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Southern-Style  Recipes
Wakefield RecipesWakefield old post card

Alligator and Andouille Sauce Piquante

Aunt Elliece's Pickle Recipe

Barbecued Rabbit

Barbecue Squirrel

Brains and Eggs

Braised Rabbit

Brunswick Stew

Brunswick Stew 2

Brunswick Stew 3

Cajun Bread

Chicken or Pheasant Picatta

Fried Chicken

Gumbo 1

Gumbo 2

How to Smoke Meat

Larded Venison Roast

Lucy Watson Knight's Fruit Cake

Molded Shrimp or Crab Ring

Nanny and Pawpaw Gravy

Pigeon Pie

Pink Remoulad Salad Dressing or Seafood Sauce for chilled/mounded Shrimp or Crab

Red Beans and Rice

Roast Rabbit

Stewed Brains

Stewed Pigeons

Stewed Rabbit

Stewed Venison

Venison Haunch

Venison Roast Marinated in Buttermilk

Wild Turkey





Wakefield is the plantation home is now owned by my sister, Dr. Sylvia Burson Rushing, and her husband Thomas Rushing.  Our grandfather, Dr. Elkanah George Burson, Sr., bought the home from Miss Laura Gulley.  The home had been moved to its present location "in town" (Furman, Alabama) from out on the old Gulley Place on the Farmersville Road .  It is in the steamboat gothic style and was put together with pegs.  Now on the Historic Register, it has been beautifully restored and is used as a hunting camp. Sylvia and I published Wakefield Plantation: History and Cookbook of one Southern Family with a Primer on Manners and Etiquette.

Fried Chicken

This dish is best when the chicken is killed the same day it is fried. Cut off the wings and legs, cut the breast in two, and also the back. Wash well and throw in weak salt and water, to extract the blood. Let it remain for half an hour or more. Take from the water, drain and dry with a clean towel, half an hour before dinner. Lay on a dish, sprinkle a little salt over it, and sift flour thickly first on one side and then on the other, letting it remain log enough for the flour to stick well. Have ready on the frying pan some hot lard, in which lay each piece carefully, not forgetting the liver and gizzard. Cover closely and fry till a fine amber color. Then turn over each piece and cover well again, taking care to have the chicken well done, yet not scorched. Take the chicken up and lay in a hot dish near the fire. Pour into the gravy a teacup of milk, a teaspoonful of butter, a salt spoon of salt, and one of pepper. Let it boil up and pour into the dish, but not over the chicken. Put curled parsley round the edge of the dish and serve.

Braised Rabbit

2 3/4 Pounds Rabbit -- cut into serving pieces

1 Cup Flour

2 Tablespoons Butter

1 1/4 Cups Chicken Stock

1/4 Pound Pancetta (Italian Bacon) -- chopped

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

2 Cloves Garlic -- crushed

1 Cup Mushrooms -- sliced

1/3 Cup Dry Red Wine

2 Tablespoons Parsley; -- chopped

1 Teaspoon Dried Marjoram

1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste

Season the rabbit with salt and pepper to taste.

Place the flour in a bowl and dredge the pieces of rabbit in the flour. Pat off the excess flour, leaving a thin coating of flour on the meat.

  Heat a large frying pan and melt the butter. Lightly brown the rabbit on both sides and remove the meat to a 6-quart casserole. Deglaze the pan with 1/4 cup of the chicken stock and add to the casserole. Heat the frying pan again and brown the pancetta until clear. Add the pancetta to the casserole. Heat the pan again and add the oil, garlic, and onion. Sauté until the onion is tender. Add the mushrooms, sauté 2 minutes and add the remaining ingredients, including the remaining chicken stock. Stir together until the tomato paste dissolves. Pour over everything in the casserole. Bring to a simmer and cover. Simmer gently 35 minutes, turning the meat a couple of times. Turn off the heat and leave covered for ten minutes to allow the meat to relax. Add salt and pepper to taste if needed. NOTES: Option: debone any leftover meat and sauce and use as a sauce for pasta.

Larded Venison Roast

NOTES: Venison is "dry" meat, meaning it has very little natural fat in it. Often it is "larded" before cooking, by adding a bit of fat to make it tenderer. Traditionally, this is done with a larding needle, and can be a hard and messy job. Here is a nice, quick trick. Take a couple thick (3/16 in), slices of salt pork, bacon or other fat meat. Cut into pieces a couple inches long and 3/4 inch wide at one end and pointed at the other end. Put the pieces on a heavy plate and put the plate in the freezer until the bacon is hard frozen. Make holds in the roast with a thin bladed knife. Aim the holes toward the center of the roast. Shove a frozen piece of bacon into each hole, just like a nail. Put in a nail of bacon every square inch or two, and stuff them in good. If you are quick, you can lard a roast like this in a couple minutes. When you are done with the bacon, if you like garlic, shove thick slices into some of the holes. When done proceed with the marinating, or the browning of the meat.


Nanny and Pawpaw Gravy

3 eggs -- boiled

Giblets, neck and liver from turkey -- boiled

4 Tablespoons butter or chicken fat

1-quart chicken broth

Add chicken broth to chopped eggs chopped gizzard, neck and liver. Cook slowly until thick. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Nanny and Pawpaw Soup Chicken Broth From Baking

Large Can of Tomatoes

Elbow Macaroni

Chicken Breast

Salt and Pepper to Taste


"Elizabeth Jane Knight Burson"


NOTES: It's not what's in it that matters; it's how it is served. Nanny served this in bowls from her fine white china with gold trim, out of an exquisite soup tureen, to be eaten with one of the many spoons lined up on the linen table cloth.

Venison Roast Marinated in Buttermilk

1 Venison Leg Roast 4-5 Pounds

1 Tablespoon Coarse Ground Black Pepper

2 Teaspoons Ground Red Chile Pepper

1 Teaspoon Thyme

1 Teaspoon Sage

1 Tablespoon Vinegar


4 Sliced Onions

5 Bay Leaf -- leaves removed

6 Cloves Garlic -- crushed

1 Teaspoon Whole Black Peppercorn

Small Stick of Cinnamon

1/2Gallon Buttermilk

Take a venison leg roast, 4-5 pounds. Trim off all fat and membrane. Lard well, adding a bit of garlic here and there. Rub the roast well with a mixture of Black pepper, ground red chili pepper, thyme, sage, and vinegar. Let roast sit a couple of hours then marinate in: onions bay leaves, garlic black peppercorns, cinnamon and buttermilk. Place in refrigerator for 2-3 days, turning occasionally.

Drain roast, discard marinade. Brown roast well in a bit of bacon grease in a Dutch oven. Drain grease. Add a bottle of good beer or cider. Cover and bake slowly, 300 to 325 for an hour or two. Add a couple onions, carrot, a couple apples and a sweet potato or two. Add more beer, cider or water to maintain liquid level. Continue to roast until vegetables and roast are tender.

Serve with a green salad and corn bread.

NOTES: This is a good recipe for an older or possibly tougher piece of venison. Larding, long marinating and slow, moist cooking will make for nice tender meat.

The following recipes from Mrs. Cabel Tyree’s Housekeeping in Old Virginia would have been prepared at Wakefield in the time of Miss Laura Gulley. Dr. Elkanah George Burson, Jr. remembered eating some of these dishes prepared by his mother. Since preparing game has become somewhat of a lost art, and Wakefield is now a hunting lodge, these recipes should come in handy. 

Elkanah George Burson, Jr. went squirrel hunting with his father, Elkanah George Burson, Sr. , on Saturdays.  His mother would prepare the squirrel and they ate it.  He remembers hunting with his friends and frying squirrel up in butter over an open fire.  He assures us it was delicious.

Venison Haunch

Prepare the venison as you would mutton.

Put in a baking pan, lard with a little bacon, add a pint of water, a gill of red wine, salt, and a little cayenne pepper. Bake quickly and serve with or without gravy.

Stewed Venison

Slice cold venison in a chafing dish and add—

A cup of water.

A small teacup of red wine.

A small teacup of currant jelly.      

A tablespoonful of butter.

A teaspoonful of made mustard.

A little yellow pickle.

A little chopped celery.

A little mushroom catsup.

Salt and cayenne pepper to the taste.

The same recipe will answer for cold mutton.

Barbecue Squirrel

Put some slices of fat bacon in an oven. Lay the squirrels on them and lay two slices of bacon on top. Put them in the oven and let them cook until done. Lay them on a dish and set near the fire. Take out the bacon, sprinkle one spoonful of flower in the gravy and let it brown. Then pour

in one teacup of water, one tablespoonful of butter, and some tomato or walnut catsup. Let it cool, and then pour it over the squirrel.

Roast Rabbit

Stew the rabbit. After boiling the haslet and liver, stew them with parsley, thyme, celery-seed, butter, salt and pepper for gravy. Soak a piece of loaf bread, a short time, in water. Mix with it the yolk of an egg and some butter, for stuffing; then soak it in milk and cream. Sprinkle the inside of the rabbit with salt and pepper, fill it with the above dressing, sew it up, and roast or bake quickly.

Barbecued Rabbit

Lay the rabbit in salt and water half an hour, scald with boiling water, wipe dry, grease with butter, and sprinkle with pepper and a little salt. Lay it on the gridiron, turning often so that it may cook through and through, without becoming hard and dry. When brown, lay on a hot dish, butter plentifully on both sides, and add a little salt and pepper. Set in the oven, while preparing four teaspoonfuls of vinegar, one of made mustard, and one of currant jelly or brown sugar. Pour this over the rabbit, rubbing it in, then pour over the gravy and serve hot.

Stewed Rabbit

Cut a rabbit into eight pieces. After soaking in salt and water, put it in a stewpan with a slice of pork or bacon, and with more than enough water to cover it. When nearly done, take out the pieces, strain the water in which they have boiled and return all to the stewpan, with a teacup of milk, a little pepper, salt, chopped onion and parsley. After this boils up, stir in a heaping tablespoonful of butter, in which a tablespoonful of flower has been rubbed. Let it boil up once more; then serve in a covered dish, with four hard-boiled eggs sliced over it, and grated bread crumbs. The same receipt will answer for squirrel.

Wild Turkey

If the turkey is old, after it is dressed wash it inside thoroughly with soda and water. Rinse it and plunge it into a pot of boiling water for five minutes. Make a stuffing of bits of pork, beef, or any other cold meet, plenty of chopped celery, stewed giblets, hard-boiled eggs, pounded cracker, pepper and salt, and a heaping spoonful of butter. Work this well and fill the turkey. With another large spoonful of butter grease the bird and then sprinkle salt and pepper over it. Lay in a pan with a pint of stock or broth in which any kind of meat has been boiled. Place in a hot oven. When it begins to brown, dredge with flower and baste, turning often so that each part may be equally browned. Put a buttered sheet of paper over the breast, to prevent dryness. When thoroughly done, lay on a dish, brown some crackers, pound and sift over it, and serve with celery or oyster sauce.

Stewed Pigeons

The pigeons must be seasoned with pepper, salt, cloves, mace and sweet herbs. Wrap the seasoning up in a piece of butter and put it in the pigeon. Then tie up the neck and vest and half roast the pigeons. Then put them in a stew pot with a quart of good gravy, a little white wine, some pickled mushrooms, a few peppercorns, three or four blades of mace, a bit of lemon peel, a bit of onion and a bunch of sweet herbs. Stew until done, then thicken with butter and yolks of eggs. Garnish with lemon.

Pigeon Pie

Take six young pigeons. After they are drawn, trussed and singed, stuff them with the chopped livers mixed with parsley, salt, pepper and a small piece of butter. Cover the bottom of the dish with rather small pieces of beef. On the beef, place a thin layer of chopped parsley and mushrooms, seasoned with pepper and salt. Over this place the pigeons, between each putting the yolk of a hard-boiled egg. Add some brown sauce or gravy. Cover with puff paste and bake the pie for an hour and a half.


Stewed Brains

Have them thoroughly soaked in salt water to get the blood out. Put them in a stewpan with water enough to cover them; boil half an hour, pour off the water, and add one teacup of cream or milk, salt, pepper, and butter the size of an egg. Boil well together for ten minutes. When put into the dish, add one tablespoonful of vinegar.

Brains and Eggs

Pour over the brains salt water, let them remain for an hour, changing the water to draw the blood out, then pour over them some boiling water and remove the skin. Beat up two eggs, and make a batter with a little flour, bread crumbs and crackers. Season with pepper and salt. Fry in hot lard.

Brunswick Stew

Shank of beef

Loaf of bread

1 quart potatoes cooked and mashed

1 quart cooked butter beans

1-quart raw corn

1 1/2 quart raw tomatoes peeled and chopped

Put the shank on as for soup at the earliest possible hour; then take the shank out of the soup and shred and cut the meat as fine as you can, carefully taking out bone and gristle, and then return to the soup pot and add all of the vegetables and the bread. Season with salt and pepper to the taste; and when ready to serve, drop into the tureen two or three teaspoonfuls of butter.

Brunswick Stew 2

About four hours before dinner, put on two or three slices of bacon, two squirrels or chickens, one onion sliced, in one-gallon water. Stew some time, then add one quart peeled tomatoes, two ears of grated corn, three Irish potatoes sliced, and one-handful butter beans, and part pod of red pepper. Stew altogether about one hour till you can take out the bones. When done, put in one teaspoonful bread crumbs and one large spoonful butter.

Brunswick Stew 3

Take two chickens or three or four squirrels, let them boil in water. Cook one-pint butter beans, and one-quart tomatoes; cook with the meat. When done, add one dozen ears corn, one dozen large tomatoes, and one-pound butter. Take out the chicken, cut it into small pieces and put back; cook until it is well done and thick enough to be eaten with a fork. Season with pepper and salt.

Gumbo 1

Put one tablespoonful lard into a pan. Slice two onions and fry them in it a few minutes. Have ready a chicken cut up and fry it in the lard till it slightly browns, also one or two slices of bacon or pork, and three or four bunches parsley cut up. Have a heaping plateful of okra cut up; put that in the pan and let it wilt for a few minutes (you must stir it), then add three or four tomatoes cut up. Then put the whole into a stewpan , pour hot water to it, not quite as much as for soup. Let it boil until quite thick. Season with pepper and salt, also red or green pod pepper. It must be dished like soup and eaten with rice; the rice to be boiled dry and served in a vegetable dish’ put one or two spoonfuls in a plate and pour the gumbo over it.

Gumbo 2

Take one chicken, frying size, cut up in hot lard; add one quart okra chopped fine, and one good sized onion chopped fine, when the chicken begins to brown, stirring all the time until it ceases to rope and is a nice brown. Then put it into a deep vessel and pour on enough boiling water to make soup for ten or twelve persons, adding two or three tomatoes, skinned and sliced, two ears of tender corn, salt and black and red pepper to taste. Let the whole boil one hour. Boil rice very dry and serve with it.

The smokehouse where Nanny cured the hams for her family to eat still stands behind Wakefield. My father said they waited until it was cold weather and then butchered the hog.

How to Smoke Meat

"Hogs weighing from 150 to 200 pounds are the most suitable size for family use. They should not exceed twelve months in age, as they are much more tender from being young. They should be kept and should be corn-fed several weeks before being killed. After being properly dressed, they should hang long enough to get rid of the animal heat. When they are ready to be cut up, they should be divided into nine principal parts, two hams, two shoulders, two middlings, the head or face, jowl and chine. The hog is laid on its back to be cut up. The head is cut off just below the ears, then it is split down on each side of the backbone, which is the chine. This is divided into three pieces, the upper portion being a choice piece to be eaten cold. The fat portion may be cut off to make lard. Each half should then first have the leaf fat taken out, which is done by cutting the thin skin between it and the ribs, when it is easily pulled out. Just under this, the next thing to be removed is the mousepiece or tenderloin, lying along the edge, from which the backbone was removed, commencing at the point of the ham. This is considered the most delicate part and is used to make the nicest sausage. Just under this tenderloin are some short ribs about three inches long, running up from the point of the ham which are known as the griskin. This is removed by a sharp knife being run under it, taking care to cut it smooth and not too thick. When broiled, it is as nice as a partridge.

The ribs are next taken out of the shoulder and middling, though some persons prefer leaving them in the middling. In this case seven should be taken from the shoulder, by a sharp knife cutting close to the ribs, which make a delicious broil. Then cut off the ham as near the bone as possible, in a half circle. The shoulder is then cut square across just behind the leg. The feet are then chopped off with a sharp axe or cleaver. From the shoulder, they should be cut off leaving a stump of about two inches. From the ham, they should be cut off at the joint, as smoothly as possible, and then you may proceed to salt the meat.

In order to impart redness to the hams, rub on each a teaspoonful of pulverized saltpeter before salting. If the weather is very cold, warm the salt before applying it. First rub the skin side well with salt and then the fleshy side, using for the purpose a shoe sole or leather glove. No more salt should be used than a sufficiency to preserve the meat, as an excess hardens the meat. A bushel of salt is sufficient for a thousand pounds of meat. For the chine and ribs a very light sprinkling of salt will suffice.


The meat as salted should be packed with the skin side down, where it should remain from four to six weeks, according to the weather. If the weather is mild, four weeks will answer. Should the weather be very cold and the pork in an exposed place, it will freeze, and the salt, failing to penetrate the meat, will be apt to injure it.

After it has taken salt sufficiently, the old Virginia mode is to break the bulk, shake off the salt, rub the joint pieces (hams and shoulders) with good, green-wood ashes (hickory preferred). Then rebulk it and let it remain two weeks longer, when it should be hung up with the joints down and the other pieces may be hung up for smoking at the same time. It is not necessary that the smokehouse should be very tight, but it is important that the pork should not be very close to the fire.

A smothered fire made of small oillets of wood or chips (hickory preferred), or of corn cobs, should be made up three times a day till the middle of March or first of April, when the joint pieces should be taken down and packed in hickory or other green-wood ashes, as in salt, where they will remain all the summer without danger of bugs interfering with them."

While this recipe came from Housekeeping in Virginia my father remembers this as the manner in which his mother cured the hams they ate

Aunt Elliece's Pickle Recipe

Fresh dill

1 cup salt

8 cups water

12 cups vinegar

Place baby cucumbers in a jar. Add dill, salt, water and vinegar. Pour over cucumbers.

Lucy Watson Knight's Fruit Cake

5 eggs

2 cups sugar

6 cups flour

1 cup shortening

1 ½ cups sweet milk

4 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons cinnamon

2 tablespoons All Spice

2 Tablespoons cloves

1 Tablespoon nutmeg

2 cups nuts (pecans or other)

1 quart fig preserves

1 quart watermelon rind preserve or citron

2 boxes seeded raisins

2 boxes seedless raisins

1 pound crystalized cherries

½ pound crystallized pineapple

½ cup blackberry wine

Mix fruit—Mix batter. Use ½ of the amount of the flour to mix in with fruit in order to dredge so won’t stick together. Pour batter over mixed fruit and use hands to knead using wine to soften as you knead. Bake 4.5 hours in oven 200-250 degrees.

Daddy says these are the best he has ever tasted. He remembers his mother’s dire threats if he walked across the floor while these cakes were in the oven.

              Alligator and Andouille Sauce Piquante

Source:  Dr. Sylvia Burson Rushing 

  5             Pounds Alligator Meat

                Cajun Seasoning

     1/4      Cup Olive Oil + 1 Tsp

  1 1/4      Pounds Andouille Sausage -- diced

  1          10 Oz Can Tomato Sauce

     1/3     Cup Margarine

     1/3     Cup Dark Roux

     1/4    Cup Chicken Base

  4          Cups Spanish Onion -- chopped

  1          Cup Bell Pepper -- chopped

  1          Cup Celery -- chopped

  1          Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

  2          Tablespoons Jalapeno Pepper -- diced

  1          Teaspoon Sugar

  2          Tablespoons Garlic -- chopped

  3          Cups Fresh Mushrooms -- sliced

  2           Quarts Water

     1/2     Cup Green Onion Bottoms -- chopped

     1/2     Cup Parsley -- chopped

  3           Cups Rice Bran -- cooked


Rub both sides of alligator meat with Cajun seasoning and

Cut into 1 inch by 1 inch pieces.

If possible, allow to marinate overnight.  Brown alligator

 in olive oil over high heat.

Remove from pot.

Sauté andouille in same oil for 5 minutes and remove

from pot.  Pour tomato sauce into pot with remaining oil. 

Stir sauce over high heat until it is very brown, burned.

Keep stirring until a thick ball of paste forms. 

Add margarine, roux, chicken base, onions, bell pepper,

celery, cayenne pepper, jalapeno peppers and sugar.

Sauté until onions are clear. 

Return alligator and andouille to pot.

Add garlic, mushrooms and 3 cups of water.

Bring to a boil and then reduce to medium heat.

Cook for 1 hour, adding water as needed. 

Once alligator is tender, add green onions and parsley. 

Cornstarch mixture may be added to thicken gravy.

Serve over hot cooked rice

NOTES: Regular sausage may be substituted for Andouille.


Cajun Bread

Recipe By: Virginia Grand

  1            16 Oz Jimmy Dean Hot Sausage

  1             Medium Onion -- chopped

     1/2       Tablespoon Black Pepper

  2             Cups Bisquick

  1             Cup Milk

     1/4        Cup Hot Pepper Cheese

     1/4        Cup Sour Cream

  1              Teaspoon Garlic Powder

  1               Egg  

  1               Cup Parmesan Cheese


Fry and drain the sausage and onion.  Add pepper.  Drain.

Mix bisquick, milk, cheese, sour cream, garlic powder,

Egg and Parmesan cheese. Bake in 9 by 13 greased pan

 in a 350 degree oven until brown. 

Molded Shrimp or Crab Ring

Source:  Dr. Sylvia Burson Rushing

  1        10 Oz Can Cream of Mushroom Soup

  1         6 Oz Softened Cream Cheese

  2        Tablespoons Unflavored Gelatin

  6        Tablespoons White Wine or Water

  1         Cup Onions -- Finely Chopped

  1         Cup Celery -- Finely Chopped

  1          Pound Crab Meat or 4 Pounds of Shrimp -- boiled peeled and chopped

  1         Cup Mayonnaise

     1/2   Teaspoon Tabasco

  1         Tablespoon Lemon Juice

  1         Teaspoon Salt

  1         Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce

     1/2   Teaspoon Pepper

Warm soup and cream cheese. 

Wisk until blended.  Dissolve gelatin in wine/water, add to cream cheese mixture.

Blend well and remove from heat.

Add remaining ingredients.  Mix well.

Pour into well-greased 8-inch mold.

Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Red Beans and Rice
Recipe by Virginia Grand

  1 Package Red Beans -- soak overnight, then rinse

  2  Medium Onions -- chopped

  4 Garlic Toes -- chopped              

  2 Ham Hocks or 1/2 Pound of Conecuh Sausage

  2 Bay Leaves                   

  1 Tablespoon Parsley Flakes

  1  Teaspoon Oregano

  Water to Cover All

Cook over medium heat for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until beans are tender and creamy.  Test by mashing beans with fork.)  Serve over cooked rice.

 Chicken or Pheasant Picata

  5     Chicken Breasts


           Flour to Dredge

    1/4  Cup Olive Oil

  5       Garlic Cloves -- sliced

     1/4 Cup Wine

     1/4 Cup  Demi-glace (opt.)

           Lemon Juice From 1 Lemon

     1/2 Cup Butter

            Parsley -- chopped finely


Bone and skin chicken breasts.  Gently pound the meat with a mallet until thin and flat but not broken.


Sprinkle meat with black pepper, dredge lightly in flour.  Preheat a heavy wide skillet.  Add the olive oil and sauté the garlic until lightly browned, then remove and reserve.  Turn up the heat and fry the chicken quickly.  Remove the chicken and set aside.  Drain oil from pan, then deglaze pan with white wine.  Add demi-glace if desired, lemon juice and the reserve garlic.  Stir well to heat the sauce thoroughly.  Add the butter.   The garlic can be removed with a slotted spoon or left in.  Add the parsley and spoon over the chicken


 Pink Remoulad Salad Dressing or Seafood Sauce for chilled/mounded Shrimp or Crab

Blend by hand or at lowest speed on mixer one quart of whole egg mayonnaise and one cup catsup.  Add the following and blend just enough to mix:

½ medium red onion

4 stalks celery

4 sweet pickles

½ Bell pepper

2 ½ sprigs parsley

2 Tablespoons of pimento or canned red peppers

All of the above should be finely chopped.

2 Hard-boiled eggs

1 small jar of fresh horseradish





Copyright 1996  These are my own working genealogy files that I share with you.  The errors are my own.  But, perhaps they will give you a starting point.  All original writing is copyrighted.  Webmaster