Laci Dellaccio Schuman; Laci Dellaccio Schuman in her store, Southern Eats – Meals to Go (contributed)
In this creative weekly series, local author, artist and all-around entertaining and eccentric (not to mention classy!) Southern gentleman Ben Johnson South introduces Cullman Tribune readers to the creative thinkers and doers in the Cullman community.
“10 Things from a Tribune Tastemaker”
This week, meet Laci Dellaccio Schuman, cook, visionary and founder of Southern Eats – Meals to Go
REAL. AUTHENTIC. ORIGINAL. FUN. DELIGHTFUL. The same words used to describe the scrumptious, made-from-scratch dishes from Southern Eats – Meals to Go, also describe the go-go owner/cook, Laci Dellaccio Schuman. Laci started Southern Eats three-and-a half years ago with her foodie friend, Stephanie Jowers, “whom I’m forever grateful to for our business beginnings.” Both of these busy moms had the knowledge that everyone wants to feed their family better though it’s impossible to make good, home-cooked meals with today’s frantic schedules.
“Early on in Southern Eats history, Stephanie and I would meet friends in our church parking lot with tastings of my mother-in-law’s very special strawberry pretzel salad and Baba’s Chicken Salad, a prized recipe from my mom, Baba.” (Note: Laci’s maiden name is the proudly Italian, Dellaccio; her mom is Baba, and Baba’s mom was Vida. After a tasty, Southern Eats – Meals to Go snack and a couple of glasses of Italian wine, I’m sounding like Lucy Riccardo and Vitametavegamin—“BabaVidaMamaDellaccio.”)
Fast forward to the holidays, 2018 and Cullman now has two Southern Eats – Meals to Go options. The original shop at 221 Second Ave. SE and now at Mae’s Food Hall in the Warehouse District.
Laci enthusiastically added, “I definitely have visions of more locations for Southern Eats.”
It’s REAL and REALLY GOOD. I tell her that I could imagine Southern Eats multiplying like Zoe’s Kitchen—FRESH. TASTY. REAL FOOD. Southern Eats – Meals to Go would be a tempting, created-in-Cullman dish for investors and franchise operators.
As for the venture at Mae’s, Laci said, “I’ve been a big supporter of Mae’s Food Hall from the beginning. It’s a neat environment. Bring the kids to play free arcade games, let family members choose what they want to eat, and the grown-ups can have a beer, a glass of wine or a cocktail. I firmly believe if you come to Mae’s and have a $6 bowl of one of my real, homemade soups, you will be back for more!”
Here are 10, tasty nuggets from TASTEMAKER, Laci Schuman:
- HEY BATTER, BATTER, BATTER—this Vestavia Hills softball star chose Auburn University over playing college sports
- CULLMAN-GROWN STRAWBERRIES—THE BEST, and a shout-out to Graveman Farms: “I love selecting from all the Cullman County farmers’ bounty at the Festhalle.”
- BACON BALLS—yep, it’s a Southern Eats thing for Holiday 2018 parties; also, sausage balls, pigs-n-blanket, assorted pinwheels, hot and cold dips and more
- YOUR ENTIRE CHRISTMAS DINNER—Southern Eats “slays the holidays” with whole beef tenderloins, pork tenderloins, applewood smoked hams; also, an array of casseroles and side dishes
- MADE-FROM-SCRATCH CHICKEN SALAD—not just glopped out of a jar or can; Southern Eats Chicken Salad has a devoted, in-the-know Cullman following because they use boneless/skinless chicken breasts, seasoned and cooked in-house. REAL. AUTHENTIC. DELIGHTFUL.
- FIRECRACKERS—the Southern Eats bowl game snack you want with an ice cold, GOAT ISLAND BEER
- THE AMAZING SCHUMAN TASTE TEAM–husband, Justin, and daughters Bailey Grant (15) and Logan Harris (11)
- EATING HER WAY THROUGH ITALY—Laci’s “bucket list” food adventure
- U2, DAVE MATTHEWS, JOHNNYSWIM and IMAGINE DRAGONS—her kitchen playlist; “The U2 Achtung Baby Tour was my first concert and if I could cook for any three people in history, it would be my grandmother, Vida Blackwell; my grandfather, Joe Dellaccio, a WWII POW; and U2 singer, Bono. The first two for their love and storytelling; and, Bono because it would be supercool to break bread with that rock star guy.”
- SLEEP GREAT. DREAM GREATER.—the motto of this foodie mom-on-the-move
Beer Cheese Soup featuring Goat Island Brewing’s Richter’s Pilsner and Brickyard Meats’ Applewood Smoked Bacon
- Chop bacon and sauté in frying pan
- Drain grease, add your choice of diced red or green peppers and onions, cook till soft.
- In a separate sauce pan:
- Start your soup base with a roux.
- Melt butter in sauce pan and slowly add all-purpose flour, whisking constantly.
- Add granulated garlic, salt and pepper to the roux (use your own discretion).
- Add 2 quarts of chicken stock to the roux, whisking constantly.
- Add a pint of Goat Island Richter’s Pilsner.
- Add 2 cups of half and half or heavy cream.
- Add cooked bacon, peppers and onions.
- Add 6-8 cups of sharp cheddar cheese.
- Stir until smooth.
- Reduce heat and cook down for 20 minutes stirring occasionally.
Enjoy!! Great with croutons or crusty French bread and of course an ice cold Goat Island brew!
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