Whats cooking with Chug?

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 28, 2007

Chug Pruitt, born and raised in Demopolis, was the original founder of the Foscue House restaurant, which she opened in 1984. Along with Joyce Barnes, a friend, Pruitt served up lunch each day to a crowd that came back for more.

Pruitt remembers the Foscue House as a unique place.

Each day, Pruitt said, the staff would pick wildflowers to put on the tables. Also, a part of the home that is preserved behind Plexiglas is a place on the wall where callers would write their name when they came to visit.

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The Foscue House restaurant was also known for doing special events, such as wedding receptions, afternoon teas and holiday celebrations. One of their staples was the bacon, cheese and onion biscuits with homemade hot pepper jelly that they made daily.

After about six years of operation, Pruitt decided to discontinue her business there. She said there have been a few people to try to open it up again, but they haven&8217;t really had as much of a following.

But shutting down at the Foscue House did not put an end to Pruitt&8217;s cooking.

She has stayed in business by making pies and cakes for people who call to order them.

She has also put out two cookbooks, Foscue House Favorites and What&8217;s Cooking at Chug&8217;s. She said some of the recipes are originals, while others are ones she has collected over the years.

Pruitt said she learned most of what she knows about cooking from her mother, who had a famous caramel cake recipe. Regrettably, Pruitt said, she uses a different recipe than her mother.

Most of the cooking Pruitt does is what she considers Southern cooking. Although she enjoys other kinds of foods, she said it&8217;s just what she does best.

In addition to being a cook, Pruitt describes herself as a &8220;jack of all trades but master of none.&8221; At one time, Pruitt said, she was a blues singer and a dance teacher. Now she is content to cook for her family and make desserts for he loyal customers.


1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup raisins

1 cup pecans, chopped

1 cup sugar

1 20 oz. can crushed pineapple, well drained

1 large package frozen coconut

12 oz. container of Cool Whip

2 packages butter cookies with hole in middle

cherries with stems

Mix butter, raisins, pecans, sugar and pineapple. Spread between cookies. Use four cookies high and cover with Cool Whip. Sprinkle with coconut and top with cherry. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


6 cups milk

6 eggs yolks

6 egg whites

pinch of salt

3 cups sugar

3 envelopes unflavored gelatin dissolved in 1/3 cup cold water

1/2 cup cornstarch

1/2 cup Bourbon

Combine sugar, salt, cornstarch and milk in saucepan. Beat egg yolks and add to mixture. Cook on very low heat until warm and add gelatin, stir until dissolved. Stir constantly until thickened. Let cool. Add Bourbon, beat egg whites and fold into mixture. Pour into bowl and refrigerate. Serves 12.

Tomato Pie

Drop tomatoes into hot water, peel and slice. Place into a colander with salt and leave to drain. Mix:

1 cup mayonnaise

2 cups cheddar cheese

pepper to taste

sliced green onions and basil

Bake piecrust and lay tomato slices inside. Top with cheese mixture. Bake at 350 degrees until brown.

Onion Teasers

1 pound bacon, fried and crumbled

3/4 cup mayonnaise

2 bunches green onions, sliced

1 package cocktail tomatoes

Prepare tomatoes by cutting a small end off of the top end. Save the tops, not the stem end. Scoop out seeds and pulp. Set aside until ready to fill with onion mixture. Mix all remaining ingredients together. Fill each tomato with onion mixture. Place on a crystal plate lined with curly lettuce.

Ham roll ups with asparagus

3 pounds boiled ham, sliced thin enough to roll

4 cans of asparagus spears

3 8 oz. packages cream cheese, not softened

Soften the cream cheese and spread on one side of the ham slice. Place one asparagus spear across one end of ham slice, rollup, and place in refrigerator overnight. Cut ham roll in three of four pieces and place on a cake compote around and around, stacking so asparagus shows and it resembles a tree. Use celery tops in center to garnish.

Green bean sandwiches

3 pounds fresh, tender, small green beans

1 long loaf of white sandwich bread, crust removed

1 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup dijonaise mustard

3 Tablespoons fresh horseradish

4 cups water

1 teaspoon salt

1 medium bottle Italian dressing

Bring water to a boil with salt added. Add green beans and cook until just under crisp. Remove from water and pour Italian dressing over beans. Let cool. This step can be done the day before. Remove crust from bread and roll bread flat. Mix mayonnaise, mustard and horseradish together, spread on bread. Place three green beans on each side of bread and roll up.

Kelli Wright is a staff writer for The Times. She can be reached by e-mail to kelli.wright@demopolistimes.com.