“In my family there is not a meal made without a story behind it,” says Carrie Morey. For the queen of Callie’s Charleston Biscuits (the eight-year-old company named after her mother Callie White’s famous catering fare), Southern food isn’t just a family staple, it’s a career—one that’s delivered her signature biscuits, savory pimiento cheese, and co-branded products such as pecans and jams into homes across the country. Now the recent QVC star is opening the oven, so to speak, on her culinary secrets with a cookbook coming out October 15, Callie’s Biscuits and Southern Traditions: Heirloom Recipes from Our Family Kitchen.
The 272-page tome reads much like Morey’s blog posts, full of charming asides, cooking tips, and always a story. “My earliest memory of baking takes me back to my Mama’s kitchen and the sound of her old worn tin sifter,” begins the chapter on baking. For Morey, it’s the memories made in the kitchen, whether with her mother; her three daughters; or her grandmothers, who taught her to love simple country cooking.
“I wanted to pay homage to the matriarchs who taught me how to cook,” she says. The result includes recipes such as “Caroline’s Macaroni Pie;” a step-by-step guide to hosting a holiday dinner with a standing rib roast, cast-iron green beans, and chocolate chess pie; and a touching chapter on condolence food. Morey shares how shortly after her friends Allie and Jerrod had their first baby boy, the child suddenly died. Not knowing how to help the grieving couple, Morey called and asked her mother, who gave a simple response: “Go over there, get in that kitchen, and do what you do.” That’s exactly what Morey did, preparing egg salad for her friends, organizing all the dishes dropped off, keeping the kitchen running—serving them food when words were not enough. And that’s the crux of the cookbook, a lifetime of dishes that have been the binding agent of one family, now shared with others.