Monday, July 12, 2010

Southern Fried

What foods remind you of childhood?  I'm four, sitting at the kitchen table eating black eyed peas with cornbead and butter.  Good old fashioned salty crumbly cornbread so dry it will choke you unless it's saturated with butter. My little brother is in his high chair pushing the peas around his tray.

We spent lots of summers in Arkansas where my mom grew up.  Always swinging so hard on Granny's swing set, willing the chair to propel us up and over.  Looking down with satisfaction as the legs lifted and heaved.  After supper we'd feed the chickens out back with leftover greens and cornbread.  On Sundays we'd fill tiny Shiloh church with family.  Uncles and aunts led us with hymns.  Massive potluck dinners always had enough food to feed the entire town and then some.  I decided to make some of my favorites for Sunday supper.

Fried okra and cornbread.  Seriously, this is a meal.  Something fried?  Check.  Something with enough carbs to last you a whole week and made with about a carton of buttermilk?  Check.  A thick slice of butter between my cornbread?  Always.

Mashed potatoes, fried chicken, mustard greens & iced tea.  Mustard greens are tricky because they can be a little bitter, but add a teaspoon of sugar as they cook and it balances out the flavor.

I like my mashed potatoes one of two ways.  Pureed within an inch off their life, or nice and lumpy with lots of butter and salt.

Okra before frying has a beautiful star shape, but it's slimy.  After being battered with buttermilk, cornmeal and flour then fried golden brown, they're hollow with a satisfying crunch.  I eat them like popcorn. 

I marinated the chicken in buttermilk.  Sensing a theme here yet?  Get a load of those breasts.  I admit I was a bit envious.  Next time I'll cut them in half.  They'll cook more quickly and then four people can have a breast piece.

I cut up a whole chicken.  It's cheaper and strangely satisfying. Bloodlust anyone?  I was watching True Blood while prepping the bird.  Now that's a show I love.  My mom can't stand it because they butcher southern accents.  Um...they could speak Russian and it would still be my favorite show on tv.


Anonymous said...

marquez without makeup???

suzannemarques said...

can you believe it?! haha yes. i was working hard!

Lizet said...

I can't believe how very similar our family food backgrounds are!

When I would spend summers with my grandparents in Michigan that's what I'd help my grandmother make. Always before we'd go to the Farmer's Market for fresh veggies for dinner.

suzannemarques said...

that's awesome lizet! what were your favorite dishes??

Anonymous said...

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