Doan faint, but y'all, it is in the 40s heah today. But it's a real purty, yellowy day. I'se jes' prayin' that what all flora I din't haul in last night ain't ruint by this freezing blow we had.
Anyhoo, the cold is against mah sensibilities, so the ramble I'se describin' is via the newest issue of that delightful Southern magazine, Garden and Gun. Sittin' in a sunny window thumbing through the South is not a bad way to keep warm.
First up is a tech twist for Pork Rinds!! Oh yeah! Uncle done sent fer some already. So, now, jes' looky heah--this fella, founder of Willie's Hog Dust, is gonna show ya' what a culinary triumph modern pork rinds be--
On the heels of them porkrinds, the recipe fer quail in chocolate gravy (mole, if youse West of Louisiana) had me ready to grab a gun an git to the woods fer some bob whites.
Wif' that full belly, y'all's ready fer a knee slappin' hoe down fiddlin' an real hokey lyrics,( like this one featured in the Coen brothers movie, O Brother Where Art Thou?
Oh death, please consider my age
please don't take me at this stage
my wealth is all at your command
If you will move your icy hand)
Ya' have this heah slice of Appalachia wif' that mountain legend, Dr. Ralph Stanley, 85 years old, 200 plus albums.
Stanley, famous now after that movie track went multi-platinum, still lives in his mama's mountain aerie in the Virginny Blue Ridge.
Thar's an item or two I bookmark fer Uncle--a new Rum maker in Georgia, a story 'bout huntin' dawgs, an' a look at ole time Southern craftsman.
Of course, the writin' in these pages gits me to snickerin'. Heah be a few samples:
"We live in a diminished age....Our standard for fried chicken is not set by our grandmothers, but by chain purveyors who dole out boxes of frankenbirds from drive-though windows...."
I purely luv that...heah's more:
"Over the last two generations, agribusiness has displaced agriculture." Who would disagree?
This article goes on to review Atlanta's re-conceived "meat and three" format, Bantam and Biddy. They's gonna roll yore catfish in red pea flour, not cornmeal, so Aunty will reserve her praise. But if Chickory has dined thar' an can give us a word, I'll take hers. Still, any modern chef that will forage fer pasture raised birds, an' import heritage grown grains from South Carolina's famed Anson Mills, well, now...we may have us'uns somethin' worth bein' new an' "updated."
Mah wanderlust would be sated by the upcoming Mississippi Delta Cultural Tour (March 17-20) described as a four day bookanalia steeped in writers, food an' local lore. Alas, Aunty's own calendar would have to move mountains to find a spare three days fer hot-footin' in the Mississippi Delta.
I doan read Garden and Gun front to back. I mixes it up so I can read Roy Blount Jr. (last in the magazine) afore I read Julia Reed. Blount is the right amount of funny: "That thing grabbed my chicken by the tenders and held him underwater till he liked to have drowned." No, it wuzn't an essay on waterboarding chickens, but a visceral review of consumin' that delicacy, gizzards, a chicken part thas' more an' more difficult to locate in these post-modern frankenfood days. But I digress. Blount introduces the culinary as a segue into a more serious reflection ( By way of Thoreau), all fried up wif' care so ya hardly notice until it hits yore, well, yore gizzard: "Politics is, as it were, the gizzard of society, full of grit and gravel...."
I save Julia to near-'bout the last. She's a Belle of a certain age who has had either the good sense to rediscover why Mississippi is light years ahead of NYC, or, jes' wise enough to know that her early romping days among the northern literati could never hold her heart; the chug-tug of the the Mississippi river in the fall, the delicate perfume of azaleas in the early spring air, or the sound of quail in the piney woods at dusk...Only Ms. Reed could add a soft gloss of sophistication to a discussion of tamales at Doe's Eat Place.
Reckon thas' a long ramble, but mayhap it'll keep ya' busy fer a few days.
Of course, I'se hopin' y'all will come over an' give Aunty a thought or two at Ether Capacious on the matter of Infinity.