Community Foundation of Southern Maryland

Southern Maryland Traditions

Enjoy the best Southern Maryland has to offer and try some of our most authentic recipes including traditional Southern Maryland Stuffed Ham and Oysters Au Gratin. These recipes, taken from the Maryland's Way Cookbook, have been preserved and savored over many generations and we are so grateful to be able to still benefit from these local family recipes. Consider creating your own legacy by creating an endowment in your family's name to support and sustain the arts, environment, education, helath or youth in Southern Maryland for years to come.

Southern Maryland Stuffed Ham
taken from Maryland’s Way – The Hammond-Harwood House Cookbook


  • One country cured 12 pound ham
  • 3 pounds kale
  • 3 pounds water cress (field cress)
  • 2 pounds green cabbage
  • 1 bunch green celery
  • 1 hot red pepper
  • 6 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons mustard seed
  • 2 tablespoons celery seed
  • 2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce

Choose a plump, thick ham, thin layer of fat. Parboil 20 minutes. Steam and remove all skin. Cut greens in small pieces (1 to 1.5 inches). Chop celery and pepper fine. Blanch greens, celery and pepper in boiling water until limp. Drain well. Add seasonings and mix. Cool ham until comfortable to handle. Starting at butt end of ham, cut 3 lengthwise slits, 2 inches long, all the way through. Second row – 2 slits. Third row – 3 slits, so that one slit for stuffing does not split into another. The ham is now ready for stuffing. With the fingers, push the seasoned greens into slits first from the top, then from the under side till you feel every space is filled. The remaining greens are banked over the top of the ham.

For keeping ham in shape, use large square of clean cloth. Place ham, skin side up, on cloth, fold ends over tightly and secure with pin. Return to ham boiler and simmer 15 minutes to the pound. Let cool 2 hours in "pot likker". Chill in refrigerator over night in cloth.

Recipe from Mrs. Edward J. Edelen, Mulberry Grove, Port Tobacco

Oysters Au Gratin
taken from Maryland’s Way – The Hammond-Harwood House Cookbook

Get the required number of oyster shells, five or six on a plate. Have oysters well drained before putting in shells and heat over a pan of hot water.

Put in a saucepan 2 tablespoons butter, 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, one quarter of an onion, chopped, and 1 section of garlic, minced. Cook until onion is soft. Add 2 tablespoons flour and cream enough to make quite a stiff sauce. Add a heaping handful of grated Swiss cheese, paprika and salt to taste. Put sauce over oysters in shells, sprinkle with some grated Swiss cheese and bake in very hot oven until brown.

Recipe from Mrs. W.G. Fay, Mulberry Fields, Potomac River, St. Mary’s County

Birthday Cake
taken from Maryland’s Way – The Hammond-Harwood House Cookbook


  • 10 egg whites
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 and a quarter cup of sugar
  • 1 cup sifted flower
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Beat egg white until foamy. Add cream of tartar and beat until stiff. Gradually add a quarter cup of sugar which has been sifted. Sift together remaining cup of sugar and all flour 5 times. Beat egg yolks until thick and light. Add flavorings. Fold all into egg white mixture. Bake in an ungreased tube pan in moderate oven 325 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Invert pan and cool. Remove and slice in 2 layers. Fill with Mocha Filling and cover outside with White Icing of your choice.

Mocha Filling:
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 cups of sifted powdered sugar
  • one quarter cup strong coffee
  • three quarters cup lightly toasted almonds

Cream butter, gradually add sugar and coffee. Beat until creamy, then add almonds broken or grated.

Recipe from Mrs. John M. Lorimer, LaGrange House of Charles County.

Have a favorite Southern Maryland tradition or recipe you would like to share? Contact today.