...a way of seeing beyond inner and outer.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Farm Dinner

Where I come from, the photo to the right is the beginning of dinner, specifically something my Virgnia born husband and I call the Farm Dinner.  It's a simple meal, unless you live in California, where people don't buy collard greens to eat.  They feed them to their pet reptiles.  True story, a woman in the grocery store asked me if I had an iguana. Who knew. Secondly, I literally have to pass six grocery stores to get to the one that sells salt pork and if you're ever looking for grits, they're hiding in the package called polenta, which is Italian for "grits" and while you can't get these people to eat grits, they can't get enough polenta.

The meal is the same sort of food that has created the backbone of every culture's culinary identity. No matter where it's happened it's an art that takes simple, inexpensive ingredients and changes them into the world's best food. This sort of cooking has gone on for centuries where ever women have needed to feed their families on what was available to them.   In France it's cassoulet. In Italy, it's osso bucco.  In Vietname it's pho.  In Inda it's a myriad of heady curries.  In the Southern United States, among other iterations, it's this:

Farm Dinner
Pinto Beans
Green Beans and Baby New Potatoes
Mixed Greens
Cucumber, Tomato Salad
Pickled Beets
Corn bread and Butter
Sweet Tea

And to the woman who told me no one in California eats greens, you're paying $15.00 for a plate of iguana food up the street because they added roasted garlic and Italy's answer to salt pork to it. Your people call it "pan-cet-ta".

Post Post:.  After I burned, cut and stained my hands red,  opted out of the salad, green beans, new potatoes, opted into a sedating South African beer instead of sweet tea and had made a huge mess of the kitchen, I decided that that horrible women KNEW what greens were and she was laughing at me because I was going home to cook them when the Italian restaurant up the street would do it for me.  By the time the night was over, I'd have paid 30.00 for iguana food and a clean kitchen.

Should have gone to the Italian place for Dinner

Be quiet and hand me the bottle opener.


  1. I love this meal but hubby and I call it a garden supper or country supper-- my family didn't call it anything cause we ate it everyday and took it for granted--- now it is such a treat. You forgot the fried taters--- or fried squash or okra depending on the season.

    I laughed about the polenta/grits--- here I have the opposite problem--- no one knows what polenta is so I always say it just yellow grits.

  2. I can't for the life of me get the coating to stick to the okra, a positive, given how much I love fried okra, but I didn't even think of fried squash. I will fix that soon.

    The funny thing about the fried potatoes is that I was trying to tweak the potato issue a little by adding them to green beans, the little tender new potatoes, but my husband wasn't having it so he rectified that oversight with frozen French fries and his pet appliance, the Fry Daddy. I myself abstained.

  3. I never could get the traditional plain cormeal coating to stick either-- but after years of experimenting-- I've come up with the perfect fried okra-- light and crispy--- I posted about it last fall on my blog and here is the url: http://dustyus.blogspot.com/2009/11/fried-okra.html

    I love green beans with new potatoes-- but you need some fried okra with it.

  4. Oh yes-- the okra is very light and crispy-- the photo makes the coating look thick but it isn't-- food photography is tricky.

  5. I'm definitely going to try that next time I cook "home" food.


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