Cornbread Salad
1 (16-ounce) package cornbread mix
10 slices bacon
1 ½ cup sour cream
1 ½ cup mayonnaise
1 (1-ounce) package ranch dressing mix
2 cans pinto beans or red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
3 large tomatoes, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 cup green onions, chopped
2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
2 cups whole corn, drained
1. Mix cornbread according to directions on package. Bake and allow to cool.
2. Fry bacon. Place on paper towels to drain. Crumble the cooled bacon into small pieces.
3. Mix sour cream, mayo, and dressing mix in a bowl; set aside.
4. In a large bowl crumble half the cornbread, beans, tomatoes, pepper, and onion together.
5. In a trifle or clear bowl add the first crumbled layer (around ⅓ of the mix, reserving the remaining for 2 more layers).
6. Follow with layers of cheese, corn, bacon, and cover with a layer of dressing mixture.
7. Repeat for 2 more layers, ending with the dressing. Garnish with shredded cheese.
8. Cover and chill for 10–12 hours.
yield: 6 servings


Tomato and Cucumber Salad
2 medium tomatoes, cut into chunks
2 cucumbers, scored lengthwise with a fork, sliced into ¼-inch coins
3 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons diced red onion
1. Add tomatoes and cucumbers to a bowl.
2. Drizzle olive oil and vinegar on top. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Toss to coat. Garnish with diced red onion.
yield: 6 servings


Pulled Pork BBQ
Dry Rub
3 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 (5 to 7 pound) pork roast, preferably shoulder or Boston butt
1 ½ cups cider vinegar
1 cup yellow or brown mustard
½ cup ketchup
⅓ cup packed brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cayenne
½ teaspoon black pepper
Pan drippings from the pork
12 hamburger buns
1. Mix paprika, garlic powder, brown sugar, dry mustard, and salt in a small bowl. Rub spice blend all over pork. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to overnight.
2. Preheat oven to 300°. Roast pork in roasting pan for about 6 hours. It is ready when falling apart.
3. Make barbecue sauce by combining vinegar, mustard, ketchup, brown sugar, garlic, salt, cayenne, and black pepper in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer gently, stirring for 10 minutes until sugar dissolves. Set aside until pork is done.
4. When pork is ready, remove from oven and place on a large platter. Allow meat to rest about 10 minutes. While resting, deglaze the pan over medium heat with ¾ cup water, scraping with a wooden spoon to pick up all the browned bits. Reduce by about half. Pour into the saucepan with barbecue sauce and cook 5 minutes.
5. While pork is still warm, shred the meat with two forks.
6. Put shredded pork in a bowl and pour half the sauce over. Stir well so the pork is coated with sauce.
7. To serve, spoon pulled pork mixture onto bottom half of hamburger bun. Top with coleslaw or serve on the side. Serve remaining sauce on the side.
yield: 12 servings


Green Beans with Bacon
4 bacon strips, diced
½ cup chopped onion
8 cups fresh green beans, trimmed
¼ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon pepper
1. In a large skillet, cook bacon and onion over medium heat until bacon is crisp and onion is tender.
2. Cut green beans into 1-inch pieces, then put in large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil.
3. Cook, uncovered, for 8–10 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain well. Add to bacon mixture. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to coat.
yield: 8 servings


Creamy Coleslaw
1 head green cabbage, finely shredded
2 large carrots, finely shredded
¾ cup best-quality mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons grated Spanish onion
2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon dry mustard
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Combine shredded cabbage and carrots in a large bowl.
2. Whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, onion, sugar, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl, then add to cabbage mixture.
3. Mix well to combine and taste for seasoning. Add more salt, pepper, or sugar if desired.
4. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
yield: 8 servings


Fresh Fruit Salad
⅔ cup fresh orange juice
⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
⅓ cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups cubed watermelon, seedless
3–4 cups cubed cantaloupe
3–4 cups cubed honeydew melon
2 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
2 cups blueberries

1. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring orange juice, lemon juice, and brown sugar to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Set aside to cool.
2. Layer fruit in a large, clear glass bowl in this order: watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, strawberries, and blueberries. Pour cooled sauce over the fruit. Cover and refrigerate for 3–4 hours before serving.
note: Add pineapple, mango, and kiwi for a tropical touch.
yield: 6–8 servings

Zack Harold
Written by Zack Harold
Zack Harold is a southern West Virginia native. He covered education, health, and government at the Charleston Daily Mail before becoming the newspaper’s features editor. He joined New South Media in 2015, became managing editor of WV Living in January 2016, and took over as managing editor of Wonderful West Virginia in July 2016.