Blogging from A to Z: April – 2016: H
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
Oh My – this is gonna be my favorite post with Hush-puppies, Holcomb’s BBQ and Brunswick Stew – they go hand in hand like the old song “love and marriage, go together like a horse and carriage”! I bet you’re humming that now – if you’re too young to know the song, just google the words and listen.
Let’s start with Hush-puppies, and NO I’m not talking to the pups at my feet. I’m talking about a cornbread mixture that’s fried into a somewhat ball shape. It’s only made with cornmeal, onions and maybe a smidgin of baking powder so they rise nicely. There are lots of recipes out there on the internet and if you live down South or you’re just passing through, check out one of the local grocery stores like Piggly Wiggly – don’t ya just love that name; there are ready to use bags of hush-puppy mix, just open, add a liquid and you’re good to fry! Oh, and don’t forget to grab a buggy when you go in, so you can load up on all your Southern favorites. I just have to also mention Publix, as last time I was down, I was just so darned impressed with how clean their stores were and how friendly their staff was!
And what marries up with hush-puppies – you got it, catfish! We had fish fries all the time when I grew up and they were cooked outside in one of granddaddy’s big ol’ cast iron skillets. No one dared or even thought to fry fish in the house – it made the house smell, mama says. That was one thing that struck me funny when I moved to CT. – they fried fish in the house! I can hear them sizzling in the pan now and it’s sure making me awfully hungry. We never had fish without hush-puppies – if granddaddy went fishing and brought home a string of fish – supper was going to be cooked outside that night.
Now eating the catfish is another story as mama drove me crazy hovering over as I ate. If you’ve never eaten catfish as a whole fish, then you don’t know about all the little bones I’m talking about. Mama was so afraid that I’d swallow one of those tiny teeny bones, and I was afraid that if I did, she’d make me swallow that dreaded raw egg I had often heard about. Supposedly that would pull the bone out of your throat as it went down. All I could think about was her forcing that raw egg in my mouth. So I’d sit there – chewing and chewing and chewing every bite of fish in my mouth, while scrutinizing that no bones were going to be swallowed. I probably ate more hush-puppies and less fish. How she traumatized me with that fish, but I survived. If your reading mama – I forgive you… I do apologize that I got carried away with another “C” food but it just belonged with the hush-puppy.
Holcomb’s is actually the name of the place where the BBQ and Brunswick Stew is made and sold, but the name Holcomb’s is often just referred to as a food! If you say you’re going to Holcomb’s, well everyone, who’s anyone – knows what you’re eating.
As I don’t live… just down the road from them, it’s a place I quickly head to when I arrive in Georgia. I need my Holcomb “fix” when I go home. My mama could eat it every day – guess it’s a good thing she doesn’t live just down the road either.
Before we began driving to Georgia, I flew – and guess what I lugged home on the plane – BBQ and Stew. You can bring as much frozen as you want – my suitcase always reached the 50 lb limit, sometimes over.
Mama took pity on me and soon devised a pretty good recipe so I could make Brunswick Stew at home; although it’s good, it’s still not Holcomb’s. My Southern friends drive me crazy on Facebook when they talk about going to Holcomb’s for lunch – they ought to be ashamed of themselves teasing me so!!!
I have to say there are many BBQ places here in Connecticut lately, and some of the chopped pork isn’t bad, but no one seems to tackle the Brunswick Stew. There are several recipes on the net for it, but they use strange ingredients like potatoes, Lima beans, and ground beef – Nope that’s just wrong! We only use tomatoes and corn -ground with chicken and pork, add in some chicken broth, salt and pepper (lots of pepper), cider vinegar and a little BBQ sauce for flavoring. OK, stop turning up your nose – didn’t your mama tell you that wasn’t nice!
Next time I make a pot of Brunswick Stew, I’ll give you a call…. Ya hear!
Need More A to Z -then you know what to do…2016: Blogging from A to Z Challenge
© 2016 Jeanne Bryan Insalaco