Miss Ya Boo
Boudreaux and I came to love one another for a number of reasons, not the least of which was our mutual romance with southern eats. We go back a long time. But we agreed that in our separate childhoods the stewed okra got carefully tested before diving in. Some fish have an abundance of bones, that are unavoidable, and which I can’t abide. Okra – before Clemson -- when picked late had terrible spines! They were dangerous and when you got one in the gum, or soft tissue of your mouth, you never forgot it. Just thinkin’ about it makes me appreciate how a gun shy dog must feel.
Food has always been a venture for us. Actually food and drink. Our development to adult status found that we shared a well defined parallel. The best eatin’ was in the country just out the screen door of an outside “kitchen”. Growing up we went to far more “pig-pullins” that preceded “sit downs” than to weinny roasts.
When we reached the age of socializing and bonded we brought tested and hidebound tradition to the table. As an example, hoecakes. Cornmeal & pancake mix wouldn’t do for us. When you have a hangover you don’t give a damn how long it takes to fix breakfast. Hoecakes fit right in with that attitudinal condition. Bloody Marys make patience. Our created Hoecake fest involved a purest’s slant – grits -- Cornmeal and flour bound by eggs, and buttermilk, and fried in butter.
From the Spring Equinox on to Thanksgiving fresh sliced tomatoes were on the table for every meal in the day. Lots of things got fried – like green tomatoes, okra, zucchini, venison cubes, homemade goat and pork sausage, and mash potato cakes, too. The chicken got slow cooked in the smoker as much as quick fried on the stovetop. Lots of game bird was available for years and then they got scarce in the last decade. How many times we’ve sat around the fire and lamented that distressing reality.
Dove breasts flour dusted, cooked in bacon grease with muscadine grapes and white wine (unless the Baptists were cookin'), baked in a covered iron skillet. Whole bobwhites baked with rosemary and thyme on low heat to a stage of finger pickin’ good. So good that you had to get a grip on yourself to keep from inhaling them.
One of the championship dishes of our dual culinary and imbibing careers came to life at the farm in Bamberg after a day of turkey hunting. It had been a good season and we scored a number of second year and older birds.
Knowing that the wild turkey thigh and legs were red meat and often too tough to bother with I opted for an oven bag with two sliced Fuji apples stuffed, and a cup of Captain Morgan’s for catalyst. Damn, if it wasn’t genius - - - well, maybe dumb luck. Three hours at 250 degrees, and the entire twenty three pound gobbler would melt in your mouth. If Boudreaux and I had a cook book that one would be in the “classic” section.
In Carolina (South) the traditional way to do BBQ ribs is boil them first. I didn’t get that ceremony when I first saw it and I don’t get it to this day. Low & slow was the way I learned from the pit to the present day smoker. Guaranteed tender, fallin’ from the bone, requires a finish of sealing the rib rack in foil and letting low heat cure the meat so “tender” that a toothless man can pull every smidgen from the rib and the rib end cartilage. This pushes your cook time out to seven, eight hours - - - But Law ! ! Never heard a complaint. Even from Texas or North Carolina. Lots of folks love a rib sandwich, but the entire concept loses meaning when the meat must be removed from the rib bone with your pocket knife. A standard rib sandwich in Georgia- South Carolina is two pieces of white bread, sauce according to preference, and three ribs that the eater can just slip the bones from the sandwich without disturbing the meat, makin’s, or the bread. Amen. Makes your tongue wanna slap your brains out ! Pass the sweet tea.
In Case You Missed IT
Now we're getting someplace. The local News Tabloid that weekly, brings us everything we didn't want to know about Citrus County has out done itself. I must admit, this "opinion" was certainly novel and full of food for thought concerning Inglis.
What better reason could there be to dissolve the town than because the town -in partnership with our neighbor, Yankeetown - wants to start a Farmer's Market!
I know. You thought town dissolution was a dead duck after the resounding vote that buried the un-incorporate slate of candidates in the March election. Not so fast, sleeping citizens!
Anyway I'm changing my mind. Instead of a Farmer's Market that might bring a few people to "town" I like the approach of getting rid of Inglis because it kills two birds with one stone. No Inglis - - - no co-operative partnership with our dreaded neighbor Yankeetown. I would like to propose that we block the two entanceways ( 40 & 40A) to Inglis with empty dumpsters to keep out those pesky tourists, paddlers, bikers, marathoners and fishermen, to name a few. What? Oh, the hell with our neighbor. We didn't like them for years, why worry about them now? Don't sweat the dumpsters, either. They will remain empty. It's a tradition.
Here's a few more solid reasons to dissolve Inglis:
1. Six people want to do it.
2. The town of Inglis (& Yankeetown) is crawling with feral cats. Get rid of the town and you don't have to deal with the cat problem. Let somebody else do it.
3. The local grocery store can't stand the competition of five homecraft businesses. We must protect them from economic interlopers. Maybe we should pay them for their once a month losses.
4. Won't have to pay a town Attorney. I like this one the best. Who needs a lawyer?
Who is this man? Farmer's Market vendor? Consultant to the Dissolution Committee?
How You Like Me Now?