Friday, July 15, 2011

Back Where I Come From....Where I'll be When It's Said and Done

In the town where I was raised
Clocks tick and the cattle graze
Time passed with amazing grace
Back where I come from.

I love being from the South. There's something about the way we Southerners talk, cook, and live that is so appealing to me, and living in a small town in the South in the summertime, well, that's just a double bonus. In all fairness to people living above the Mason-Dixon line, I have only lived in two states, Kentucky and North Carolina, and Washington, DC is the farthest north I have ever traveled. I am sure there are many people living in northern states that would like to debate the opinions in this post, and all I can say is, "Bless their hearts." ;)

One of the things that I adore most about the South is southern accents. I love how the twang and southern expressions make conversations and dialogue mesh into song. My dear cousin Allison, born, raised, and life-long resident of Bowling Green, KY, was recently relocated to Michigan with her beautiful family, which includes her young children Kendal and Carter. Allison shared with us at a recent family gathering that she listens closely for the hint of the northern accent to creep into the sweet southern drawl she wants her children to retain. I certainly hope that Kendal and Carter will always pronounce the word "cat" like it was meant to be as shown on the picture above. If you love Southern expressions as much as I do, visit this site for tshirts like the one above with hilarious sayings such as "Slow as Molasses" and "Ah'm bout to Burn Up".

Southerners are also better at cooking. If you don't believe me, you can take it up with Mrs. Paula Deen, ya'll. Dr. Oz may not agree that it is the healthiest way to prepare food, but I'll bet he has never tasted Paula's bread pudding she makes from Krispy Kreme doughnuts! Southern cooking is so glorious that my celebrity friend Justin Timberlake opened a restaurant ...wait for it....on the Upper East Side of NYC called Southern Hospitality, which serves Memphis Style BBQ. There are lots of cooking blogs that contain a gold mine of southern recipes. One of my favorites is written by Christy Jordan, whose humor tickles me to death. As she shares her recipes, you will belly laugh at her clever, sometimes sarcastic expressions. (A woman after my own heart.) Here's her latest cookbook and I encourage ya'll to check her out!
I think I can go on record and say that Southern sports are also far superior. (If I haven't offended anyone yet, I have a feeling I am about to!) All I can say is....SEC Football. Nuff said! There is a passion that comes with Southern sports that no other geographical areas have. Whether it's UK basketball, Crimson Tide football, or Gamecock baseball, the pride and allegiance to our round ball and pigskin is legendary and cannot be beaten. Only in the south are weddings, funerals, and other social events scheduled so game day is uninterrupted. I will never forget in 1998 when UK was playing Duke in the Regional Final of the NCAA to see which team would go to the Final Four. We were gathered at my mom and daddy's house watching. My beloved Wildcats were underdogs in Tubby Smith's first year as coach and were not expected to win. The next weekend I was scheduled to attend the Emmaus Walk on Thurs-Sunday. When UK pulled the upset, the first thing Daddy said (after he threw his pile of peanut shells across the room) was "You can't go!!! You gotta be here to watch our Cats in the Final Four!!!" You see we all had certain spots we sat in for every game and if you changed seats, my daddy swore it brought them bad luck. No one would answer the phone or the door, and Daddy would mute the sound during each commercial to gather his thoughts. (A tradition I still continue)  But I did attend the Emmaus Walk, had faith the Cats would win the first game and I got to see them win the final game and bring the championship back to the Bluegrass State! Yes my friends, unbridled passion!
Then there are authors from the South-William Faulkner, Harper Lee, and while not as literary still on my best author's list-John Grisham and Nicholas Sparks. Musicians? Ahem, Elvis and Dolly!!! No competition there. Movies? Steel Magnolias, Forrest Gump, Fried Green Tomatoes (shout-out to author Ms. Fannie Flagg, whom I adore). I could go on and on about superior southern living, but I think my point has been proven. I am glad to be a Kentucky girl and I am proud of my southern roots, and while I can visit and appreciate life in other places, this is where I call home and life makes sense to me. I'd like to hear your favorite things about living in the South. Let me hear your thoughts, favorite expressions, or recipes.
In honor of an awesome book, movie, and fried food, here's a recipe for Fried Green Tomatoes, from her royal highness Mrs. Paula Deen:
Sassy Fried Green Tomatoes
1 cup self-rising yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black ground pepper
1/2 tsp Creole seasoning
1 cup whole buttermilk
4 large firm green tomatoes, cut into 1/2 inch slices
Vegetable or peanut oil for frying

In a shallow dish, combine cornmeal, flour, salt, pepper, and seasoning. In separate bowl, place buttermilk, and dip tomato slices. Dredge in cornmeal mixture, shaking off excess. In large skillet, pour oil to depth of 1/2 inch and heat to 375 degrees. Fry in batches, 4-5 min per side or until golden brown. Drain on wire rack over paper towels. YUMMMMY!!!!!
Until next time,

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