Thursday, January 29, 2009

Iced Tea And Other Southern Food


There was a time when I thought it was wrong to drink iced tea through a straw, and then the Universe taught me a lesson: I was at a Captain D's, having a meal, drinking tea without a straw. I picked up my cup, turned it up to take a sip, and poured tea down the front of my blouse -- INSIDE my blouse. It wasn't much, but it was cold. I didn't make any loud noises and I don't think anyone noticed what I had done, but since then I always ask for a straw for my iced drink, whatever I'm having, even water.

I think it's funny when someone calls iced tea the "table wine of the South." Whoever first said it may have been a Yankee who meant it in a derogatory way, but it's true. (No offense to Yankees, but y'all do sometimes have some funny ideas about the South and Southerners.) Iced tea goes with any food. Just ask any good Southerner.

I think I may be a bad Southerner. I don't like barbecue, or collard greens, or any other greens except maybe spinach; I refuse to even try chittlins; I won't eat any kind of organ meats; and plain white rice is low on my list. I do like grits (except for cheese grits -- cheese grits is for wimps who can't take grits straight); I like fried chicken and fried okra; love shrimp; like sweet potatoes, and green beans cooked to death; love my eggs fried in a little bacon grease; love sweet tea (but I also like unsweetened tea); love biscuits and gravy and mashed potatoes. I guess I'm not such a bad Southerner after all. I like non-Southern foods as well, like New York style cheesecake, deli sandwiches, quiche, and such.

Since I'm on the subject of food, let me just say that I love pie. I'm not awfully particular about the kind of pie, although apple may be my favorite, especially if I can have it with a little cheddar melted over the top and a scoop of vanilla ice cream alongside. I like all the Southern favorites, like pumpkin, sweet potato, and pecan. And then there's coconut cream pie. Once, in the Tennessee town where Jack Daniels is distilled (the name of which escapes me at the moment) I had a slice of walnut pie. That was very good. We have several blueberry bushes in our back yard, so there is the occasional blueberry pie. A restaurant in Tifton serves a nice mango pie. And then there was that Key lime pie I had in Florida several years ago. It was tart, and sweet, and very tasty. Before I get off the subject of pie -- if you ever go to Williamsburg, Virginia, stop in at Christiana Campbell's Tavern and have a slice of rum cream pie with a cup of coffee. I bought the Williamsburg Cookbook just because it had a recipe for that pie in it. All the cooking is done before you add the rum, and if you're a lightweight drinker like me, then you can feel the effects of the rum just by eating one slice of the pie. Really delicious.

Okay, now that everybody's mouths are watering, let me bring you down off this pie high: I'm having SlimFast for dinner tonight. And no pie. Aaarrrgh!

Ta-ta for now.

{Edited to add: Jack Daniels is made in Lynchburg, TN.}

1 comment:

Theresa said...

Cheese grits are eaten by grit conosi,conou, you know, people who KNOW grits, and can't spell. Lovin' the blog!