Most of the time I refer to myself as a Southern Belle, but for about half of my life I wandered the Great Plains of the midwest. In the last several years, I’ve learned to embrace the dual nature that is my mixed-up self. Teaching English in China even caused me to revert back to the Nebraska accent from my youth. I’m sure my nieces will be so disappointed that they won’t get to make fun of the “Hey y’alls” this Christmas.
One part of the south I’ve always embraced even when away is the cooking. I love the unique flavour blend of the deep south. It has slightly spicy, succulently sweet, and teases the tip of your tongue seasoning. I bring so many local delicacies with me when I leave the Pine Belt, like Mickle’s Pickles (http://www.micklespickles.com); Tony’s Creole Seasoning; mom’s pecan pies; Oak Grove United Methodist Church cornbread dressing; and my cousin Tess’s squash casserole (If I can ever get her to give me the recipe, then I’ll publish the delicacy for you.) Yes, I load all this up in my bags and haul them through the skies.
Most of this trip’s haul is stored in my step-mom’s freezer waiting for the Christmas party with my step-siblings and their kids. In the meantime, I am enjoying my second food love – Hearty Homestead Meals. The midwest doesn’t win many prizes for it’s cuisine, but what they do do is spectacular! I’ve never tasted beef so flavourful as the slabs off my sister Nichole’s farm.
I’m still waiting for a real Nebraska steak, but below are some of the great meals I’ve been having this week.
- My FAVOURITE – Beef sausage with fresh from Uncle Bill’s farm creamed corn (half & half and butter), frozen grapes, and homemade lemon friendship bread and lemon pudding
- A classic – homemade red sauce on spaghetti, french bread with crushed garlic and parmesan cheese, and grandma’s peaches
- Chicken rice/noodle soup with grilled cheese and fruit cocktail . . . okay so this all came out of cans and plastic wrapped goods, but it is a cold, snowy day comfort.
- Stick to your bones beef and noodles with canned peaches from my grandmother’s trees. It’s an even heartier version of stew.
Sloppy Joes, home grown broccoli, and my step-mom’s favourite drink ~ hot Dr. Pepper with lemon. It’s actually a very good drink.
These are pretty tame for me, but I’m only home for a short time so I take advantage of the normalcy. I’ll be having plenty of crazy cravings once I’m back in Hong Kong.
So tell me ~
What’s your favourite foods?
What food can’t you live without?