Monday, July 21, 2008


( No lunch is complete at Whistle Stop without their famous "Fried Green Tomatoes" which we all thoroughly enjoyed!)

We had a sun drenched heatwave of a day on Saturday as we headed west for our Glendale excursion. In attendance were three of us from my town, two members from Lexington, and a lovely friend from the Glasgow area who met us there. We arrived just before 11am and browsed a little before we met for lunch at the regionally famous Whistle Stop Restaurant..It is aptly named due to it's location literally beside the downtown train tracks.

History:( from the Whistle Stop Web page)

April 30, 1975, Idell Sego made her dream a reality when she opened a sandwich shop seating 20 people in her husband's hardware store. Idell had little experience, but a great love for cooking and entertaining, and the sandwich shop grew into a successful restaurant.

By 1979 the Segos sold the hardware inventory to expand the restaurant, which now seats 85 people downstairs and 85 upstairs in the buffet area. Over the years, Idell continued to serve southern foods made from scratch using recipes handed down from family and friends. Many dishes served today are made from the original recipes from the restaurant's earliest days.

The Segos also worked hard at establishing a unique dining atmosphere, with handmade wooden booths and unique Whistle Stop hanging lamps throughout the restaurant. An original log cabin was also brought to Glendale and rebuilt; this log cabin now serves as a waiting area and gift shop.

March 1, 2005, James and Idell retired from the restaurant, entrusting Mike and Lynn Cummins to continue the tradition of quality at the Whistle Stop.

A visit to their website provides additional photos and a glimpse at the menus and find their wonderful recipe for Fried Cornbread which I've provided below...Delectable...

During one visit to The Whistle Stop, Colonel Sanders walked back into the kitchen while Idell was mixing up the cornbread... The Colonel -- already famous for his fried chicken recipe -- asked Idell what she put in her cornbread. Her answer to him was, "a few secret herbs and spices."

So the Colonel didn't get our secret, but now we'll share the Whistle Stop cornbread recipe with you!

Whistle Stop Cornbread

1 cup self risingflour

1 cup self rising cornmeal

1/8 cup sugar

2 eggs slightly beaten

1 cup milk

1/4 cup vegetable oil

Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl. Combine the eggs, milk and oil in a larger bowl. Add the dry ingredients; stir until just blended.

Here at the Whistle Stop we heat our skillet to 350 degrees, put a bit of oil on the surface, and pour like a "pancake". Fry until golden brown on one side, flip and repeat.

Smear it with some real butter and enjoy!

Note: This recipe can also be baked as cornbread in a 425 degree oven.

More photos and reports to come throughout the week.....


ZipZipInkspot said...

Dear Rebecca,

Oh, what a nice day we had! It lifted my entire weekend.

So did the fried cornbread. It's very, very light, almost cakey, just barely-there sweet, and it doesn't crumble to bits like cornbread does at all. You need fine-ground cornmeal, in my humble opinion, to get such a fine texture.

Oh, what a treat.



willow said...

I haven't had fried green tomatoes in ages! I used to have a large garden with lots of green tomatoes for frying. I do miss them.

Love Idell's answer to Col. Sanders! ;)

Rebecca said...

Dear Natalie,

Oh, it lifted mine, too! I'm going to make some fried cornbread this week as well.

What a great time we had and your darling dress was so lovely. Do you have a picture of the dress on your blog? It was perfect for such a sweltering summer day.

Rebecca said...

Willow, I love them, too. We used to have them at least once a week when I was a young girl. My Grandmother's garden always yielded so many wonderful green tomatoes...I thought of her often on Saturday...Oh, they also served them with an incredible horseradish sour cream dipping sauce...Yum...

Wouldn't you have loved to have seen the look on the good Colonel's face when Idell gave that answer? Priceless, I'm sure!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Cornbread is a staple in our house! Southern, you know. Did you have yours with buttermilk?

Rebecca said...

Pamela, I didn't have mine with buttermilk which is how we used to always eat cornbread when I lived at home with my parents or when we'd go to my Grandmother's for supper or Sunday dinner after church. We'd crumble up our cornbread in a glass of buttermilk and eat it with a spoon...It's funny because we had this very conversation at lunch and discovered that many of us ate it this way. One of the Tea Society ladies, Natalie, who has the first comment on this post, actually did order a glass of buttermilk with her lunch!

Kalianne@BygoneBeauty said...

Rebecca, I haven't had tried corn bread or fried green tomatoes. Don't know where I'd find such delicacies in Australia! The cornbread recipe looks straight forward enough – but I’d love to taste the real thing first so I know what I’m doing! I’ve tried oats Southern style with salt and butter and now prefer them this way. How interesting that Colonel Sanders visited the Whistle Stop - and he tried to nab Idell’s recipe!! The hide of the man. He wouldn’t give away his own secret recipe!

Sounds like you had a wonderful time with the Ladies Historical Tea Society. But what an early start with your little one up at 5am! The tea society sounds like a lot of fun. I’m wondering if we have something similar in our town? I’m going to find out…

Lavinia Ladyslipper said...

Mmmmmm, I think I'd add a few chopped herbs to this recipe. I visited the Whistle Stop website, and I must say, the description of those fried green tomatoes sounds dee-lish. "Double dipped in buttermilk and secret breading".

I've never had fried green tomatoes...wasn't there a movie by that name?

One day I will have authentic southern day!

Rebecca said...

Lavinia, fried green tomatoes are wonderful and yes, there was a fantastic movie by the same name. It was superb starring the lovely Jessica Tandy and Kathy Bates...I'm in the mood to watch that very soon...."The Secret's In the Sauce!" LOL!!!

Rebecca said...

Kalianne, my daughter normally sleeps later than that but she took a long nap the day before and her schedule was thrown off...Mercifully, that is rare these days...

Yes, the Colonel was quiet guarded with his famous recipe!

The Tea Society is great fun and I have met such wonderful kindred spirits through this group. Let me know if you don't have something like this in your area...I might be able to help you out there:-)

steviewren said...

Rebecca, I had to do a double take when I read about your trip to the Whistle Stop Cafe. The original Whistle Stop is 20 minutes from my home and I wondered if you had been close enough to meet this weekend. Then I saw the restaurant you visited is in Kentucky. The one Fannie Flagg wrote about is in Irondale Alabama. Here is a link to their website.

I googled Whistle Stop and saw there are a couple of restaurants. Funny. I've never been a fan of fried green tomatoes myself, but I can cook some good cornbread. Stop over for some soon!

Rebecca said...

Thanks, Stevie! I would love to visit the original Whistle Stop Cafe some day and pop in for some cornbread at your place as well!...

Betsy said...

Yum, yum! We love cornbread here, so will have to try this recipe! And those are the best looking fried green tomatoes I've ever seen! Haven't made them in years....better remedy that...especially since I have some growning right out in the back yard! :)

Dee Dee said... this little post...The tomatoes looks delicious! We have a Whistle Stop Cafe in a small town close by...they serve fried green tomatoes also :)....I'm reminded of the movie of my favorites...Good blessings for the day...

Kalianne@BygoneBeauty said...

Thank you Rebecca, I'm going to see what I can find. We have some lovely tea houses in our area. One of our historic buildings hosts a high tea each Sunday. Would be nice to find a group that enjoy these things too (I'm new to this part of the country)!