Guiltless Pleasure

Normally, I’m not a groupie or a fan boy, but after reading an interview with her in this weekend’s Wall Street Journal, I consider myself a fan of Nigella Lawson. She has been a culinary sensation for some time in the UK. Shocking, because I don’t normally think of the British when I think good food.

I enjoyed the entire article, but what endeared me to her was how she replied when asked a question about what food trend she was totally over. Her reply echoed my own feelings, but she said it more eloquently.

“A food trend I am totally over is: this tendency to venerate or demonize foods. I have nothing against people wanting to eat in a way that makes them feel healthy and well; that seems eminently wise. But I feel that any form of eating that involves self-persecution can only do long-term damage, however essentially healthy a certain food trend might be. When there are so many land mines and rules, you kill the sense of kinship with the body. It makes eating something fear-filled rather than joyful.”

I must admit, I have felt for years that the kill joys in the media, government, and pop culture and been waging a food fight. Eat this, not that. You’re not healthy unless you run 5 miles per day and limit your saturated fat. On and on. The constant scolding took its toll on me.

It took my mother death to provide me some badly needed perspective. It was a stark reminder that life is short. A cliché, I know, but it helped me to prioritize my own life. I reflected on what I enjoyed and what brought meaning to my life. I realized how good food and the simple pleasure of cooking and eating with family and friends adds so much joy to my life.

Cooking has always been how I expressed my creative side. I love the traditional southern cooking of my youth, but I also love exploring different cultures through their food. Good food satisfies both my physical and intellectual hungers to explore the world and to learn. The guiltless pleasure of good food enriches my life every day.

I’m old and cynical enough to think the article was probable about getting me to buy her latest cookbook, “At My Table.” Well if that’s true, then it worked. After reviewing the table of contents, I placed my order. I look forward to sharing many wonderful meals with family and friends. Buon Appetito!

Sunday Supper

Traditionally in the South, Sunday Supper was the big meal of the day. After everyone get’s home from church, they would eat a big lunch and it would be the last meal of the day.

At my house we continue the tradition with a few changes. We eat around 2pm and I make sure I cook enough to have leftovers for later in the week.

Today’s menu was:

Pork chops, Mexi-corn Casserole, Sautéed green cabbage with bacon, Steamed Asparagus, and Arnold Palmers to drink. (After all it’s The Masters weekend)

For dessert there was Red Velvet cake with cream cheese icing.

It was all delicious.

Grief

One year ago today, my mother died. I wish a could write a lengthy tribute to her, but words fail me. I miss her all the time. Here is a picture of us together when I took her to a Blue Wahoos game. Fond memories.

Mission Statement

The purpose of this blog is to give me a forum where I can write about the people and places that make up my little corner of heaven, also known as “The South.”

I have lived all my days in the Southeastern United States. I have lived in 4 of the 12 states and visited all of them, except Arkansas. Currently, I live in one of the region’s largest metropolitan areas, Atlanta, but I have lived in one of its smallest, too. (Monroeville, AL pop. 6,500)

A few things I love about this region include sugar white sand beaches, crawfish boils, Mardi Gras, SEC football (Go Gators!), Mint Juleps, fried mullet, raw oysters, Krispy Kreme doughnuts, deviled eggs, pimento cheese sandwiches, Barq’s root beer in a bottle, wisteria, confederate jasmine, azaleas, pink dog wood trees, and bourbon.

When writing, I will select topics that make me smile and reflect warm light on the subject matter. I will only write about politics when provoked.

I named it “Classic Seersucker” because in my mind the quintessential Southern Gentleman is in a Seersucker suit.

The Success Sequence

In today’s Wall Street Journal, Wendy Wang of the Institute for Family Studies, writes about the idea that school, work, marriage, and childbearing form a sequence that leads to success. She claims that growing up in the Asian culture this sequence was common knowledge. She urges that we share this secret with poor and working-class communities here in the US. I heartily agree. Spread the word.

Steel Magnolias

Last night my wife and I watched Steel Magnolias (1989). I became interested in the movie after listening to a Garden & Gun podcast that featured it. The movie was released in 1989, but I can’t remember watching it. I always considered it a chick-flick. It was a cute movie. As a parent I found it sad, because your worst nightmare is always having one of your children die.

Sazerac at home

Last night I enhanced my bar tending skills by making my first Sazerac at home. I found a recipe for the quintessential Southern cocktail at Thirstysouth.com. I settled on this recipe after doing some research on the web and realizing that it was the best match for my bar tending abilities.

I spent an hour on Friday night at my local Total Wine store purchasing the ingredients. I chose a nice rye bourbon and splurged on the Lucid Absinthe because I read a good review about it.

Considering first attempts always leave room for improvement, I enjoyed the results. To me a Sazerac is a very aromatic drink. Every sip has a different flavor and smell than the previous. I enjoyed it and I look forwarded to enjoying many more in the future.

Learning

One of the reasons for setting up a blog again is to keep learning new things. I enjoy learning.

This blog is privately hosted, so I have to learn the host management software. I’ve had moderate success.

WordPress is also something I’m slowly learning. There is also a WordPress app for my phone which is a nice tool.

Stay tuned for more.