If you are a southerner or spent any time down South, then you know that food is a huge part of our culture. We experience life and family around the supper table. Whether it is Sunday dinners, family bar-b-ques, church socials or every festival known to man, we southerners love our specialty foods and have no shortage of our own gourmet "chefs" and down home cooks. This past week, my son brought me a recipe he had gotten from a lady at work. Now Josh isn't your typical "microwave" kind of man. He loves tackling a difficult or unique recipe and doesn't mind "kitchen duty" as long as the result is a dish or dessert that is so good it will "make you wanna slap your mama." Now don't fret on that saying if you aren't from the South. You see, our mamas are master chefs of their own making and come by it honest from generation to generation. If something is so good that it compares to something Mama makes, then it is deemed so delicious it will "make you wanna slap your mama!" It is a sincere compliment. Saturday was my day for showcasing my own mastery in the kitchen with my handsome son by my side. I had no idea that one little ole' cake recipe would be so labor intensive, but it took us hours to make! One look at the kitchen along the way and there was no denying our heritage from my grandmother Mama Rich. She was the best country cook in the region and the messiest as well! You knew how good something would be by how much flour, sugar, baking ingredients and dirty bowls were scattered around her kitchen. My own mama has told me how much like Mama Rich I am - her "polite" way of telling me how big a mess I make in the kitchen. Yesterday's baking marathon was no exception! Take a look at the finished product Josh and I came up with. It is the most decadent chocolate layer cake I've ever made or tasted... chocolate on top of chocolate, stout, currants, jam and walnuts that resulted in a perfectly balanced fusion of flavors! My goodness gracious! How about you? Do you have a cooking or food ritual or story?