Saturday, April 15, 2006

Happy Easter!

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday with lots of food, family and friends. Hunt the eggs, eat the chocolate, just be safe traveling to and from.

Someone asked me, "What does Easter mean to you?" Besides those flowers shown, which are my favorite, a lot of different things.

When I was younger, it meant church, new dresses, a basket of candy and then Easter Dinner. Now, I can also add, the southern Easter has all those things, but one thing it has to have to be complete is, Ham. Yep, it deserves to be capitalized. The Easter Ham is one of the best things you can eat. The potato salad, beans, devil eggs, and pies all help, but without Ham, the holiday just don't mean as much to me.

That got me thinking on regional foods and what they represent to the people of the region. For me, food means a lot. (looks at butt) Ok, a WHOLE lot. But, nothing brings back a memory like food. Turnip greens(w/bacon) and cornbread, peas (w/bacon) and cornbread, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and gravy. You note there is a theme here. Grease, cornbread and/or bacon LOL.

But, just the taste of my own biscuits or cornbread takes me back to my mother and my two grandmothers. These three women were cooks of varying degrees of expertise. My maternal grandmother(Mamaw) was the fry queen. She liked to fry be it chicken, chicken livers, or salmon patties, that was her thing. Otherwise, you could forget it unless it was a dessert from a box. And, I won't get started on the nasty koolaid (blech)

My own mother learned to cook from her mother-in-law (Meemaw) Yes, the names are confusing to the outsider, but I had it down to a science! My mother's mother is Mamaw, and my daddy's parents were Meemaw and Peepaw, I had no maternal grandfather so, eh.

The point is, you'd think that the MIL teaching the DIL to cook is an 'accident' with sharp implements waiting to happen. Not so, but only because of the personalities of these two wonderful individuals, I'm sure. Meemaw was a patient woman, sweet, and a Christian of the best sort. This meant she felt it her duty to spread the word of God by living right and being kind and er.. teaching those less fortunate to cook cardiac on a plate sorts of dishes we all know and love.

My mother is just a little pig that wanted to know how to make her own dang biscuits and gravy, by golly. She did love my Meemaw and the feeling was mutual even after my parents divorced when I was 12. She improved on all these dishes with her own little extras and now is THE cook of 'real' food in the family. My aunts make sides and desserts, the ability of which still eludes Mama.

All three of my grandparents are gone now, leaving behind a lot of memories, some character traits, a dimple in this one's cheek, a twinkle in this one's eye, the volume of this one's voice *points at self* and big bones *oh yeah this one too, lucky me, THANKS MEEMAW!*. But I also got the ability to make fried chicken, peas, cornbread, mashed taters and gravy like nobody's business. Plus many other wonderful southern belle dishes that make Paula's Home Cooking look like a dieter's delight. (except mayo, yeck, Paula, just yeck)

So, tomorrow I go to my mama's looking forward to the friends, family, kids hunting eggs and all of that. But, I'd be lying if I didn't admit to really looking forward to the food she's got cooked. Like Homer Simpson once said.. Mmmm, Ham *drools* HAPPY EASTER!

Now if I can get Mama's ability to make sweet tea, we'll be set.

Proud to be a redneck gourmand.


Adeline said...

Happy Easter!

Karen said...

Does prosciutto count as ham? 'Cause if it don't, I've never had it before. It just looks icky to me *grin* Happy Easter, Jennica Rabbit!

Jenna Leigh said...

This is why I love you, freak. I won't have to share my ham with your insane ass! LOL