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Cooking with Crevolyn: Learning the style of Southern cooking
Crevolyn Wiley is a Gainesville resident with her first published cookbook “Cooking with Crevolyn” available at J&J Foods. She can be contacted at

What does a not-so-Southern girl do when she wants to be an oh-so-Southern girl?

The first thing she does is learn to cook some good Southern food. So after lots of trial and error, she learns to fry okra, bake sweet potato pies and add Vidalias to just about anything.

She wasn’t born too far from the Mason-Dixon line, but she wasn’t raised on grits and greens either. As you might have guessed, I’m that girl, Crevolyn Wiley.

So how did this Midwesterner get to the promised land of the South? I did what any smart girl does and married a Southern man. And boy oh boy, did I have a lot to live up to when I married into his family. His momma is an excellent Southern cook. So I had to get on the fast-track to some good cookin’. Thankfully between her advice and the backbone of any kitchen, the church cookbook, I was well into my Southern cooking journey.

A few things you should know about me. I am not formally trained nor am I an expert by any means. However, recipes coming from my kitchen must pass certain criteria such as no strange ingredients you’ll only use once, no 42-step preparation process and certainly no substitutions for butter.

Having been married to the same man for 30 years and raising two children, I’ve done my fair share of putting a meal on the table. Now don’t get me wrong, we’ve had frozen pizza on occasion, but for the most part, usually all five food groups are represented on our plates.

Something else you need to know is I’m a girl who loves my faith, family, friends, football and, of course, food. Nothing gives me more pleasure than gathering around the table with those I love and sharing a good meal. I’m a firm believer a lot of the world’s problems could be solved if folks would just sit down together over a plate of barbecue and banana pudding.

So here we are, coming together to talk about food. It’s a joy and an honor to have this opportunity. I look forward to meeting you here every couple of weeks and sharing some thoughts and a recipe.

As we start 2014, let’s make a deal. I’ll provide a recipe and you think about how you might share it with your family and friends.

As for me and my house, we have decided to open our doors and invite others in throughout the year. And there’s no easier way to fix a meal than to serve up soup out of the slow cooker either by itself or with a sandwich or salad. So come on by and as my grandmother used to say, let’s sit a spell. I’ll leave the light on for you.

Bacon cheeseburger soup

1 (32-ounce) bag frozen shredded hash browns
1 pound ground beef, cooked and crumbled
1/2 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 pounds processed cheese, cut into cubes (recommended Velveeta)
4 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon dried, minced onion flakes
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

Combine ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Serve with crumbled potato chips and pickle slices on top, if desired.


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