A few weeks ago, my sister, Theresa, and I went to Green Front Furniture in Farmville, Va. We go there every so often to look at and occasionally buy oriental rugs, one of the things Green Front is known for.
While I’m personally fond of finding my oriental rugs at antique or yard sales (or on the curb in the historic district), all of my new ones were purchased at Green Front.
In addition to rugs, Green Front sells a lot of furniture and home decor items. You also can find items I’d describe as “gifty,” like jars of Jezebel sauce.
You might ask, “What the Hell is Jezebel sauce?”
Jezebel sauce is a spicy-sweet condiment made from apple jelly, pineapple (or apricot) preserves, horseradish, dry mustard, black pepper and red pepper flakes. It can be used for lots of things, but one of the most popular uses for Jezebel sauce is to pour it over a block of cream cheese and eat it with crackers.
One might wonder why such a wonderful-sounding concoction is named for a biblical queen who, after being an utterly terrible person, was thrown from a window and eaten by stray dogs. I can’t answer that question.
Recently, I saw Jezebel sauce on the menu at Scratch Biscuit Company, a new biscuit restaurant in Roanoke. I’d heard about Scratch Biscuit a few months ago, but finally went there this past week with my friend, Adrienne.
I ordered the Jezebel Biscuit — of course — which consisted of a cat-head-sized biscuit filled with country ham, pimento cheese and Jezebel sauce.
That biscuit was so good. Not being a food writer, I don’t quite know how to say it any better. Just so, so, so, so good. It was so worth the hour-long drive. Adrienne got the fried Cajun catfish biscuit and also declared it a winner.
Next time, I’ll try the catfish biscuit, topped with Scratch Biscuit’s special “Satan’s Snot” hot sauce. You’re right, “Satan’s snot” doesn’t sound very appetizing, but Adrienne thought it was a good complement to the catfish.
I didn’t buy that $4.50 jar of Jezebel sauce at Green Front, but I probably should have because it’ll likely cost me more to make it than to buy it. I did find a recipe for it, though, in my copy of “The Complete Southern Cookbook,” by Tammy Algood.
This is my favorite cookbook, although I obviously hadn’t perused it enough over the past few years to know it contained a recipe for Jezebel sauce. It’s organized by ingredient, A to Z, and includes many old southern standbys, among them a to-die-for coconut cake and a whole chapter on macaroni and cheese.
Here’s the recipe for Jezebel sauce:
Yield 1 1/2 cups
1 (5-ounce) jar apple jelly
1 (5-ounce) jar pineapple preserves
1/3 cup prepared horseradish
1/2 T. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
Directions: In a medium bowl, whisk together the jelly, preserves, horseradish, mustard, black pepper and red pepper. Whisk until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Algood also wrote my second-favorite cookbook, “The Southern Slow Cooker Bible.” And since we’ve talked a lot about biscuits here, I’ll just go ahead and recommend “Southern Biscuits,” by Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart. This book has every biscuit recipe imaginable, along with recipes for things to make out of, with and to serve atop biscuits.
By the way, Theresa and I also go to Farmville to eat at Walker’s Diner, which has a great eggs-and-bacon breakfast and a friendly staff, among other things.
The High Bridge Trail, a great place to bike, also runs through Farmville. Its namesake bridge was built in 1854, and apparently both Union and Confederate troops tried to burn it down during the Civil War.