Friday, March 13, 2015

More How to Cook Videos soon! is baaaaaaack!

After thousands of requests, I am excited to announce that I will start taping again this week!  Thank you for over 600,000 views and thousands  of subscribers even though I have not made a video in 6 years!  Your positive feedback and reinforcement has made me put a camera back in the kitchen.

My goal is to upload 100 video recipes in the next 6 months.  I have had so many requests over the years and I will videotape all of them for you.  And yes, I will include the obvious but yet unpublished, fried chicken and macaroni and cheese.  I will also include some not so expected things that I have loved over the years.  It won't just be soul food this time folks. I will prepare, Thai, Greek, Indian and other cuisines.  I hope you enjoy them.  This food although not "Soul Food"  speaks to my soul and I hope it does the same to you.

My son is preparing for college, and I will be uploading some very very basic things as well like cinnamon sugar toast so he can feed himself while he is away.  If you see a video that is too easy for you, please pass it on to the college student in your life.

Some other things will be very different.  I no longer live in Georgia. I now live in a Virginia townhome. I am grateful.  It is lovely and very convenient, but I have a much smaller kitchen (one of the reasons I have not filmed).  Still, I have decided to bloom where I am planted and the cooking show must go on! Check out my past video recipes at

Thanks to all of you who have found me in very creative ways.  You called, emailed, facebooked, came to book signings, etc. It was a pleasure to meet each of you. For those who would like to recommend recipes,  Here is all of my contact information:

CookBook: Soul Food: The Basics by Pamela M Holmes
Buy it here: 

What is Seasoned Salt?

I have many international visitors that visit my YouTube page and they do not always have knowledge of Seasoned Salt.  Seasoned Salt is a combination of spices by various companies that basically make up the main spices in soul food.  Those spices are salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika.  Some add sugar.  The most popular Seasoned Salt in my family is Lawry's. It goes on meat, vegetables, salads, eggs, almost everything but dessert. If you can't find it at your grocery store, you can get it here.

I Am Serious About My Popcorn

Every night around 8PM, I head to the kitchen to make popcorn.  I absolutely love popcorn with movies, sports, sitcoms, any broadcast media at all.  Popcorn is my wind down treat. Not just any popcorn will do, however.  What do I pop? White popcorn and only white popcorn.  Friends that know of my love for these delicious kernels have gifted me with various and sundry types, black, red, yellow, blah blah blah.  No thank you all.  I want white, non GMO popcorn period. And I never eat microwave popcorn because I do not trust or understand the greasy mess the kernels rest in for years.  I do not like air popped popcorn because there is no oil to hold the seasonings on and it feels like it is choking me to death.  When gourmet air popped popcorn is gifted to me, garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, and yeast posing as cheese flies down my throat and up through my nose and I hate the whole experience so NO THANK YOU to air popped popcorn as well.  Give me good old stove popped, white, non GMO popcorn in olive oil seasoned with salt.  Its absolutely perfect in its simplicity and needs no adornment. To change it  is to wreck it.  This is what I do.

I pop my popcorn in a large designated pot that rests on the back burner on my stove the way that tea pots rest on other stoves.  It will be used as surely as the coffee maker will (and the coffee maker will be used.)

Step 1. Which ever pot you use make sure there is a lid.  It need not be tight fitting but you don't want kernels all over your kitchen.

Step 2. Lightly but completely, cover the bottom of the pot with oil.  Depending on the size of the pot this could be from 4-6 tablespoons of oil.  My first preference is extra virgin olive oil but vegetable oil is also delicious. Too little oil leads to very disappointing results (underpopped, less taste).  Too much oil and you have very greasy popcorn.  I stop pouring when the oil just covers the bottom of the pan. Somehow that always works out right.

Step 3. Turn the heat on HIGH under the pot.  Yes high, not medium, not medium high.  Popcorn explodes once the kernel is superheated.  The higher the heat, the bigger the pop and the less popcorn shrapnel will end up in your teeth. Also with high heat, more kernels get to popping temperature so you end up with far less unpopped kernels.

Step 4. Add popcorn.  Again you want to add enough popcorn to just cover the bottom of the pan in a single layer.  Double layers will lead to more unpopped kernels.

Step 5.  Put a large bowl next to the pot because this whole thing will be finished in less than 3 minutes.  You must be ready.

Step 6. Place lid on the pot and leave the pot alone.  Within a couple of minutes you will here popping, lots of popping.  Leave the pot alone. There is no need to shake the pot or to peek.

Step 7. When the popping slows down so that you can hear individuals kernels pop, turn off the heat and holding the lid with one hand and the pot handle with the other, immediately pour this delicious goodness into the closely waiting bowl.

Step 8. Sprinkle the still very hot popcorn with table or sea salt to taste and enjoy. It already has olive oil so there is no need for butter.


Thursday, February 26, 2015

If It's Not Ribs, It's Just Meat

My father, Bo Coleman,  made the best hickory smoked pork ribs on planet earth. Period.  No one has ever made them better.  I have been diligently searching since I last tasted his ribs in 2007. He passed away in 2008 and I have not found a suitable substituted and Lord knows I have tried!

I know everyone feels their ribs are the best. I have had Memphis ribs and dry rub is fine. I have had plenty of Kansas City Ribs and yes,I like Gates. I have had North Carolina ribs but don't believe mustard has any place on slabs.  Houston's ribs have merit, they are very smoky but the sauce is not quite right for me.

We are from St. Louis and truly believe ours are the very best.  Our sauce is both tangy and sweet-Maul's is a good bet.  But we simply start with the bottled sauce.  We then cook that sauce in a saucepan adding brown sugar, dried onions and fresh lemon juice.  We reduce this sauce and that is what we use on our ribs.  The sauce is just a condiment however.  The ribs should be able to stand alone completely without sauce. We believe if they "need sauce"  they are just not right.

The rib tips are removed from the slab of rib and that's what makes them St. Louis style at the grocery store.  We season and cook the rib tips at the same time but never while they are still attached.  The wood is hickory, forget the chips, get logs. Never use mesquite if you want the flavor of St. Louis ribs.   The meat should be cooked in a barrel shaped pit, slow and low.   These barrel smokers are laid vertically and sliced in half with hinges.  They can now be purchased at Home Depot but when I was growing up, Dad had friends that made them for him.

Once the tips are cut away from the rest of the slab, its time to remove the membrane.  Their is a thin tough plastic looking membrane on the back of the ribs. This must be removed with your fingers in order for your ribs to accept the seasoning and in order for them to cook until tender and accept the hickory smoke.  You must pull hard.

The seasonings are always, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and paprika.   While the ribs are cooking, you will sprinkle the ribs with water mixed with white vinegar and the all of the same spices.

As in most delicious food, the secret is not so much the ingredients as the technique.  Dad rubbed the seasonings into the meat with both hands.  He massaged the ribs before cooking. If you are queasy about touching raw meat, you can not be truly great at bar b que ribs. Sorry. Too much salt spoils the whole deal and too little salt shows you don't have enough experience.

Vinegar helped the seasonings soak into the meat.  He would leave the seasoned meat to rest for a while before taking them to the grill.  The meat would only see the pit once the coals were white.  In the fire with the charcoal, was a log of hickory wood.

That's when the magic happened,  Dad's ribs were never done until the meat fell off the bone.  He did not boil, parboil, or use any precooking method.  The ribs were fully cooked in the barrel over a very low fire.

This low and slow process would beckon friends and family from far and wide.  The aroma would draw the ever present flow of visitors to our house and keep them there, almost every summer weekend.

Now that I know how difficult it is to match the greatness of my father's ribs, I bow to his greatness. Now that you know his secrets, you too can be great.  Once condition though, when you master these ribs, I ask that you share  a slab with me.  God Bless You!


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Atlanta, GA, United States
Marketer,Foodie, Mom