Day 14 of the My 500 Words Challenge. “Tell us about food: what you ate today, your perfect meal, your favorite seasonal foods.”
In the south, where I grew up, everything we ate would be considered comfort food rather than healthy. My mom cooked three meals a day and always had a homemade pie or cake for dessert. But let me tell you, once in a while I’ll catch a whiff of something and I’m transported back in time. My mouth waters as I remember waking up to the aroma of mom’s biscuits and gravy on cold school mornings. Add a fresh slice of cantaloupe and I went to school with a smile on my face. To think of sweet melon draped in a cloak of salty, spicy warmth is a memory worth savoring. Cantaloupe to this day remains a favorite fruit of mine, although now it’s paired with fat-free cottage cheese instead gray. What a shame.
I don’t eat fried foods anymore, save one, fried chicken and not just any fried chicken. I want the southern style with a golden crunchy, crispy crust on the outside seasoned with just the right amount of salt, pepper and spices and a moist center. Man oh man, the Colonel had it right, it is “finger licking good.”
Certain foods evoke strong memories for me to this day. If asked for a last meal request, it would be the same meal I grew up eating every Sunday at my grandmas. I’d want to go out tasting fried chicken, fried okra, cornbread, fresh tomatoes, corn, and cantaloupe. And whatever you do, don’t forget my southern gold, sweet tea. I can go without food before I’d give up my tea. And yes, I put a lemon slice in every glass. I like my tea, sweet, tart and ice-cold.
And no, I’m not overweight (see my profile). But I know a good, satisfying meal when I see one and you have to hand it to us southerners, we know how to cook (ok, most know how to cook). I admit it, cooking isn’t one of my strong points. I tried for years to reproduce mom’s melt in your mouth biscuits and all I accomplished for my efforts was creating a white powdery missile I could throw at my husband.
I’d watch her mix a batch nearly every night for dinner, and let me tell you her method was a work of art. She never measured anything, threw the ingredients together in a stainless steel bowl and her hands worked magic. Her biscuits put Hardee’s to shame. Mom had the knack for cooking and baking and I never found it.
Indulging in my favorite foods isn’t as fun as it used to be. Somewhere between twenty and now, my taste buds quit budding, my appetite waned, and my gut started screaming. I’m more health conscious now and am pretty much a fish, chicken and vegetable kind of woman, but once in a while the smell of fluffy white biscuits call my name. When it does, get out of my way.