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Southern Traditions


Varmint
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I just found this thread, way back over in the hind-end of the thread index, and even though I know every soul, every phrase, every given name and nickname and every food and preparation mentioned and how to plant, harvest, cook and serve it, there's a whole big world out there, uneducated and unenlightened. There are palates which never tasted hushpuppies straight from the big black fishcamp pot, eyes which never beheld a Red Velvet cake or a golden-meringue-topped nanner puddin straight from the oven in its oblong Pyrex, vanilla wafers standing proudly like soldiers against the sides. There is somewhere, I'm sure, a dear soul deprived of the tongue-curling scent of REAL barbecue, the smoke rising from the crusty rungs of that pit like praise to Heaven.

Whole nations go through life without biscuits and molasses, or a glimpse of that crusty-topped baked corn coming steaming out of the oven in its own black skillet, the same skillet which every day turns out fried chicken and okra and catfish to make an emperor swoon. Lives are lived, inventions patented, work done, educations sought and achieved, music composed and books written, all by people whose own lives would be changed and enhanced by mere introduction to the wonderful, rich heritage which is the Southern Kitchen.

Our Southern roots are ingrained, but we are more and more every day being inundated and saturated with all the wonderful cuisines from all around the world, the sushi and the greens and wok-cooking and tagine-cooking and so many luscious amalgams and mixtures and spices and grains---it seems selfish not to share and keep sharing the glorious table spread by Southern cooks, no matter what their locale.

So I think it deserves being brought to the forefront again, just because. I've only been here since October, and there's a great big ole group that's joined since then. Let them enjoy it too, and read and laugh and envy our raisings and our heritage.

And go buy their first bag of grits. :wub:

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  • 3 weeks later...

Now that summer's here, let's not forget to bake up a large skillet of cornbread so as to have leftovers and make cornbread salad. Mmmmm. I cut up this morning a couple of juicy-ripe garden tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, canned pimientos, and sweet onion; stirred in a good-size dollop of mayonnaise, pimiento juice, salt, and pepper; tore the crusty cornbread into bite-size chunks; and tossed it all up into a salad that's chilling in the fridge for dinner tonight. :wub:

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  • 5 months later...

I can't think where to put this without creating another thread so:

They're giving me heck over on the "Thanksgiving 2005---the day after" thread for mentioning boiled eggs in the giblet gravy.

Please tell me I'm not the only one...Everybody I know down South puts eggs in there---makes it rich and a pretty golden color.

Help!!! :sad:

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I can't think where to put this without creating another thread so:

They're giving me heck over on the "Thanksgiving 2005---the day after" thread for mentioning boiled eggs in the giblet gravy. 

Please tell me I'm not the only one...Everybody I know down South puts eggs in there---makes it rich and a pretty golden color.

Help!!!    :sad:

My husband's family does this, and perhaps they're not doing it quite right, as the finished product is neither tasty nor visually appealing. They are from Texas, all descended from German immigrants in the area around Austin and San Antonio.

My mother's family doesn't do this and I don't nobody anybody (used to live in Kentucky, now in Georgia) who does. Her family's pretty much all English background, from rural Virginia (Appalachia).

Can you pee in the ocean?

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I can't think where to put this without creating another thread so:

They're giving me heck over on the "Thanksgiving 2005---the day after" thread for mentioning boiled eggs in the giblet gravy. 

Please tell me I'm not the only one...Everybody I know down South puts eggs in there---makes it rich and a pretty golden color.

Help!!!    :sad:

I will come to your rescue (insert picture of Lan4Dawg wearing an apron as a cape and carrying a whisk and a dozen hard boiled eggs arriving at the door to protect your honor).

As far as I can remember we always had boiled eggs in the gravy and I just asked the Fuss & she said her mother and grand mother both put eggs in the gravy as well. I can not imagine giblet gravy w/o boiled eggs. Now having said that my aunt made the gravy at Thxgiving this year but she made a cream gravy and not "giblet" style so there were no eggs in it.

Interestingly enough I remember on the food network's Thxgiving show Paula made the gravy and Emeril commented on the fact that she put eggs in the gravy and seemed to find it unusual. Of course Paula set him straight immediately.

in loving memory of Mr. Squirt (1998-2004)--

the best cat ever.

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...Everybody I know down South puts eggs in there---makes it rich and a pretty golden color.

Help!!! :sad:

[/quote

Hard-boiled eggs in giblet gravy????! Gack....bleahhh....and gack again. I don't know where in the South you're from, lady, but not everybody puts eggs in gravy. Born, bred and fed in the South, I never knew anyone in my large extended family to serve gravy with eggs in it. I can't even imagine such a thing. Gross!

CBHall

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...Everybody I know down South puts eggs in there---makes it rich and a pretty golden color.

Help!!! :sad:

[/quote

Hard-boiled eggs in giblet gravy????! Gack....bleahhh....and gack again. I don't know where in the South you're from, lady, but not everybody puts eggs in gravy. Born, bred and fed in the South, I never knew anyone in my large extended family to serve gravy with eggs in it. I can't even imagine such a thing. Gross!

it is gross. my gf's uncle does it. you are lucky you've been able to avoid it. it's naaaasty.

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...Everybody I know down South puts eggs in there---makes it rich and a pretty golden color.

Help!!! :sad:

[/quote

Hard-boiled eggs in giblet gravy????! Gack....bleahhh....and gack again. I don't know where in the South you're from, lady, but not everybody puts eggs in gravy. Born, bred and fed in the South, I never knew anyone in my large extended family to serve gravy with eggs in it. I can't even imagine such a thing. Gross!

Yeh, I dont know either way.. But what I do know is Rachel is good people and knows good people.. So if she knows people who do that, then it must be so... If I had some chicken eggs being layed in my backyard, I would be throwing those fresh eggs into everything. You can sure bet..

Edited by Daniel (log)
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My grandmother, a legendary southern cook who owned several very successful 'home cooking' style restaurants, always put chopped up hard-boiled eggs into the giblet gravy, and so do I. And then I don't put chopped up hard-boiled eggs into the cornbread dressing.

Although when I make smooth gravy (as I do occasionally when entertaining holiday guests that don't like giblets), I don't put the chopped up hard-boiled eggs into the gravy. Then, I DO put the chopped up hard-boiled eggs into the cornbread dressing.

Frankly, I don't see the difference between putting them into the dressing vs the gravy. You still wind up with chopped up hard-boiled eggs on your fork.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Frankly, I don't see the difference between putting them into the dressing vs the gravy.  You still wind up with chopped up hard-boiled eggs on your fork.

This was my only point to posting to this thread in the first place: I do not want to wind up with hard-boiled eggs on my fork or, God forbid, in my mouth. When I am a guest in a home where any dish containing hard-boiled eggs is served, I simply pass on that dish. If I am pressed for an explanation, I simply state my aversion to hard-cooked eggs. As I stated earlier, I've always lived in the South and no one in my family put hard-boiled eggs in either gravy or dressing. Frankly my dears, I don't think this makes me less of a Southerner or a person with no class as a previous poster put it.

CBHall

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Oh come on Foodie.. I was just teasing you.. I was saying the fact that you were saying "Good people dont throw hard boiled eggs into everyhing" or when you were saying "Gross, bleah, gack, etc." to things other people enjoyed as classless.. Lets not be so dramatic.. I was referring to your comments not you as a person..

Edited by Daniel (log)
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This was my only point to posting to this thread in the first place:  I do not want to wind up with hard-boiled eggs on my fork or, God forbid, in my mouth.  When I am a guest in a home where any dish containing hard-boiled eggs is served, I simply pass on that dish.  If I am pressed for an explanation, I simply state my aversion to hard-cooked eggs.  As I stated earlier, I've always lived in the South and no one in my family put hard-boiled eggs in either gravy or dressing.  Frankly my dears, I don't think this makes me less of a Southerner or a person with no class as a previous poster put it.

And, also frankly my dear, I don't believe that the previous poster was suggesting that your personal aversion to hard-cooked eggs constitutes a lack of class.

I think it was your unfortunate method of expressing your opinion by insulting others.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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My Stars!! I've not seen such a furor since Miz Prysock made her Piminna Cheese with Miracle Whip!!! And tried to foist it off on the WMU convention.

It's turning into another egg debate: Gulliver's Big Endians and Little Endians had not such fervid defense and detractions. You were either raised with it or you weren't. What Mama cooked and the way she cooked it is absolutely sacred in some camps, and profane in others...depending on Mama's skills and the area of the country she cooked in.

And, as I'm speaking from my own roots, now transferred to another section of the country, it's just the way we always had it, and what we were used to. Like I'd never been NEAR a pumpkin pie until we moved to the Heartland. Pumpkins were for carving into grimacing smiles and lighting up for Halloween, with a telltale blackened area under the replaced lid. They were bought at Safeway or the local Ace Hardware, for standing sentinel outside on the porch for a month or so during the Fall, part of an artfully-arranged tableau with prissy cornshocks and a lamely-added haybale. In a few instances, pumpkins were cooked with into a savory roasted dish. Papa, the Patriarch of the family I married into, liked his pumpkin well-cooked, stirred up with some salt and pepper, and served in a big soup bowl with cornbread.

But eggs in the gravy---that's part of a long history of Thanksgiving gravy where I'm from---softly boiled fresh eggs, chopped and slid into the steamy gravy pan. Turkey or chicken stock, made with a mirepoix of onion and celery and perhaps a bit of carrot for color, gently simmered with a bouquet garni of fresh thyme, several of the golden leaves of the celery, a tiny curl of sage, all tied up into a little muslin bag and lowered into the barely-shimmering liquid.

A few chicken livers, sizzled briefly in butter in a little skillet, chopped and added to HALF of the broth at the last moment, made a too-rich sauce, thickened with a little cornstarch-in-cold-water. And for the die-hard giblet gravy fans, the gizzard was simmered into submission, sliced into leathery rounds, and put into the mix as well.

And now we have two camps in the family, my husband and children, all of whom were fond of their Grandmother's browny-gray liver-rich gravy, and me and whatever guests we might be having---I do like to give them the option of the less-livery choice.

But eggs, always. They are not rubbery, they are not gross, they are fresh and soft and, added warm at the last minute, give a golden richness to either gravy boat. They're just what is expected, and what we like, and we'd never insist that anyone else do gravy that way.

It's like the old Ann Landers dilemma: She got more letters over how to hang the toilet paper than from any other subject. We hang ours to roll from the front, cause it's HOW WE LIKE IT.

edited to fix an infinitive or a past perfect---whatever. How can you be past something that never was?

Edited by racheld (log)
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But eggs, always.  They are not rubbery, they are not gross, they are fresh and soft and, added warm at the last minute,  give a golden richness to either gravy boat. 

Amen, sister.

:cool:

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I can't think where to put this without creating another thread so:

They're giving me heck over on the "Thanksgiving 2005---the day after" thread for mentioning boiled eggs in the giblet gravy. 

Please tell me I'm not the only one...Everybody I know down South puts eggs in there---makes it rich and a pretty golden color.

Help!!!     :sad:

I personally don't, but don't think it's a bad thing...just another step. My husbands family did this and they're from north Louisiana...

I put eggs down in my gumbo when it's going long...hell, it's chicken, why not eggs? the same I suppose holds true for the giblet gravy. Makes it a little different, kind of like grapes in chicken salad. Not bad, just different.

edit: I do not put eggs in any other type of gumbo...just chicken and sausage.

Edited by highchef (log)
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Thanks for all the replies---the YESSES and also the answers from folks with the giblets to stand up for their own tastes and raisings.

Framed constructively, even blech and gack can be words of encouragement.

A plethora of Heroes, a veritable plethora.

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man y'all got country in this thread.....

i'll just add my list:

sweet tea

cornbread (the unsweet kind)

boiled peanuts

scuppernongs and muscadines

pralines

divinity

sweet potato pie

red velvet cake

banana pudding

fried corn

black eyed peas and lima beans done "right"

fried green tomatoes

moonshine

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I can't think where to put this without creating another thread so:

They're giving me heck over on the "Thanksgiving 2005---the day after" thread for mentioning boiled eggs in the giblet gravy. 

Please tell me I'm not the only one...Everybody I know down South puts eggs in there---makes it rich and a pretty golden color.

Help!!!    :sad:

That is the way my Mom made her giblet gravy, and come to think of it. all the church ladies did the same thing. I didn't have any other kind of gravy with turkey or baked chicken until I left the south. I thought something was wrong when I couldn't get giblet gravy with my plate of turkey. And for those who haven't tried it yet issue forth with an opinion, ya gotta try it before you can say anything about it. Racheld, you rock my friend, keep the old ways alive. There is nothing wrong with them.

It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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Add me to the eggs in the giblet gravy thing! Raised in Southwest Georgia, always been there, always will be in my home.

I can do ya one better, I think. Ever had the immature eggs from the hen that got butchered for the chicken and dumplings, in the chicken and dumplings? I'm sure there will be "gaks" and "squeals" in response, but they really are incredible, little tasty pearls. In a pot of C&D's, with rolled dumplings all puffed up like little pillows, and the warm, rich, buttery sauce. Lot's of black pepper. I was told as a child the black pepper was added so that you wouldn't notice the gnats in the C&D's at the summer picnic! Yes, I had some mean older relatives...but they were fun, and if we did nothing else, we ate good! I remember that was a name put to those little immature eggs, but I can't for the life of me remember what they were called. They were considered a special treat, if you got them on your plate.

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annecros, I don't recall the immature chicken eggs, but your post reminded me of a real treat from fish fries: Fried fish roe, I think from bream. My father was a (lousy, but enthusiastic) fisherman, and during spawning season, a good portion of his catch included those heavenly goodies. Mom fried them exactly the same way as the mature fish - mealed and deep-fried. Light, heavenly goodness! And always accompanied by hush puppies, grits, and cole slaw.

Speaking of southern food traditions, I took my kids to their first (cane) syrup boil and candy pull the other evening. Not only did the munchkins have a blast, but I was able to finish up my holiday shopping. Now that my brother lives in the upper South, he's not able to find his beloved cane syrup at the market, so his Christmas offering from me always includes his annual supply.

Oh, and my family also adds eggs to the giblet gravy. Personally, I don't care for boiled eggs, but they're chopped coarsely enough for me to dip around them!

"Enchant, stay beautiful and graceful, but do this, eat well. Bring the same consideration to the preparation of your food as you devote to your appearance. Let your dinner be a poem, like your dress."

Charles Pierre Monselet, Letters to Emily

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Hey R.E., and yep, my Dad hogged the roe! He wasn't much of a fisherman himself, but when those little fish were spawning a cane pole and some earthworms were all you needed. It would have been either bream or crappy at our home, with the odd catfish thrown in but I associate the roe with the bream and crappy. It was a rare thing for us to get fish from the ocean in my childhood. I could probably eat a dozen of those hushpuppies! We also dropped little red new potatoes into the fish grease, and fried them whole. Just buckets of sweet tea, too. Thanks for reminding me!

Where did you go to the syrup boil? I used to take my kids, when they were kids, to the Agrirama in Tifton, GA if I happened to be visiting at the right time of the year. It really is a nice place to take kids. Working grist mill located there, as well. It is right off I-75 in Tifton, if anyone ever passes that way it is usually a good way to kill a few hours. They are usually doing whatever is in season, if things haven't changed in recent years. Was a fantastic way to demonstrate to my children their heritage, as they were born in the 80's and most of the older folks were gone by the time they came up. They have been to their share of family reunions and funerals, but no huge family pig butchering parties or pond drainings like I was treated to as a kid. My parents were still keeping fowl for a time though. As little bits they got to hang around the chicken house, get chased by geese (and a MEAN old tom turkey Dad kept just for fun), and in turn chase the guinea fowl around. When Dad passed, Mom donated the guinea fowl to Chehaw park, and gave the turkey to a family friend who actually butchered and ate the tough old bird! The geese and chickens just withered away through attrition.

Now, I am looking at grandchildren in the immediate next few years, who will need to understand good food.

Man, I'm getting old!

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