Because of Winn-Dixie film paired with delish southern recipes


Starring Anna Sophia Robb, Jeff Daniels & Dave Matthews

Rating 8/10


– Opal (Robb) is the 10-year-old daughter of a small town Preacher man, Mr. Buloni or ‘The Preacher’ (Daniels). They’ve just moved to yet another small town. This time it’s Naomi, Florida, a super-small town where Opal struggles to find a friend.
– When she  goes to the store (Winn-Dixie) she finds a rascally dog, terrorising the Winn-Dixie staff and claims him as her own. But when she takes him home, Preacher-man isn’t impressed. But Opal bats her beautiful brown eyes and the dog stays much to the horror of their trailer park owner, Mr Alfred.
– But Winn-Dixie stays and helps Opal make friends with the townsfolk including Pet Store worker, Otis (Matthews), Miss Franny Block (Eva Marie Saint) and Gloria Dump (Cicely Tyson).
– Everything seems happy and lovely until a huge storm hits the town and Winn-Dixie runs away. Poor Opal gets really upset because her mum had left her and her dadda and she blames Preacher-man for her leaving. He tells her that he tried really hard to keep her around but she left anyway.
– There’s a cool party where Otis plays his guitar and Opal and the Preacher return to wait for their doggy. When Otis starts playing another song on his guitar, they hear a voice, a howl and it’s Winn-Dixie returned! Everyone is happy and starts singing along with the dog’s howls. Good times! 

Dish 1:

Cheese Biscuits


My friend used dry ingredients from the pack (see above) with extra ingredients but you could use this recipe from Yummly.

Sweet Tea

For this we also used special Sweet Tea bags from the USA but you could soak normal tea bags in cold water then go to town with heaps of sugar! It’s pretty much the same thing. Sweet, delicious and refreshing!


If you’re looking for a lovely, humorous movie about family, friends and community (with a cute dog thrown in), you’ve come to the right place. This is a perfect family movie with lots of laugh-out-loud moments, a few ‘shed those tears’ moments but above all it will leave you with a nice, warm feeling in your tum-tum.

It’s no Oscar winner but a heart-warming movie that gets back to old-fashioned values in the best way possible. The performances of the humans are pretty good, with Robb doing a fine job as the beautiful Opal. I always love Jeff Daniels, he always give a solid performance. But the best part about this movie is the animals including a cutie pie piglet, a Cockatoo (not a parrot, Otis!) – Aussie, Aussie, Aussie and a rather funny bear who stars in a crazy flashback.

We were so lucky to be invited to our friends house to eat these authentic Southern dishes (thanks Tammy) with our friends from the great South (Alabama, Texas, Florida). They cooked up a storm and we ate like we were sitting around on a large verandah in ‘bama (when really we were freezing out little bottoms off in Australia). So I totally recommend that you do the same. The fried chicken and biscuits were especially delish, not to mention the banana pud! YUM!

Dish 2:

Fried Chicken


Yummo! This chicken was so tender, crunchy and tasty and very simple to make. Just dip your chicken pieces in buttermilk, roll them in flour, then dip them in buttermilk again. Then use your deep fryer or a deep frying pan filled with oil (we used canola) and fry them until they’re cooked in the middle. Ours were a little pink in the middle so we popped them in the oven to cook the last bit through.

Green Beans

For an authentic Southern dish of green beans all you have to do is pop them in the oven with a bit of oil, maybe salt and pepper and cook them until they are crunchy. Delicious! Simplicity at its best!

Mashed Potato

However you like to mash a potato or two, do it! We used cooked potatoes with their skin on, added a bit of milk and butter and mashed them skins and all. Yummo!


Because of Winn-Dixie trivia:

  • Budget – $14 million
  • This film is based on Kate DiCamillio’s book, ‘Because of Winn-Dixie’ and I have it on good authority that it’s even better than the movie. Give it a read!
  • Four dogs were used to play Winn-Dixie and to make sure they were comfortable with Robb, they brought her in a while before shooting started and she gave them treats and probably loads of cuddles.
  • The dogs were of the Picardy Shepherd breed (if you wanna bag yourself a Winn-Dixie dog, go for these!)
  • Filmed in Louisiana.

Dish 3:

Banana Pudding

Here’s a recipe from Deep South Dish. It looks pretty similar to what my friend made. It was so delicious hot with loads of texture and the goodness of homemade custard and yummy bananas. Give it a go!


Dump Punch

Boy, this is a difficult recipe to track down, especially as it’s not that difficult, right? So, apparently in a punch bowl you combine:

2 cups orange juice
1 cup grapefruit juice
2 cups lemonade or ginger ale
Orange slices

And… serve!

My biggest thanks in the world goes to my dear friend Tammy who cooked up a storm and let me photograph her amazing cooking and to her lovely mum/mom, Cindy, who let me use her recipes. My first real film and food night! So much fun. Try it for yourself. Cook with your friends and enjoy a great movie together. It rocks!

Have you visited the great South of America? Share your stories…

More great film and food matches to try: