Kitchen Glossary

If you're lookin' to get cookin' in the South, here's a cheat sheet that might come in handy.


These are the crisp pieces left after rendering pork fat.


To seal the edges of two layers of dough with the tines of a fork or your fingertips. This is a regular technique used when making piecrusts.

Cutting In:

Cut in means to distribute small chunks of a solid fat (butter or shortenings) into flour before adding the liquid (usually milk or water). You do this using a pastry blender or two knives in a crisscross cutting motion.


To distribute small amounts of margarine or butter evenly over the surface of pie filling or dough.


The juices or liquefied fats left in a pan or skillet after cooking meat or other food, often used as an ingredient in future recipes.


To make or press a decorative pattern into the raised edge of a pastry.

Fold in:

To gently combine a heavier mixture with a more delicate substance, such as beaten egg whites or whipped cream, without causing a loss of air.

Hoppin' John:

A dish of black-eyed peas cooked with salt pork or other fatty meat and seasonings. The dish is traditionally served on New Year's Day for good luck.


Commonly in the South, a "pone" describes an individual serving of cornbread, usually formed into a small, oval portion. Some Southerners, though, call a skillet of cornbread a pone.

Pot Likker:

This is the broth created when greens or beans are boiled in salt water flavored with a ham hock or some bacon drippings.

Red-Eyed Gravy:

This Southern au jus is made from the browned bits left in the skillet after frying up some country ham.