Hey there! I am Melissa and my favorite thing to do is spend time in the kitchen with my daughter, Sydney. As a matter of fact, the only thing I love equally as much as cooking is enjoying a glass of sweet muscadine wine....if I can pair cooking and wine together, then I consider it time well spent!
I live in the small, rural town in which I grew up, right along the border of North and South Carolina. My parents raised poultry and cattle and I learned how to garden and harvest fresh vegetables at an early age. My mother made sure I learned how to cook when I was very young and I grew to love developing my own recipes and sharing them with my family and friends. Because I live an hour away from the nearest specialty food shop, my recipes contain ingredients that are easy to find and require kitchen tools that are common to folks around here!
Some of my favorite memories from childhood include cooking with my mama, especially during the holidays. I guess this is why I have done my best to pass down family recipes to my own daughter. She and I have been cooking together since she was old enough to stand on a stool in the kitchen helping me bake cupcakes and cookies. She will be sharing some of her recipes here too!
I am inspired by all things sweet and creamy, flour and yeast, melted butter, vine-ripe summer tomatoes, homemade buttermilk biscuits and ANYTHING with cheese! I love my southern heritage and I pay tribute to collard greens cooked in ham hocks, cornbread dressing, and my mama's fried chicken. I am well known in my neck of the woods for making a variety of cream-filled layered cakes. My friends especially love the blondies with salted caramel sauce as well as the red velvet cake and I will share some of those recipes with you along the way!
Sydney is an excellent baker and she has developed her own culinary skills over the years. She is an integral part of this blog because she is the primary reason I began this endeavor. You can read more about that in my blog post, "New South Table, The Beginning...". She also contributes a significant amount of research and partners with me on recipe development. I would definitely not be here today without her contributions to this site!
I have a passion for decorating and designing a beautiful table setting, especially those with a more rustic theme. When it comes to table design, I love all things linen, plaid or checked and there is nothing that speaks to me more than a beautiful set of white dishes! I also adore packaging and I could spend a small fortune on boxes, ribbon, bags, tins, and anything that makes a gift look gorgeous! You will see a few design pics on this site as well!
Professionally, I have been an educator for over 25 years. After many years of serving as a classroom teacher and school administrator in the face to face environment, I made a career move to the world of online learning. For over nine years now, I have worked in a leadership role with one of the nation's largest virtual schools. I love my job and I work with some amazingly talented people across the state. Many of my coworkers have taste tested recipes and are some of New South Table's biggest fans, so I will be sharing their favorites with you on this site!
I also have a passion for outdoor photography and I have spent years dabbling in photography as a hobby. However, I am still in the learning phase of taking great indoor photos of food, so bear with me as I acquire new skills!
Thank you for stopping by and I hope you enjoy my recipes, but most of all, I hope you relish the moments you spend in the kitchen with those you love!