Monthly Archives: August 2010

Southern Culture – The MoonPie

moonpie

There is a Mardi Gras tradition that you won’t find in New Orleans.  All along parade routes from Mobile,AL to Pass Christian, MS you’ll find krewes of revelers, riding floats, throwing beads and trinkets along with some delicious Southern sweets.  Of course I’m referring to the ubiquitous MoonPie.  A unique Southern food that has been enjoyed for a century, still made where it all began right here in the South.  Here’s a look at this wonderful, bite sized, sweet.

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Tuesday Wine: Screw Top Snobbery

screw tops

It seems that more and more wine makers are using screw tops these days.  As the debate continues over whether or not the world is truly running out of cork trees, so continues my search for good, affordable wines.  I’ll readily admit that although practical, screw tops aren’t as romantic as real cork.  There’s something romantic and exciting about that “pop” sound as a cork is freed from its bottle.  Which option is better or more sustainable –  Who knows?  But I do know that we’ve found two good wines with lowbrow screw tops that hold their own: Banrock Station Shiraz/Cabernet and Ass Kisser Red Wine (seriously, that’s the name).  So before you turn up your nose at the screw top, try these two Tuesday Wines.  You won’t be sorry.

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Southern Kitchen – Buttermilk Pound Cake vs The Original

cake

As a stress cooker, I did my fair share of baking in college.  Most of my friends knew that an all night study session would inevitably be followed by an afternoon of baking stuff I couldn’t possibly eat, so they’d drop by after class got out to enjoy the spoils.  Most of the time I’d make some cookies, but after a really bad test, I needed cake.  Pound Cake, that is.  So easy, and so good.  Southern food made simple.

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Southern Kitchen – Bacon Lettuce Tomato & Onion Ring Sandwich

BLT

It’s finally tomato season in the South.  The farmers markets are bursting with the colors of every heirloom tomato imaginable and your home garden is probably over flowing with tomatoes of all sorts.  There is nothing like the season’s first BLT, the second BLT and third, until you’re  still looking at a pile of tomatoes and suddenly not so interested in another boring BLT.  Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing like a garden picked BLT where the star is some unknown heirloom exploding with its sweet acidic glory, but what if I could add some texture?  I give you my Southern food twist on the classic BLT – the “BLORT” Bacon Lettuce Onion Ring & Tomato Sandwich.

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Southern Kitchen – Pralines vs Pralines

pralines

One of the easiest ways to travel (through space and/or time) is through food.  The tie between memory and taste is one of the most wonderful things about eating.  Because we reminisce about our grandmother’s cooking or we miss certain dishes associated with our travels, we try to re-live those experiences in our kitchen. This was likely the reason that the French colonials living in New Orleans created the pecan praline.  Longing for the almond and sugar treat known as a prasline back in their homeland, yet lacking the skills or ingredients to truly produce it, they ended up creating a distinctly American treat (less healthy, bigger portion, diabetes inducing…..) now associated with the city of New Orleans.

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Local, Fresh, Sustainable – Chef Chris Hall

In an effort to bring Southerners back in touch with their food and local producers, The Hungry Southerner is doing a series of interviews with Southern farmers, producers, businesses and chefs discussing what they are doing that is unique to be sustainable, fresh and most important, a respected presence in their local economy.  Our goal is to document and share with you some really great stories of Southerners with a passion for what they do.  You’ll see everything from a family run pickling business to hand made aprons, sustainable restaurants and even some local dairy farmers.  We want our readers to share in our passion for supporting local economy and ensuring that the crafts of these businesses are being honored and passed on to the next generation.

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Yankee Challenge: Southern Fried Chicken

fried chicken

Have you ever noticed how, in the South, you’re never more than a mile from something resembling a fried chicken restaurant?  There is one on practically every corner.  We Southerners have a love affair with our fried chicken.  With an abundance of lard and a steady supply of cast iron cooking utensils, Southerners have always been a little fry happy.  Locally raised chickens have been abundantly available to all, who have lived in the South, (since before the Civil War) and frying them up is part of our Southern food heritage.  As part of that heritage, we graciously attribute African plantation workers for the contribution of the signature Southern spices, associated with modern fried chicken recipes. With all that said, it’s time for the “Yankee” to tackle the challenge of the quintessential Southern food, Southern Fried Chicken.

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