Blogging from A to Z: April ~ 2016: B
The Blogging from A to Z challenge is to post everyday during the month of April 2016, except Sunday. I will start with the letter A and hopefully make it all the way to Z. I hope you enjoy the read!
Come sit a spell with me and learn about the foods and memories of my Southern heritage, and enjoy a little Southern talk along the way… I grew up in the heart of Georgia, married a Yankee in Connecticut and suddenly became displaced from my roots. But one thing is true – You can take the girl out of the South – But you can’t take the South out of the girl! I’ve learned to eat differently over the years, but I’ve never given up the foods I grew up on. When I left Georgia, at the young age of nineteen, I knew how to cook nothing! I pretty much learned to cook by asking mama over the phone, how do you do make this, and how do you make that; thank heavens for my Southern mama! Even though mama doesn’t cook too much today, she still remembers the recipes and she’s been my go-to person every night in chatting about my Southern foods and many of her memories.
Southern Food and Memories
Glad to see you’ve come again, pull up a chair and sit awhile… I must apologize that I have nothing warm baked for you this morning… if only you could smell my warm blackberry cobbler…
Southern “B” foods are so plentiful, but I’ll just start right off with one of my all time favorites – Blackberry Cobbler – although mama will say Blackberry Pie. Whenever we chat on the phone and “blackberries” come up, the first words she says are, “oh if only I could have just one more piece of my mama’s blackberry pie.” Me, I’d rather have a cobbler, and I have to say I make a good cobbler.I wish this “B” post could have been further down in the alphabet so I could have sent everyone a Fed Ex package!
Blackberries grew plentiful on my grandfather’s Georgia farm – the small sweet ones, not like the big seeded ones you get in the stores today. How times have changed in the food today vs what you had living on a farm. How better could it be… just grab your pail and walk a ways down the road and “pick” to your hearts content. And what did it cost you – nothing – just your time! Mama won’t have any part of those big berries in the store, stubborn little cuss she is.
I called Mama tonight and she began telling me how cold and windy it’s been, then she said. “I guess we’ll be having a “blackberry winter.” I quickly asked, what’s that? She always amazes me, but that’s a first – I’ve never heard that term before, is that something new?” “That’s what the old folks called a cold spell that came around Easter. It’s something to do with the first beginning of blackberry season – all I know is I’ve always heard it.”
What else starts with “B” – Biscuits. I learned to make a Southern biscuit from my mama – it took awhile, but I learned. Grandmama made sourdough biscuits everyday; she pinched off a piece of dough every time she made a new batch of dough and put it in a cup kept in the cupboard – whenever she made biscuits, all she had to do was take a pinch of soured dough out of that cup to add to the fresh biscuit mix – viola – sourdough biscuits!
I start my biscuits with measured ingredients…
If only I could have eaten one of those sourdough biscuits cooked in grandmama’s wood stove. I can’t imagine cooking anything in a wood stove – how do you keep a temperature? Mama reminds me that those biscuits cooked perfect – from top to bottom!
I make a pretty good biscuit, but not like mama’s. I need to use measurements, but she works right on top of her tub of flour – making a small well and working the dough until it feels right in her hands. I can’t start mine with my hands, but I use my hands to finish after the butter and milk is mixed in with a fork. I’ll save some of the specifics for a “baking biscuit” post.
Mama says… “you could have fought the Civil War with the first biscuits she made”
If you’re still here with your coffee, I’ll throw another Southern “B” food at you, just for fun – Boiled Peanuts! Whenever I go home, I’m quick to pull over as soon as I see a sign advertising Hot Boiled Peanuts – have to get that fix in right away! And I always buy a big cup for the ride home when leaving Georgia.
Now don’t be one of those Yankees saying – “they’re wet.” I’ll be quick to tell you, “yep they’re suppose to be.” If they aren’t wet and salty – well then something is wrong! I’m getting myself a beer, “would you like one”? That’s what goes “best” with the peanuts!
Hey! Did you know that peanuts grow on the roots of the plants underground? I loved helping to pull them all off after they were dry. Those are first called raw or green peanuts and that’s what you use for boiling or roasting.
My mama would surely give me a switching if I dared to forget black-eyed peas in this post. Oh My – what Southerner would forget to eat their peas on New Years day along with a secret “T” food I’ll share in another post; it’s a Southern tradition to eat your peas and …. on New Years day – it ensures money in the New Year. I bet you know at least one Southern person you can ask on that. If not, there’s always Facebook – it’s never closed!
Well y’all – I think I might have overstayed my welcome here, so time to grab my cup of boiled peanuts and head home – cut the lights off when you leave…
Need More A to Z -then you know what to do…2016: Blogging from A to Z Challenge
© 2016 Jeanne Bryan Insalaco