What's Cooking with Little Big Town's Kimberly Schlapman

We sat down with Little Big Town's Kimberly Schlapman, to talk about her childhood in Georgia, her band's new record and homemade biscuits. 

Kimberly Schlapman Image
Photo: David McClister

Hometown: Cornelia, Georgia, and now Nashville

Occupation: Singer

What's on Her Plate: The upcoming (October) release of Pain Killer, her sixth album with Little Big Town, and her weekly cooking show, Kimberly's Simply Southern, on Great American Country

I film Simply Southern in my own kitchen because I want it to be very much me and real and cozy. My husband is often out working in the yard; I can see him and take a break. My little girl is here, on the swing set or upstairs.

I started making biscuits on a stool in the kitchen next to my mama. She would let me flour the counter and cut the biscuits out with an old juice glass. Of all the things I want to teach [my 7-year-old daughter] Daisy, it's how to make a good biscuit.

The best thing I learned from my mama is how to take care of people. I could cry thinking about how much of a nurturer she is. That's part of the South, that's what we do, and often it's through food. We cook to show folks we're happy for them or we're grieving with them. We eat in either celebration or grief.

We [Little Big Town] are so over the moon about our new record, Pain Killer. We feel like it's the best record we've ever made. It's an evolution, because we didn't want to make the same record again. It's very energetic, and if there is one theme, it's that it makes you feel good.

My favorite song on the record is "Live Forever." It's just the sweetest love song with lush harmonies. I started singing it to Daisy right after we wrote it—at night, lying with her on the bed. It's definitely a love song, but it's also a message from a parent to a child.

I would love to duet with Emmylou Harris or Dolly Parton. Emmylou's Roses In the Snow was the first record I had, and it's still my favorite to this day. I know every word and every harmony.

I want Daisy to do what makes her happy, but if she wants to go into the music business, I'm just going to tell her she's got to be tough. It takes tenacity, and the music industry can be a heartbreaker. You have to be ready for brutal honesty. But when you have an effect on people's lives by making music—that's a pretty awesome reward.

A Southern woman is gracious, hospitable, flexible, and welcoming. My grandmother taught me, "The more the merrier. We can always make more biscuits!"

The South means home to me in every way. It means home in the physical sense and in my heart. I love that we seem to be very forgiving; we're not hesitant about giving second chances. I love that family is so incredibly important, not just the family that lives in your house, but your extended family.

As children, we made homemade ice cream every Sunday in the summertime. It was the old crank kind. They'd put newspapers on top of the ice-cream churn, to make it more comfortable I guess, and all the cousins would take turns sitting on it as the parents would crank and crank and crank.

For our family, cooking is a tradition. When we get together, we cook. Whether you know how to cook or not, it doesn't matter. You're just in the kitchen talking and laughing and making a mess and memories, and that's what we do. I want my Daisy to forever have that.

If I weren't singing, I'd probably be in the mountains of North Georgia. I'd have a little coffee shop right on the river with baked goodies and coffee. Maybe I'll retire and do that.