Country Cooking

A Summer Dinner

By Mildred “Dip” Council

A '90's Flashback...

To celebrate our 15th anniversary, each month Carolina Woman reprints one article from the first year we hit the streets of the Triangle. This piece is a great choice because Mama Dip’s is still open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week on Rosemary Street in Chapel Hill. And its founder, Mildred “Dip” Council, went on to write two books, “Mama Dip’s Kitchen” and “Mama Dip’s Family Cookbook,” which brought her nationwide acclaim.

Country Spring Potato Salad

1-1/2 pounds small new potatoes, cooked, peeled and sliced

3 tablespoons sweet relish

1 bunch spring onions, sliced with a little of green stem

1/4 cup mayonnaise

3/4 teaspoon salt

Mix all ingredients together.

Serves 6 to 8 people.


Spicy Chicken Thighs

12 chicken thighs

1/2 cup Real Lemon Juice

1/4 cup soy sauce

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 garlic cloves, chopped, or 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash chicken pieces and place skin-up in baking dish. (Chicken should be crowded in dish.) Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and pour off liquid. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over chicken. Return to oven and bake 25 minutes more.

Serves 6 to 8 people.

Summer Squash

1-1/2 pounds squash

1/2 cup chopped onions

1/2 stick margarine

Salt to taste

Pick small to medium squash with light color. Wash and scrape off all dark spots. Slice about 1/4-inch thick. Place margarine in skillet with lid. Put in squash and onions. Cover. Cook on medium heat, stirring often to cook evenly. Add salt. Reduce heat if needed. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes.

Serves 6 people.

Baked Beans

1-pound can pork and beans

1/4 cup chopped onions

1/4 cup chopped bell or red pepper

2 tablespoons molasses

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 small can tomato paste

2 strips bacon

Cut bacon into 1-inch pieces. Place in frying pan on medium heat until done. Put in onion and peppers and saute for 3 to 4 minutes. Do not brown. Mix all ingredients together. Place in 400-degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes.

Serves 6 to 8 people.

Blackberry Cobbler

1 quart blackberries

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons flour

Pinch of ginger

Pinch of salt

1/4 stick butter

1/4 stick margarine

3 tablespoons water

Wash berries and place in an 8x8-inch baking dish. Mix together sugar, flour, ginger and salt. Stir in berries. Cut butter and margarine over berries. Pour in water. Place pie-dough strips (recipe below) over berries to make lattice. Put extra crust around edges. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes on low rack.

Pie Dough

1-1/2 cups plain flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup Crisco

1/2 cup cold water (may add more if needed)

Sift together flour and salt. Add Crisco with fingertips or fork. Mix until crumbly. Pour water over the mixture. With fingertips, mix together to form a ball. Flatten on board or counter top and roll thinly (about 1/8 of an inch). Cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips.

Note: You can also use 4-count canned biscuit dough from your grocer's refrigerated section. Roll the dough thinly (about 1/8 of an inch), brush with a little butter, and cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips.

Serves 6 people.

Lemon Yogurt Pie

1 baked pie shell

1 cup sugar

4 tablespoons cornstarch

1 cup milk

3 egg yolks, slightly beaten

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

2 tablespoons margarine

8 ounces lemon yogurt

Whipped topping

In small pot, mix together sugar and cornstarch. Stir in milk, egg, lemon juice, lemon rind and margarine. Stir with whisk until egg yolk is mixed in well. Place on medium heat, stirring often until thick. Place pot in cold water. When cool, add yogurt. Spread in pie shell. Top with thin layer of whipped topping.

Serves 8 people.

Mildred Council's roots in rural Chatham County have served her and her customers well since she opened Dip's on Chapel Hill's Rosemary Street in 1976. At her restaurant, Council creates local favorites, such as vegetable casseroles and chicken and dumplings. Honored with a Bisquick Best Award as one of the top 25 neighborhood eateries in the United States, Dip's has won legions of fans for its traditional, made-from-scratch country cooking.