Martina McBride on Family Dinners, Growing Up With Music, and Her Famous Fluff Salad
The country musician joins us on our new podcast Biscuits & Jam.
About Biscuits & Jam: In the South, talking about food is personal. It’s a way of sharing your history, your family, your culture, and yourself. Each week Sid Evans, Editor in Chief of Southern Living, will sit down with celebrity musicians to hear stories of how they grew up, what inspired them, and how they’ve been shaped by Southern culture. Sid will take us back to some of their most cherished memories and traditions, the family meals they still think about, and their favorite places to eat on the road.
Episode 3: June 16, 2020
Martina McBride grew up on a wheat and dairy farm in Kansas, joining her dad’s band at just seven years old. Fourteen Grammy nominations and multiple ACM and CMA awards later, she is one of the most influential voices in the genre. She has multiple cookbooks under her belt, her own podcast from Luminary called Vocal Point, and she’s being spotlighted this year in the Country Music Hall of Fame.
On Family Dinner
My grandma always cooked and we spent a lot of time at her house. They lived about a mile down the road from us down a dirt road. So she cooked a lot. We really didn't eat a big breakfast as a family, but we sat down together for the evening meal.
On Fried Chicken and Fluff Salad
My mom made the best fried chicken. And ironically, I haven't really fried a lot of chicken. She always said to me, "your kids don't even know what a chicken leg is, all they know, is boneless skinless breast." And she was right. I’ve never cut up a chicken.
Fluff salad is one of our family recipes that we serve at the holidays. It is a jar of pimento cheese dip, a half a bag of miniature marshmallows, a carton of cool whip, and and some pineapple tidbits. And you mix it all up. The key is to mix it really well, and then let it set up in the refrigerator. So it's best to make it the night before.
On Growing Up with Music
My dad was a musician as well as a farmer, and he had a country band that I joined when I was about seven years old, singing and playing keyboards and did that all through high school.
We had a lot of classic country music. Um, and then like Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams Jr., Loretta Lynn of course, and then some of the more rock stuff that was more country rock, like ZZ top. We had those records and Creedence Clearwater Revival. And, as a country cover band, we also covered whatever was a hit on the radio at the time. So I grew up listening to country radio and covering songs by like Reba and Juice Newton and the classics like Patsy Cline.
On Being Introduced to Southern Food
When I moved to Nashville, I became friends with Faith Hill, who is such a great cook, and she would make these big Southern meals. She even taught me how to make sweet tea. When I was growing up, we had ice tea with every meal, but it was instant tea. And we just put a couple of tablespoons of sugar in each glass. And of course it would just be at the bottom of the glass, like it would not dissolve or anything. When I went to her house and she made sweet tea, and I thought, "Oh my God, this is so delicious." And she taught me how to make real Southern sweet tea.
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