Tuesday, February 21, 2012

No, please ... no, not again ...

OK - this always cracks me up. Cracked me up the first time - cracked me up the second. I would cringe more if my mouth wasn't watering. Part of me cringes because depending on how something is done, who says it, and in what context .... it is just, well, uncomfortable. It shouldn't be, but it is. Maybe we're getting past things .... or if as it was last time; some people don't get it.

First of all, this is just Southern food, but that has always been "our" little secret - Soul Food is Southern Food; I grew up on this stuff. It is the great uniter. One of the great triumphs of mine was when I ran a N1 shop where there was me, a Chief of predominately European extraction, a Philippina civilian and six YN & PN's of predominately African extraction.

It was our turn to host the monthly "Pot Luck." My Chief asked me, "What is our theme?" Waiting for this moment all year, "Well, we're all Southerners but one ... so Southern Food it is."

My triumph was when PN2 took a taste of my collards (slices of boiled eggs around the edges, of course; you can get an idea of it if you want - I run a little more molassesesque and peppery version of the recipe in Bill Neal's Southern Cooking) anyway .... PN2 took a taste; pondered a bit and stated, "Not bad." No small compliment from a man so picky, he didn't like my turnip green soup; but he was from Alabama, so no accounting for taste.

Thing was, the Admiral was from the South and it was a spread and a half; even if my cornbread was a little dry. (Yes, I cheated and brought three dishes) For a brief shining moment, the N1 shop was actually popular.

That being said, PN2 would look at the below, roll his eyes, sigh, mumble about the patronizing and mildly insulting nature of it all .... before getting to the head of the line to see what these Border State folks were trying to pass off. About the same reaction I have.

You can't fix ignorant --- but if the ignorant want to put on a spread like this; Southerners of all stripes will go along to get along - mostly to watch the Yankees, Midwesterners, West Coast and other lesser Americans poke at greens and squinch up their noses at properly paced chunks of smoked pig fat.

What am I talking about? Well - abandon all cliche & BEHOLD!
Relax after the 3-day weekend and forget about making a bag lunch on Tuesday . . . . . enjoy a home-cooked lunch at the Blue Jacket Cafe at NSA Annapolis in honor of Black History Month on February 21, 2012 from 1100 to 1300. Cost is $5.50 per person and includes live music provided by the Commandant's Combo from the U.S. Naval Academy Band.

Barbeque Spareribs
Southern Style Flounder
Chicken and Dumplings
Glazed Sweet Potatoes Chitterlings
Black Eyed Peas w/Ham Hocks
Baked Macaroni and Cheese Southern Style Greens
Southern Style Corn Bread
Decorated Cake

For more information about the Blue Jacket Cafe, including next week's menu, visit this link or call 410-293-9120:
Tastes great I'm sure - but really. No RC Cola and Moonpies? You make me sad. No Ox Tail Soup with the little rice? What do you mean, "Southern Style Greens" & "Southern Style Corn Bread?" No. There are "Greens" and "Cornbread." Don't go confusing those from up yonder. There is no other kind. Oh, that Mac & Cheese better not be from a box. My Mama would wop you one for that.

Wait ... what was that? Morgan - is that you?

What he said.

We'll call in "Southern History Month" and move on.

Darn it, I forgot to mention - in the middle of that conference table long ago, full of all the good Southern cook'n our N1 shop could muster (YN1's ribs were beyond mention outstanding BTW) there was a plate - soon empty - of perfectly done Lumpia. Even Southerners aren't stupid enough to turn down Lumpia.

Yes - it is time again.


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