Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Housekeeping Fairy MIA

Has anyone seen the Housekeeping Fairy lately? If so, please tell her/him I am in desperate need and am willing to discuss very liberal terms.

When I would sit at my Daddy's knee as a little girl, he would tell me that when I grew up I would go to college, then marry a smart (well educated) good looking man, have wonderful children, and life would be good. And, I believed him. 

I checked off the first three (Well - yeah, but Daddy failed to tell me the good looking smart man came with a zoo and that raising rearing two daughters involved hormonal chaos and was not easy. And then Mama never told me about Ultra Brite either, not that I ever looked like Farrah Fawcett - don't I wish. But, that was another issue. I digress.)

I think it was more Que Sera Sera than the Princess version (or Tara before the War) in that he also failed to tell me about Saturday mornings spent changing linens, cleaning bathrooms, and chasing those evil dust bunnies. And, no, as I have said before, I don't vacuum like June Cleaver and Harriet Nelson in high heels and pearls. But then they lived in a black and white world, and these days, we're live and in color.

Oh, and I believe. There is a Housekeeping Fairy. Isn't there?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Suspect Bar-B-Que

Saturday we decided to eat Bar-b-que lunch at a local establishment that I had not been to in several years. The memory I had of my last meal there was mediocre at best. (And life is too short to eat mediocre Bar-b-que, when some of the best is available locally. But, I digress.)

The owners of this restaurant belong to the Dukes family (like all the other localBar-b-que purveyors in town. However, unlike the other three, they chose to vary from the familar path and not call their eating establishment "Dukes". And, there was also the issue of the family feud that resulted in their jumping ship and taking the family secret sauce recipe with them.

Now, as I've said before, the Pepsi Cola plant is known for having excellent fried chicken, the fire station has the best meat, and the highway department was the place where it all started. So, Saturday, I was giving the "new" spot a second look see.

We walked in and right off the bat, I knew it wasn't right. How could we eat good Bar-b-que in a place with ceiling fans, nice wooden tables, padded chairs, and soft lighting? Everyone knows you eat good Bar-b-que on folding chairs at cafeteria tables with extremely bright fluorescent lighting. Any fancy decor is suspect, especially if it matches, faded wallpaper and collections of miniature pig statuary being the exception.

We got our styrofoam plates (that was promising) and started through the line. The buffet contained the regular suspects: rice, meat, hash, macaroni and cheese, green beans, bar-b-qued chicken, fried chicken, cole slaw, hush puppies, and your choice of bread and butter or dill pickles.

The meat was chopped so fine that  (as my DH said) it looked like someone had gotten angry with it when they chopped it up and just couldn't stop. I commented that the meat actually tasted watery to me. My DH replied, "I think they steam it." I didn't even want to go there. As,we looked around at our fellow diners, my DH said in a hushed tone, "Where do these folks come from? I've never seen them before? They look like the ones you see at Wal-Mart on Saturday night. You know the ones." "Yeah," I replied, "the kind that propagates our state's reputation that we marry our kin folk." "Well, that too."

After we left, it dawned on me that folks who go there for Bar-b-que, think the other Bar-b-que establishments are beneath them. They want to eat in fancy places. Well, in this case, lipstick on the pig just covered up poor taste (and pitful Bar-b-que). And, it's a shame. Why, just down the street, at the fire station you can get some of the best meat around, of course you're gonna eat at vinyl cloth topped tables on a concrete floor. But hey, I don't go for the ambiance, I go for the food.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

You Can't Have your Cake and Eat it Too, or Can you?

Oh, Paula, Paula, Paula, they are piling on. How unfair can they be?

But, three years? You held your secret for three years? I love this -  because, as you said, you had to “figure things out in my own head.”  If that's the case, how can you justify the release of your newest cookbook, Paula Deen's Southern CookingBible, which obviously was written during this three year time of reflection?

And, yes, her enterprise continues as that part of her announcement was that she is now a paid spokesperson for Novo Nordisk, a manufacture of a major diabetes drug. I will not even go there (don't have to) since now I am no longer a voice crying in the blogger wilderness about Ms. Deen. (Once again, full disclosure here, I love southern cooking, butter and all, but I do not promote it for a living. Mainly because I have not figured out how to make a fortune convincing people that eating bad food is good for them. But, I digress.) Ms. Deen said on an earlier Today Show that she "couldn't do without  butter or a deep fryer." I couldn't make this hypocrisy up if I tried.

Anthony Bourdain's reaction was "“When your signature dish is hamburger in between a doughnut, and you've been cheerfully selling this stuff knowing all along that you've got type 2 diabetes... It's in bad taste if nothing else.

I rest my case. Carry on Paula. I'm sure your loyal legions are close behind - like lemmings off a cliff.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

You Can Find Them on Thursday Eating BBQ

I rest my case. Thursday, I had stopped by the market where my gallery is to drop by  two new framed photos. One of the local BBQ places (the "Fire station") is located across the street. As I drove into the market's parking lot, I noticed the parking area for the BBQ restaurant was full, in fact, past capacity. Now, it was Thursday, and it was lunch time, but I wasn't sure there was that much room in the rather small concrete block building to seat a driver from each of those parked cars, much less if they brought a friend. And, the coon hunters went home last week.

When I walked in the market, a friend of mine was standing at the door looking across the street. "What's going on over there? I've never seen that many folks there before." "Rick Perry scheduled a campaign stop." As I looked back across the street, I spotted the news trucks with their satellite dishes set-up in back. Well at least someone's advance team did their homework. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Well, I'll Be . . .

I had no idea. If I had known, I would have made sure my participles were not showing, my infinitives were correct, and all that other stuff I was supposed to be learning in Mrs. Mirmow's English class when I had my mind on other things. But I digress. I just happened to be on Amazon this afternoon and saw that this Blog, my little old Blog, is #63 on the list of Top 100 Kindle Humor Blogs. For all of y'all that put me there, I thank you. I knew I was getting a check from Amazon every quarter for $17.23, but, honestly, I just thought they liked me. Guess, I'm doing something right!

All Roads Lead To . . .

I may be going out on a limb here, but if I were a national journalist looking for a great story, here is a hint. Now that the Iowa caucuses are over and the Republicans are looking past New Hampshire, that leaves us - South Carolina, suddenly on the map.

Seriously, think about it. Starting today, only here, in our fair town, can someone find thousands of coon hunters (and their groupies), true honest to God BBQ (only open on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday), and now, rumor has it, Republican presidential candidates. Talk about a trifecta. Given BBQ has an attraction to Coon hunters akin to their hounds tracking coons, simply follow the pick-up trucks.

Now, I have no inside track on this. But, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to put BBQ, Coon hunters, and Republican politics together (think America, Mom, and Apple pie).

So, great, now we can add news trucks to the mix. Given the satellite dish on the top on a CNN truck attracts a certain type 'round here, we will have red necks coming out from under the rocks looking for their five minutes of fame. You know the kind they always find after some bad storm or horrific event, who lacks a few front teeth and sports a NASCAR tee-shirt and some tobacco related baseball cap. "Yes siree, it just came out of no where. Sounded like a freight train and before I could grab the little lady, the side of the house trailer was gone. After it was over, all I could find was my Barcalounger."

Also, given that one candidate has already been seen holding the correct end of a gun while on a photo op hunting trip in Iowa and another is known to shoot coyote square in the head while jogging, after finishing their meal, they may just decide to mosey on over to the fairgrounds and shake a few hands with the folks out there. Talk about frustration - try asking for votes over the incessant howling of dogs. And, candidates complain about the Moose Lodge. This will add a whole new appreciation for those rubber chicken dinners and relentless stump speeches. 

If nothing else, maybe they'll get a good meal out of it. After all, we offer the best BBQ around. Just ask the guy up the road sitting in his Barcalouger in the front yard.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Paula Deen's "Bible" on the Naughty List

OK, Paula Deen'snewest cook book, Paula Deen's Southern Cooking Bible made the list of the five unhealthiest cookbooks of 2011. That said there is hope for our culinary reputation yet. Our good name may be saved by, of all folks,  The New York Times.They did a wonderful article on real southern food being raised and grown for true southern cooking. The gist of the article is "Today, purists believe, Southern cooking is too often represented by its worst elements: feedlot hams, cheap fried chicken and chains like Cracker Barrel" .

I know, I know, Paula Deen's army will be ready to dredge me in cookie crumbs and fry me once again in lard. But, I still say, I love butter and fat back has it's place, however, Southern cooking is getting a bum wrap by all this. True southern cuisine is a fine art and the masters of it know that it all starts with fresh, authentic ingredients. And, thanks to some resourceful  folks, these ingredients are being produced locally in traditional ways so that the cuisine is not some fru fru impersonation of an old recipe, it is the real thing.

Ms. Deen and her faithful can have their calories and their faux fare. She is a dear and most entertaining. And, the south is big enough for all of us.  (Heck, she is making a fortune - and I'm not, so I can't say much.) However, it is nice to have someone, albeit a Yankee, to take a stand for the real thing and highlight those folks who are going back to our roots (literally )  and bringing the true good old south forth.  Now we find that  "Oh my, I had forgotten what this was supposed to taste like!" comes to our lips after we experience some divine gastronomic  epiphany.  

My Grandmother had it right all along. All I needed was the ingredients. And, the secret is not going too far from home.