Home > Martha's Tips > Kitchen Glossary

Kitchen Glossary

If you're looking to get cooking in the South, we've made a little cheat sheet. Write these down, they 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.