Saturday, January 5, 2013

Go Ahead, Eat Like a Field Hand

One thing I have always had was a good appetite and a "healthy" body that showed its results. At 5'2" there isn't a good place to hide it. Not much of me is small with the exception of my height and my metabolism. When they were handing out metabolisms I must have not been paying attention.

Growing up, my Mama and my Daddy were constantly on me about my appetite and how much I ate, especially in front of people. I never could understand why I should not put as much on my plate as everyone else. What made me any different?

Mama would lecture me and, although her grammar was always correct, she sounded just like Mammy in GWTW, "Oh no you ain't! If you don't care what folks says about this family, I does. And I done told you and told you, you can always tell a lady by the way she eats in front of people like a bird. And I ain't aimin' to have you go over to Mista John Wilkes' house and eat like a field hand and gobble like a hog."

Now this was coming from a slight of a person 4'8" who never had a weight problem and did eat like a bird. Of course, I would put money on it that she  ate that way only because she did not want to be accused of ever eating like a field hand. After all, she had her image to maintain. Thank God white gloves went of style, and my rabbit hair muff was long since gone. 

Several years ago I lost a substantial amount of weight and have feared putting it back on ever since. However, to this day I am defensive of those poor souls who want to eat "like a field hand". Let them eat like a field hand, gobble like a hog, and enjoy every morsel. Hell, let them eat all the cake they want!

As a southerner, our food groups are butter, bacon,  bar-b-que, fried chicken, and biscuits. Somewhere in there we need to add our vegetables, collards and macaroni and cheese. (Yes, these are vegetables down here.)

I often go back to Julia Child's words of wisdom, because she approached food with a zest for living and enjoyment while teaching us a way to cook, few had ever imagined. And, few wanted to admit - the French knew what they were doing and had for a long time.

Three quotes of hers I love:

"If you're afraid of butter, use cream."

"With enough butter, anything is good."

"Everything in moderation… including moderation".

Bon Appétit, Y'all


Linda Medrano said...

We have a southern restaurant in Oakland called "Pican" and it's wonderful. Low Country Shrimp and Grits, Fried Chicken, Greens, Mac and Cheese, I could go on an on. I love it, but I'm glad it's not closer or less expensive. Why is everything good so damn bad for you???

Ann Currie said...

My Auntie used to say anything really fun cost too must or was illegal or fattening!