Blogging from A to Z: April ~2016: Y
The Blogging from A to Z challenge is to post everyday during the month of April 2016, except Sunday. I will start with letter A and hopefully I”ll make it all the way to letter Z. 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
Don’t you just love “Y”ellow squash… I could eat myself silly with it peeled and boiled with a little butter. Mama loves the yellow, not so much the green but I like both prepared in different ways. The yellow is super sweet and so good.
Can you tell me what the difference is really between a “Y” Yam and a Sweet Potato. I Yam what I am says Popeye! The only difference I look for is maybe if one is cheaper than the other. There seems to be a difference of color inside and shape, but I’m not fussy, I think the taste is close.
I don’t believe in the South we ever ate the yellow blossoms that grew on the squash plants, but I sure do love them now. I was introduced to them by my husband’s Italian grandmother. I remember walking alongside her in the garden as she showed me how to pick them – and she told me that I must always drop them inside a paper bag. You only pick the blooms from the male plant, which produces no squash – it’s only the female plant which yields a squash. There will still be a flower on the end of the male plant and some people pick them along with the small squash attached. But Grandma Minnie told me not to – and I always listened to her!
One of the most important things to remember before coming into the house was to close the bag tightly. Why you ask? Before opening the bag in the house, you must make sure you hear no buzzing inside the bag – as that would mean a bee had hidden in the blooms.
Grandma Minnie tore the blossoms with her hands and dropped them into a batter, almost like a tempura or pancake batter – dropping by heaping tablespoons into hot oil. Oh they were so delicious freshly fried! Some people pinch out the stamen, and dredge the entire blossom into the batter and fry whole and some place a small square of mozzarella inside the flower before dredging.
If we threw out these blossoms in the South, boy did we miss out on a great fried food! They are quite pricey in the stores as the farmers have discovered – we want them – so you know what that means!
Ok, my Southern friends – did your parents grandparents grow them? Did you ever eat them? I know my grandfather’s never grew yellow squash.
Y’all Come Back…. One More to Go!
Hey before I go, I remembered another way I cook and love yellow squash, and that’s a big cast iron pan full of yellow squash, sauteed in a few tablespoons of olive oil and lots of onions – Vidalia works the best. After sweating them down, add salt and pepper, then add your choice of pasta poured on top; I like penne the best. Probably need to add a little more olive oil or pasta water and some nice Parmesan cheese grated over. You can never have enough squash and onions in this dish and the sweetness of the yellow squash really adds to the flavor. Oh Boy, good thing summer is coming, as I can’t wait to make a dish of this. It’s a cheap, easy meal and tastes so so good! Bon apetit!
Need More A to Z -then you know what to do…2016: Blogging from A to Z Challenge
© 2016 Jeanne Bryan Insalaco