Love fried green tomatoes or fried okra at other times.

  34. Had never had sweet potato pie before then went to my daughter’s and her friend had it and it was so very good….

  35. IT’s that time of year! I was raised by a Yankee mama, and never had cornbread dressing until I was in my mid 20’s (my wonderful MIL’S) and I fell in love! HAVE to have cornbread dressing at Thanksgiving and Christmas!!

  36. Bread pudding, or rice pudding. Those were comfort foods from my grandmother, whose family was from Tennessee.

  37. I live in Maine, so I haven’t been lucky enough to try Southern food, but our lobster is known everywhere.

  38. Apple Stack Cake — frying-pan sized teacakes with cooked dried apples between layers- usually at least 6 layers high

    • As a kid I remember a neighbor making ox tail soup and we had some. I’m not sure if that’s a southern dish. I live in the north and really have not eaten much southern food. I do like grits and did have chicken fried steak & gravy once when I went to Texas!

  39. My ex’s grandmother introduced me to divinity (egg whites, sugar, corn syrup, pecans) and baked apples almost 50 years ago and they’re still favorites.

  40. Oh my while there are many I’d have to go with Pecan Pie or Sweet Potato Pie. Just thinking about them Yum

  41. Well, it’s not my favorite but my grandpa loved it and he was from Texas. He always ate his cornbread broken up in a glass of cornbread. Every night before bed. He loved it!!

  42. hummingbird cake made with crust pineapple ,spices bananas cream cheese frosting 3 layers of goodness

    o so good

  43. My grandmother made cornbread and red-eyed gravy every morning. My brother and I still remember and talk about her cooking. Our granddad killed and cured (smoked) a pig every fall. Between them we had unforgettable southern food.
    Thank you for taking me back to that time! Love the Dahlias.

  44. I love the Darling Dahlias series- look forward to reading this new one! My favorite is fried catfish po’boy ( though I’m born and live in New Englandthough have visited all states

  45. Fried chicken and corn bread! Add a side of greens please. Thanks for another chance to win these books Susan. <3

  46. Black-eyed peas with plenty of snaps…these being the mostly immature pods which have no or few peas forming inside, covered in water, then stewed with fat back (salt pork) or delicious even with just corn oil or EVOO (extra virgin olive oil).

  47. Applesauce cake. I was born and raised in the south (although I don’t live there now) and still have my great-grandma’s recipe. It’s a dense cake, no milk or eggs in it, but lots of applesauce, spices, raisins, some cocoa powder, and the secret ingredient….BLACK walnut pieces.

  48. Turnips and greens, fried yellow squash and okra, black eyed peas, fresh tomato slices, cornbread, and coconut pie.

  49. Fried apples. I was first introduced to the concept of fried fruit on a trip to Tennessee during my 14th year with my girlfriend’s family. They were from Tennessee, and to a native Michiganian, the entire trip was an eye-opener. Mountains for the first time ever. And pan-fried apples in oozing butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar for breakfast. Now I make them for dessert. Pears work well, too. In fact, I add whatever fruit I have on hand and have never been disappointed. Thanks, Susan. I just finished the last Dahlias book and can’t wait to find out who Lizzy ends up with.

  50. Hard to pick but chicken fried steak is a favorite of mine and of course fried green tomatoes. Chicken fried steak is cube steak dredged in flour, salt, pepper, and fried in butter or oil until browned slightly, then water added and a lid put on to finish cooking – which makes the “gravy”. My mama used to fix cube steak but she cooked it plain until you could bounce it and the first time I ate chicken fried steak, it was hard for me to believe it was the same cut of meat LOLOLOL

    • My mother made a 3 story peach pie. It was made with a bottom layer of dried peaches (cooked with just a bit of sugar They were slightly tart). The second was a sweet custard made with canned milk. The top was a thick meringue.

  51. I had a Southern mother so we had a lot of fried chicken, pecan pie, and wonderful biscuits. My pick would be hominy, just warmed up plain or with cheese or meat, onions and maybe cayenne in a casserole. I learned to like fried okra and black-eyed peas – hoppin’ john.

  52. Ada’s Thanksgiving Orange flavored sweet potatoes with toasted pecans topped with ‘crisped’ marshmallows stuffed in orange cups and oyster dressing. Ada was an amazing cook!!!

  53. Pimento cheese spread. Now that I have a new neighbor across the road who is from Mississippi,
    I will ask her for the recipe. Pimento cheese is mentioned in several books I have read over the years,
    and would love to try it.

  54. Fried green tomatoes, biscuits and gravy, the BBQ from the whole hog my son-in-law makes every July 4th.

  55. cornbread for sure … black eyed peas … what my mom called ‘corn souffle’ from a jwa cookbook she helped with back in alabama in the mid 50s. the darling dahlias series feels near and dear to me since i was born in alabama though raised in the midwest. thank you for writing this series!

  56. Cornbread baked in a cast iron skillet. I grew up in Minnesota and never had cornbread until I moved to the south as an adult.

  57. Apple pan dowdy. I have read everyone of your series except the Dahlias- and love all of your characters- thanks to your vivid descriptions I can visualize your settings and sometimes I actually visit them in dreams- have turned my daughters and many friends on to your books-I guess it’s clear: I’m a fan! Nancy

  58. I love red-eye gravy. One time my husband got sick after eating it because he didn’t know to get the bottom drippings and ate the grease on a biscuit instead. He’s not a southerner.

  59. While there are so many favorite Southern dishes, I must name cheese straws (which I am eating now) and pecan pie.

  60. My all time favorite Southern dish is chicken and dumplings. Not drop dumplings, but rolled pastry that is dropped into the savory chicken broth. This comforting food always goes fast at our annual Thanksgiving family gathering. We can have up to 90 folks in attendance as my grandparents had 10 children! Sadly, we won’t be going this year, because of the pandemic. Next year!!

    • Grits with plenty of butter! I’ve lived my whole life in the Midwest, and am always tickled to go to a restaurant in the South where grits is (are?) on the menu. 😋

  61. My favorite dish is chicken and noodles. Small chunk chicken with wide homemade noodles and a savory gravy.

  62. I love the Dahlias and so glad you’ve continued the series, Susan. I love true southern grits, and corn fritters, and anything sweet potatoe pie. Had them in the south over 60 years ago. I’ve made several of your characters’ recipes, with substitutions to make them dairy-free. They’re always very good despite substitutions.

  63. Favorite Southern recipe? Besides a long-ago neighbor’s recipe for Southern Lemon Pie that might even trace its roots to the 30’s? It’s super lemony and there’s no meringue or anything else to try to steal the show from the lemons. But my top pick would have to be Dirty Rice. The name alone lured me down the rabbit hole into Cajun cooking. So many delicious versions! Thanks for the reminder — I need to make sure I have all the ingredients for this. Penzey’s Spices has a fabulous Cajun Seasoning!

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