Southern Food is Life (Photo Essay)

Sweet Ice Tea

Sweet tea is the corner stone to any southern meal. Besides breakfast that is. This liquid gold is a must to any quality southern home.I can not remember a family meal where the drink on everyone’s place mat was this incredible creation. It has to power to to turn a bad day into a good one.

While i my self am not extremely fond of pickled okra like the rest of my family, I am a fan of other ways to prepare the southern veggie. While steaming and grilling okra are excellent there is only real way to serve this vegetable. That style is of course fried, fried okra compliments any meal, add hot sauce and the meal can take a delicious turn.

While its know that the south, and especially Memphis is famous for BBQ, but we as Memphians know some of the best BBQ comes from home. My dad has had and used this smoker to make some of the best smoked pork, chicken, and beef. While my father has taught me many tings I will be able to use later in my life, I am most thankful for the knowledge of properly smoking various meat.

Again, I realize that this photo is not technically something you can actually eat, but it represents southern tradition. Venison (deer meat) is a a beautiful thing. While it is not the easiest meat to come by, it is quite delicious if prepared right. Along with being just great in flavor, it is a much leaner meat that beef or pork. My dad and I frequent our hunting spots and with luck we can harvest enough deer meat to fill an entire freezer. My family over the years has filled a small cook book of different recipes of deliciousness.

Grits. What is more southern than grits in the morning? I am not the most traveled person around, and the few northern cities i have visited do not have a good place to acquire this delicious southern dish. Add some cheese to grits and you my firned have a fine meal, that is easy and extremely cheap to make.

What is more down home than preserves? They are some what like jam and jelly, but better. My grandmother, for as long as I can remember, has not been able to resist the urge to jar and preserve fruit for later dates. I can not remember the last time i have needed to actually buy jelly or jam.

I find myself always coming back to fried food, and that is in no way a bad thing. I don’t know what it is that drives us southerners to throw all kinds of food into the frier. Out of everything that has found it way into the frier, pickles have proven to be one of the best one of the greatest appetizers around.

What more needs to be said about fried catfish and hush puppies? if you do not hve someone that is willing to make this for you there are multiple restaurants in the city of Memphis who would be happy to. Soul Fish being my personal favorite.

Still hungry after that delicious fried or smoked southern dinner? What better way to continue to gorge yourself than pie. What kind of pie you ask? Pecan Pie, that’s what kind. I can not imagine a finer way to end a meal.

With Thanksgiving right around the corner you will most likely come into contact with these puppies.

Cobbler. Peach, cranberry, cherry, blackberry, strawberry cobbler. It is a butter based desert, anyone with a soul knows that is the best kind of desert. If you have saved room from that pecan pie (we all know you did) grab a slab of this next a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Ah cornbread. Just another picture perfect side dish to any southern cuisine. Accompanied with a good stew (venison of course) any innocent by-stander could find themselves polishing off an entire pan of the maize inspired bread.

Biscuits may be the best breakfast food in the world. As mentioned before i am not a travel guru, but one question I have for northerners is what is the big deal with toast? If i had been subjected to toast breakfast for my entire life I am sure i would be rude all of the time as well. The family I stayed with claimed to have never purchased grits and had never thought to buy biscuits. We did not get along much after that early morning conversation.

What can i say that already has not been said about fried chicken? Not a lot is the answer, forgive my french, but it is damn good. If you can find man woman/man who can fry chicken marry them immediately. Until you find that special someone, Gus’ World Famous Fried Chicken will do the trick and then some.



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