Tomato Jam – Sweet, Savory & Everything in Between

Photo of NC Tomato Jam from Big Mill B&B

Tomato Jam – So Good You Won’t Believe It

If you have never tried Tomato Jam, you are in for a treat.

I have been reading about this jam and when I saw the recipe in the New York Times, I knew I had to make it. I didn’t like their recipe – too many conflicting spices. I tried several iterations and now I think I have the perfect recipe based on the Times recipe.  Click to read more about Chloe’s Killer Tomato Jam

Plum Jelly Recipe – Tasty, Tart, and Pretty

Tasty, Tart, and Pretty Plum Jelly is perfect for your breakfast table. Whether enjoyed on a lazy Sunday morning or as an accompaniment to a sophisticated afternoon tea, this plum jelly is a true culinary delight.

Chloe's Plum Jelly Recipe photo

Chloe’s Plum Jelly is the Best

Growing up, we had a beautiful red plum tree.  And Plum Jelly is my absolute favorite jelly. Experience the essence of juicy, tangy plums captured in every jar of this  pretty plum jelly.

This Plum Jelly is absolutely the best of ALL the jellies. It has a sweet-tart taste that can’t be faked. Try to get ripe plums – there are many varieties. I like the red plums because that is what we had. This jelly recipe is a keeper.

Chloe’s Luscious Plum Jelly is the BEST

Plum Jelly

Sweet, tart jelly from red plums is the best ever.
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time2 hours
Course: Appetizer, Breakfast, Condiments
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Red Plum Jelly
Servings: 8 half-pints
Calories: 529kcal
Author: Chloe Tuttle


  • 1 Canner pot


  • 8 lbs ripe plums (you will need 4 Cups of plum juice)
  • 5 ½ cups sugar
  • 3 ounces liquid Certo (1 pouch)
  • 8-10 half-pint canning jars
  • cheesecloth


  • Wash plums and put whole plums in a large stainless steel cooking pot. Mash the plums with a spatula or potato masher to extract some of the juice. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often.
    Line a large colander with cheesecloth and set over a large bowl. Pour plum mixture into the colander and set aside to cool. After it has cooled, put in refrigerator overnight. DO NOT squeeze or mash the plums, just allow to drip. Hopefully, you will have 4 cups of plum juice.
    Add 5 ½ cups sugar and the 4 cups plum juice to a pot and cook over medium heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar.
    After mixture is boiling, raise heat and bring to a rolling boil that cannot be stirred down.
    Add Certo and bring heat back up to a rolling boil that cannot be stirred down.  Stir and cook the jelly for 1 minute…. or a bit longer if you want.
    Put into sterilized jars and put on lids and rings. Process in hot water bath for 5 minutes.


Serving: 2Tablespoons | Calories: 529kcal | Carbohydrates: 137g | Fat: 0.4g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 3mg | Sugar: 137g | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 0.1mg
photo of Chloe's signature


Sweet Pickle Relish – Southern Cooks Can’t Cook Without It

All Good Southern Cooks Have a Sweet Pickle Relish Recipe

Photo of Hot Dog with Chloe's Sweet Pickle Relish

Southerners Love Our Sweet Pickle Relish

We don’t buy the relish, we make it ourselves from old family recipes. Each family has its own recipe; some add peppers and onions. I like the simple one.  Often we just chop up last year’s sweet cucumber pickles. You just can’t make southern chicken salad without Sweet Pickle Relish. This recipe is the best!

Effie’s Switch House French Dressing

Aunt Effie’s Switch-House Salad Dressing (Miss Effie’s Dressing)

My Aunt Effie ran an after-hours place called The Switch, so named because it was beside the “switch” for the railroad tracks. It was a popular spot for night owls, tobacco buyers and peanut graders who were in town during the harvest season.

The Switch After Hours Steak House phoyo

The Switch After-Hours Steak House was a Jumping Place in its Day

Teeney cooked the best steaks on a cast iron wood-burning stove. Yes, all the food was cooked on a wood-burning stove. The menu was T-bone steak, baked potato and tossed salad with Effie’s famous dressing. Aunt Effie told me it was her recipe — we will never know. I do know it was good.

Sweet tart salad dressing photo

Effie’s Sweet Tart Salad Dressing is Perfect for Mixed Green Salads

Click to get Recipe for Effie’s Dressing

Best Banana Bread has a Secret Ingredient

It seems all banana breads taste the same. Well, not this banana bread.

Banana Bread has a Secret Ingredient

Author: Chloe Tuttle


  • • 1 large egg
  • • 1/4 cup corn oil
  • • ¾ cups sugar
  • • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • • 1/4 cup milk
  • • 1/2 cup mashed over-ripe banana 1 VERY RIPE banana
  • • 1 cup self-rising flour
  • • 1 dash salt
  • • 1/2 cup walnuts chopped
  • • 1/3 - 1/2 cup fresh blueberries


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2 mini loaf pans with cooking spray with flour like Baker's Joy.
  • Whisk the egg in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add the sugar, corn oil, vanilla, milk and stir. Stir in the mashed bananas.
  • Stir the flour into the banana mixture. Add chopped nuts.
  • In a small bowl mix the Tablespoon of flour and the blueberries until berries are coated with flour. This will keep berries from "bleeding" in the bread. Gently stir the blueberries into the bread mixture.
  • Fill loaf pans about 1/2 to 3/4 full; don't be tempted to overfill, the loaves will be ugly.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until a skewer or straw inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool on rack and serve with butter or cream cheese.
  • Yield: 2 small loaves

Banana Bread Recipe has a Secret Ingredient that is a favorite of guests at Big Mill Bed and Breakfast

This Banana Bread is the Best Ever!

click to get the recipe for this Best Banana Bread

Hearty Beef Vegetable Soup – the BEST Ever!

This Hearty Beef Vegetable Soup-Stew is the best soup I have ever had. It is not cheap, about $30 to make or $3.75 a bowl – but it’s a meal and worth every penny. I am not a meat eater but this could persuade me.

Hearty Beef Vegetable Soup – the BEST Ever!

Prep Time45 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 8 -9 servings
Author: Chloe Tuttle


  • • 2-3 Tablespoons lard
  • • 2-3 pounds bone-in chuck roast
  • • 1 lb. oxtails
  • • 2 large cans whole tomatoes 28 oz. This is really good if you have home-canned tomatoes.
  • • 1 can beef broth 14.5 oz.
  • • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • • 2 bay leaves
  • • 2 Tablespoons dried parsley or a hand full of fresh parsley
  • • Salt and pepper to taste
  • • 1 large clove garlic mashed
  • • 6 large carrots peeled and cut into large chunks
  • • 4 medium potatoes washed and cut into chunks with skins left on
  • • 3-4 ears fresh corn cut off the cob
  • • 1 large onion diced
  • • 2 stalks celery cut into small pieces
  • • Package of small frozen Lima beans (12 or 16 oz.)


  • Melt lard in large stew pot. Add the roast and seer until it starts to brown, about 4-5 minutes. Add the oxtails and seer also. Remove meat from pot to cool for a few minutes.

  • Add canned tomatoes, broth, thyme, bay leaves, parsley, salt, pepper and garlic to the pot. Cut tomatoes into chunks with scissors or knife.

  • Cook tomatoes, broth, thyme, bay leaves, parsley, salt, pepper and garlic (without the meat) on medium for at least 5 minutes or until the meat cools.

  • When the meat is cool, cut the roast meat into chunks. Add meat, bones and oxtails back to the pot and cook for 20 minutes on simmer.

  • Add the vegetables to the pot: carrots, potatoes corn, onion, celery and lima beans. Cook for 30 minutes or more or until all is tender.

  • Remove all bones. Cut the meat off the oxtails and discard bones. Add meat back to the pot.l

  • Serve with toasted rustic bread.
Beef Vegetable Soup photo by Chloe Tuttle

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Photo of Chloe's signature Big Mill Bed& Breakfast, Williamston, NC 27892

Best Corn Pudding Recipe Is EASY

This is the best Corn Pudding I have ever tasted – and it is made with canned corn. If your budget is tight, this is a great dish to make, especially for those “pot-luck” dinners. It also has an amusing history — a friend Mary Anne gave me the recipe and now everyone thinks it is mine!

Creamy Corn Pudding

This Luscious Corn Pudding is so good you won't believe it is made from canned corn.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Resting Time15 minutes
Total Time1 hour 25 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, southern
Keyword: corn pudding recipe, southern food
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 256kcal
Author: Chloe Tuttle
Cost: $10


  • 1 15 ounce can corn, drained
  • 1 14.5 ounce can creamed corn
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepepr (Optional ground black pepper)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter (melted = 1/2 stick)
  • 6 Tablespoons sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups milk


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x12x2 inch baking pan.
  • Mix the corn and creamed corn. Stir in the pepper, salt, melted butter, sugar and four
  • In another large mixing bowl, whisk the 4 eggs. Add milk. Add the corn mixture and stir.
  • Pour into baking dish and fill almost full.
  • Bake at least an hour and often longer until the corn pudding does not "jiggle." You can insert a spoon or knife into the center part to see if it is runny. If it is, then it needs to cook longer. Sometimes it takes 1 1/2 hours to set and be done.


This recipe was given to me by friend Mary Anne.  Take note -  this Corn Pudding is definitely not diet food.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 256kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 103mg | Sodium: 506mg | Potassium: 256mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 436IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 1mg

Let me know if you try this recipe.

Chloe Signature photo

Big Mill B&B, Williamston, NC 27892  tel. 252-792-8787


Chicken Mull – The Forgotten Comfort Food

I had never heard of Chicken Mull until a few years ago. And then I found out that the Chicken Mull Festival happens 8 miles from me in Bear Grass, NC, population 69.  This year, the festival is on Saturday, October 28, 2023. My friend Nancy Sparks had a great recipe for Chicken Mull, so we made it and here it is. It is really quite good!

Chicken Mull – What Is It?

Author: Chloe Tuttle


  • Several quarts water
  • ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½-1 teaspoon cracked red pepper or to taste
  • 1 T lard
  • 1 3-4 pound chicken cut up (larger is fine too) You will need about 4 cups cooked chicken
  • 1 box of Saltine Crackers salted (you will probably use 2-3 sleeves)
  • Hot sauce for serving


  • Using a large stock pot, add several quarts of water, salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper and lard and bring to a boil.

  • Add cut-up chicken and enough water to cover the chicken. Return to a boil and cook for 1-2 hours or until chicken is tender and falling off the bones.

  • Remove chicken from broth and strain into a large bowl, reserving any broth.

  • After chicken has cooled, pull meat off the bones, discarding the bones and the skin. Tear chicken into shreds, using your hands. Be careful to remove all bones.

  • Strain and transfer the broth to a separate pan or bowl and wash the cooking pot to remove the chicken residue that is stuck on the sides of the pot. Add the broth back to the pot.

  • When the broth comes back to a boil, add the picked chicken to the pot and turn heat to simmer.

  • Crush 2 sleeves of saltines and slowly add to the pot. Stir and continue to simmer. The mull should not have much excess liquid. If there is liquid, add more crackers.

  • Simmer on low heat about 20 minutes or until hot and thickened, stirring often – hence the Mull moniker.

  • Hint: it is better the next day – the red pepper has a chance to be heard!

  • Yield: 6-7 two-cup servings

Click to learn the history of Chicken Mull and to see about the Festival

Edible Flowers for All Seasons – How to Make Edible Flower Ice Cubes

 Who can resist a pretty flower? Some of them, you can eat!  Spring and Summer offer many edible flowers; fall has fewer, but they are beauties – and easy to grow.

Edible flower ice cube photo in beverage at Big Mill B&B

A fun thing to do with edible flowers is to freeze them in ice cube trays for drinks and punch. You can use these in any season. Here is how to do it – it’s easy as 1-2-3! Click to see how to make Edible Flower Ice Cubes – it’s EASY

Sausage Gravy – Southern Comfort Food

Sausage Gravy is a southern comfort food.  We southerners have always enjoyed good pork sausage – when I was young, we raised hogs and had hog killings. And we didn’t waste anything, not even grease, fat or lard; hence, our love of sausage gravy. This recipe was given to me by one of my long – term Big Mill B&B guests, Janell.

Sausage Gravy & Biscuit photo from Chloes Blog

Easy-to-Make Sausage Gravy

When I was young, we raised enough hogs to feed five families for the entire year. We had pork chops, corned backbone, bacon, lard, fat back, ribs, plenty of good sausage, chitlins and cracklins‘ (yes, we say it like that.)  Sausage, hams and shoulders were always hanging in the Smoke House to cure. I still have that wonderful Smoke House here on the farm. Although I especially like Sausage Gravy on cold days, we serve it all year long as a real comfort food. Click to get Chloe’s recipe for Sausage Gravy