Welcome to The Natural State
Arkansas is located in the southern region of the United States. It boarders Oklahoma, Missouri, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas, and Louisiana.
In 1541, Spaniards were the first Europeans to enter Arkansas. They spent a couple years exploring the area in search of gold. What they found instead were well populated villages and fields of Maize. That group of explorers eventually left in search of New Spain (now Mexico) and were the last Europeans to see Arkansas for 130 years.
Most early pioneers moving west would pass around Arkansas, the Land of Opportunity, because its rocky terrain and poor soil discouraged people from homesteading there. However in the late 1700's early 1800's farmers from Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee weren't deterred. They were used to farming under difficult conditions. With them they brought their cooking style. Cured ham, pork ribs, chicken, baking soda biscuits and molasses cakes were a frequent traditional meal. Arkansas cuisine was also influenced by Native Indians who farmed corn, squash and beans.
- Arkansas became the 25 state on June 15th 1836
- State Capital is Little Rock
Chicken and Dumplings
- 1 (3 3/4-lb.) whole chicken
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon each: dried thyme, parsley, basil, oregano and marjoram.
- 4 medium carrots, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 cups almond flour (or regular flour and omit the tapioca flour)
- 1 cup tapioca flour
- 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- *1/3 cup butter for regular flour dumplings
- 2 teaspoons bacon drippings (optional)
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk for regular flour dumplings
- *4 large eggs for grain free dumplings
- Garnish: chopped fresh parsley
Put chicken with enough water to cover entire chicken in a Dutch oven.
Add following 6 ingredients and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 1 hour. Remove chicken; reserve broth.
Cool chicken 30 minutes; skin, bone, and shred chicken before returning it to the broth. Return to a simmer.
If making grain free dumplings:
These dumplings are heavier than regular flour dumplings. I've been told they have the texture of Matzah balls.
Whisk together almond flour, tapioca flour. *Whisk in eggs and bacon drippings until mixture comes together. Place in very cold fridge or freezer for 15-20 minutes.
Remove mixture from freezer and form into small bite size balls. Place on a plate and return to freezer for 10-15 minutes until firm.
If making regular flour dumplings:
Combine flour and poultry seasoning in a bowl. *Cut in butter and bacon drippings with a pastry blender until crumbly. Stir in almond milk. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll to 1/8-inch thickness; cut into 1-inch pieces.
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Carefully drop dumplings, a few at a time, into simmering broth, stirring gently. Cover and simmer, stirring often, 25 minutes until dumplings have puffed and floated to the top. Garnish with parsley and serve.
Traditional Southern Style Cornbread
made in a cast iron skillet
Personally, I'm not a big fan of corn. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE corn! I just don't like what Monsanto has done to corn grown in the U.S. And since GMO is so invasive, I avoid all corn products in general. Up to 2% of organic corn is contaminated with GMO's. However, in spirit of learning traditional style meals I have included a cornbread recipe using organic cornmeal.
- 2 Cups cornmeal (white corn meal is traditional but yellow will work)
- 1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 medium eggs
- 1-3/4 cups almond milk (want to keep to true tradition? Use buttermilk instead)
- 2 tablespoon oil (I used expeller pressed coconut oil which has no coconut flavor)
Preheat oven to 450F. Put the skillet with coconut oil in the oven while preheating.
Put the the dry ingredients in a bowl and stir with a whisk or sift until well-mixed.
Put the eggs in a 4 cup bowl or measure and whisk until uniform. Add almond milk (or buttermilk) to make two cups and whisk to mix.
When the oven reaches 450 degrees, pour the buttermilk and egg mixture into the cornmeal mixture and stir to mix.
Pour the hot oil from the skillet into the mixture and whisk in.
Pour the mixture into the skillet, return it to the oven, reduce heat to 375, and bake until golden brown on top, about 45 minutes.
When the cornbread is done, invert the skillet over a plate. A golden round of cornbread will fall right out. (If it doesn't, either it's not done, so pop it back in the oven for another five minutes, or your skillet wasn't properly seasoned, and you'll have to dig the cornbread out with a spatula.
Two hundred years ago sugar was scarce. The average American ate only 2 pounds of sugar a year. Today, according to the USDA, the average American consumes 156 pounds of sugar per year! That's equal to 3 pounds (or 6 cups) of sugar consumed in just one week.
- 1 & 1/2 Cups almond flour (or all-purpose flour)
- 1/2 cup coconut flour (omit if your using all-purpose flour)
- 1 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger, ground
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves, ground
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs, beaten (unless using all-purpose flour then only use 1 egg)
- 1 Cup molasses (I used sorghum molasses since regular molasses still comes from sugar canes.)
- 1/2 Cup hot water
- 1/4 Cup softened butter
Preheat oven to 375 degrees, grease a square 8x8 or 9x9 inch baking pan. Sift flour, soda, spices and salt, set aside
In a large bowel with electric mixer, beat egg, butter, molasses and water until combined.
Add flour mixture and beat until smooth.
Pour into greased pan and bake 30 to 35 minutes or until tooth pick inserted in the center comes our clean. Cool and serve.
Printable Grocer List
Free Printable Resources
Free Printable Resources
|If any of the links no longer work please post a comment so I can update the blog.|
Color the Arkansas State Flag
Color the State Seal
|Did You Know|
Arkansas contains over 600,000 acres of lakes and 9,700 miles of streams and rivers.
Located just outside of Murfreesboro, Crater of Diamonds State Park allows dedicated prospectors to search for precious gems including diamonds, amethyst, garnet, jasper, agate, and quartz.
Clark Bluff overlooking the St. Francis River contains chalk to supply the nation for years.
Little River County Courthouse is world famous for it's Christmas lights display.
The average temperature in July is 81.4 degrees; January it is 39.5; and the annual average is 61.7 degrees. The average rainfall is 48.52 inches and the average snowfall is 5.2 inches.
The Arkansas River is the longest stream to flow into the Mississippi-Missouri river system. Its total length is 1,450 miles.
47 hot springs flow from the southwestern slope of Hot Springs Mountain, at an average temperature of 143 F.
It is strictly prohibited to pronounce “Arkansas” incorrectly.
It is against the law to honk your car horn at a sandwich shop after 9 PM.
It is unlawful to walk one’s cow down Main Street after 1:00 PM on Sunday.
It is against the law for dogs to bark after 6 PM.