Iced tea. Southerners are most particular about how they make it; John Martin Taylor initiates non-southerners in Hoppin’ John’s Lowcountry Cooking (1992).
Fried chicken. The definitive recipe is by the late Edna Lewis, was perfected by Scott Peacock in The Gift of Southern Cooking (2003), and requires a cast-iron pan, buttermilk, butter, lard, and country ham.
Biscuits. Buy the buttermilk biscuit mix from White Lily Flour, at www.whitelily.com—probably the best solution for anyone not born in the South with a biscuit hand.
Pickles. John Egerton, author of the authoritative Southern Food, has teamed up with Bill Kamman, of Pops’ Pepper Patch Inc., in Louisville, Kentucky, to sell autographed jars of superior sweet but hot “SOS Sharpie” pickles to help rebuild restaurants kneecapped by Hurricane Katrina; call 502-523-6154 to order a jar.
Peach cobbler. Try it with cornmeal cream biscuits from Karen Barker’s Sweet Stuff (2004), a baking book especially good on pies.