Number of posts: 11
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By Earl Fisher:
fantastic meal #90
We were not big potato eaters when I was growing up. My mom was a stay-at-home housewife and did most of the cooking, and baked or mashed potatoes weren’t high on her list of dinnertime sides. Rice and black-eyed peas, however, were. And as much as my dad loved black-eyed peas and rice, he did not fail to let us all know that he sure missed an occasional side of mashed potatoes, rolls, and gravy. I think the sore point here was the gravy, but it could have been the rolls.
fantastic meal #91
When August drifts around every year, there is little to celebrate here in the Deep South. It’s hot and humid one day, hotter and more humid the next. A day or so ago he humidity was at 99%. I thought we had to be under water to get a 99% reading. There is one good thing about August in the South, however, and that’s the proliferation of summer vegetables. Tomatoes, peppers, okra, squash, and cucumbers will grow like weeds if there’s enough rain…
If you ever sit down and read a few pages of John T. Edge’s excellent book, Hamburgers & Fries, an American Story, I’m willing to bet that by the time you finish the preface, you’ll be on the prowl for a burger. I was. After reading about hamburgers stuffed with short ribs, or onions, or bacon, or smoked Gouda cheese—after he described burgers topped with caramelized onions and porcini mushrooms — I was more than a little burger crazy.
number 93 of the 100
Fantastic Meals. Number 93 of the Top 100 (Mostly Southern) Meals and Side Dishes of All Time
I lied. Yep. Right there in the title is a big, fat lie. I’ve never made catfish soup, you see—I use cod. But in order to make this a “Mostly Southern” recipe, I lied and called it Catfish Soup. The actual name is simply, “Fish Soup.” There’s nothing wrong, however, if you prefer to use catfish in this recipe. It would probably taste even better than with cod. I use cod because of the health benefits of cold-water-salt-water fish, and because the fillets are boneless.
The holiday just passed, the one y’all call Thanksgiving, is known here in Alabama as Turkey Day. It’s part of a pantheon of Holidays, or — as we prefer, using the words the way they were first spoken — The Holy Days. Each one of The Holy Days, also called the Four Hoarse Men of the Apocalypse because of the way every Alabamian will be talking in 48 hours, has its own name.
number 95 of the 100
If you were to ask me if I considered myself a soup lover, I would tell you “No” without even thinking about it. Isn’t it strange how I can tell a lie so easily; how I can fool myself into thinking things about the way I act that have no bearing on reality? I mean—I must be the Grand Marshall of Liars, for why else would I tell people—those both close to me and strangers—that I detest soups, stews, and their ilk? All one has to do to prove I’m a liar is take a peek at my final list of Top 100 Meals and Side Dishes…
number 96 of the 100
I’ve been trying — for two months — to write about recipe Number 96 — Ron’s Southern-Fried Pork Chops (Ron is not his real name). It’s been one difficult affair. There are two reasons. The first is because I became (perhaps, I still am) addicted to eBay. I’d never fooled with eBay before, and on September 15th, once I stuck my foot in the door, I couldn’t pull it back. I mean — the thrill of selling something and making five dollars. Wow. You may ask how in the hell can making five bucks be enjoyable?
Before I try to convince you that calf’s liver really does deserve to be in the Top 100 Best Meals, I need to give you some insight into how my list is going. I had a setback, of sorts. Yesterday, I was fooling around with my Top Twenty, pulling some out, adding some in, but Number One and Number Two, as far as I was concerned, were chosen. They were sacrosanct. My Number Two was potato salad—my mom’s potato salad, to be exact, and there was no way in hell I was moving it, unless it went up. Then it struck me—many people—those other than my sister and me, for example…
A meatloaf in my Top 100 Meals? Yes — meatloaf. And, yes, greens-stuffed. First, let’s look at what we have so far. Number 100 in the Top 100 Meals was leftover Shrimp & Eggplant Casserole, and number 99 was the Southern-Style (Chicago) Hot Dog. Yum. Can a measly meatloaf rise to such heights as to be named Number 98? Well, if it’s Greens-stuffed Meatloaf, indeed it can.
First of all, according to the original recipe, a Chicago-style hot dog should be beef. Beef hot dogs are okay, but I’ve eaten so many sausage dogs at the Alabama State Fair and the Montgomery Biscuits’ baseball games I’ve been ruint. If I fix a dog, and it isn’t a big ol’ Southern sausage-dog, made mostly of pork, then I don’t want it in my hot dog bun.
I doubt there is anything particularly Southern about a list of Top 100, Best 100, or My Favorite 100 books. Then again, proving that one is better read, or that one’s list of perused books is more academic, or the simple act of trying to be snootier than one’s neighbor, does have a certain ring of Southernness to it. After all, only in the South would one subscribe to the e-version of Southern Living and leave their tablet on the coffee table showing said magazine.