July 17, 2012

Celebrating Southern: Food and Drink

link up with Leslie • Celebrating Southern
Here we are, day two of Leslie @ A Blonde Ambition's Celebrating Southern week. Please link up and share with us your Southern trends and traditions, you can get all the info by clicking here. If you missed my post yesterday, simply click here to find out about Southern Hair and make-up that's trendy in my neck of the woods as well as my background of being a Southern Belle In-Training.

Celebrating Southern: Food and Beverages

Today's topic is Southern Food and Beverages popular in your area. To be fair, it's hard for me to dictate what is popular here in the South. That being said I can tell you what food and beverages were completely new to me being a Northern girl transplanted to the South. I thought I'd share with you some snacks that I had tasted, or heard of before moving here, and probably the ones that are directly responsible for my immediate weight gain upon crossing the Alabama state line. *wink*

Good Eats

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SAUSAGE BALLS
Lord have mercy these things are amazing! Biscuits, cheese and sausage all rolled into bite size balls! When I told my friends back home about these treats they gave me super strange looks, but the moment I made a batch for them they were sold. I can remember the first time I tried a Sausage Ball. It was the first year I watched the Iron Bowl. For those outsiders the Iron Bowl is the biggest Alabama statewide football event where the Alabama Crimson Tide (ROLL TIDE) and Auburn Tigers take on each other for bragging rights. HUGE football battle, HUGE rivalry. A friend of ours had a viewing party complete with snacks made by everyone that stopped by. I wasn't sure about the sausage balls but my husband assured me they were good. One bite and I was hooked. I have found the key to perfecting them, to ensure they puff up and don't become super greasy, if you'd like me to share it I will, but only if you ask nicely.

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TEA SANDWICHES
During a bridal shower one afternoon I tried my first tea sandwich. This particular tray was made with cucumbers and I guess mayo? There isn't much here in the South that doesn't involve butter or mayo. I wish I had the correct recipe for this, I dream about them sometimes. I had no intention to like them, just took one to be polite. I think before the shower was over I had shoved about 6 halves down my pie hole. They are, amazing! If you have a great recipe, PLEASE forward it to me. I don't have teas often, if ever but I'd love to make those sandwiches again.

BISCUITS N' GRAVY
Don't be silly, of COURSE I've had Biscuits and Gravy. The gravy I speak of, is of the chocolate persuasion. Have you had it? OMG, insanity! My little sister-in-law insists we get it whenever we go to eat breakfast at the community center with my father-in-law and Mike's (my husband) brothers. Only, she doesn't use the biscuit, she just eats hers with a spoon. To each his or her own I suppose. I have only had this in small doses. Not only does the community center breakfast make a total sloth when I eat it, but I also know how bad for my health most of that food is if not eaten in moderation.

DRESSING
I'm sure you're thinking, Kelly? How have you not had dressing? It's a Thanksgiving staple. Well, not up North. Up North we call it Stuffing. And for good reason, we usually stuff the bird with it. Gross, I know but man is it awesome. I totally miss my mom's stuffing, but Mike's mother's Cornbread Dressing totally helps fill that void. Made with just the right amount of sage and goodness we all could eat it for days. She usually has to make 2 pans just to ensure her family has enough. (She is the mother of 2 girls and 4 boys, add to that sig others, friends and nephews and nieces well, you get why she needs to make two full pans!) Dressing to me is a much smarter way to go about things, and I had never had it made with cornbread until meeting Mike. I still love, and sometimes will make my mother's Stuffing made with bread when I get to missing her.

CATFISH
Fried catfish. It doesn't get more Southern than that. While I have always loved seafood and more recently fish I had never tried a stitch of Catfish until visiting Mike many moons ago when we were first dating. He took me out for lunch and while the waitress got our order wrong, I figured it was fate. I got to try not only blackened catfish but fried as well. Two birds, one stone!

COLLARD GREENS
I'm still on the fence about these. Mike's mom has made them a few times and the more I eat them, the more I start to fall for them.

via • It doesn't look like much but trust me, it's good!
HOE CAKE
Have you ever had this? HOLY hell it's good! My dear friend Miss A made it for us one night and I was hooked. It's not good for you at all, there is lots of lard involved, and siding it with chocolate gravy is sinful, delicious and just plain perfect but wrong... SO wrong. Or at least that's what I'm telling myself!

CHICKEN STEW
I've had chicken soup for years and years but never something as delicious as Chicken Stew. The minute I feel down, or sick Mike whips up a batch and BAM I feel 100% better. The spicier the better!

HOG JAW
Yeah, I said it. I have only tried it once. It seemed like it was either dried or fried but my brother-in-law's girlfriend late me have a taste. It's like bacon but deeper and honestly pretty darn tasty. I want to try it again.

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RED BEANS AND RICE
While I really only have had Mike's and his mother's versions of this dish I have to say I absolutely LOVE it! I want to try it in New Orleans the next time I'm there but until then I will be perfectly pleased with my husbands dish! Note: I prefer mine with brown rice, just like my hubby makes it.

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DALE'S STEAK SAUCE
Mostly used as a marinade this local liquid is considered gold to most locals. I for one think it's too salty and prefer Worchestershire Sauce instead. That being said, when Mike's dad makes steaks he uses Dale's and it is just about perfect for a salty, juicy steak craving.

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BIG BOB GIBSONS WHITE BBQ SAUCE
LOVE this stuff. Mike introduced me to this when he cooked pork tenderloin on the grill for me. It was the first meal he ever made me and I was hooked ever since. I also had never tried pork tenderloin before meeting him either. This sauce is tangy and delicious. Goes great with Chicken but he prefers to use it on pork instead.

PO' BOY SANDWICH
Again, another New Orleans favorite but Southern just the same. I absolutely love Po'Boys. Especially with Fried Shrimp, or hot roast beef with gravy. Let's just say I had some in the French Quarter that would make your knees buckle. We've been to the same place twice and it didn't disappoint either time!

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KING RED SHRIMP
You just haven't lived until you've had them. SO sweet and tasty. I hate that it's been over 7 years since I last had them! I'm still getting used to the whole "head on" thing with seafood around these parts, what is up with that? But bottom line, the gross out is worth it. SO yummy!

via • "Flo-town", Alabama Landmark
BUNYAN'S BBQ
I can't believe it's taken me this long to get to this on my list. This local BBQ joint is legendary in our area. Mike's family comes from Chicago to visit and leaves with TUBS of this stuff to take home. Better yet they eat there DAILY to get their fix. It's a local Staple! It's pulled pork topped with some amazing spicy slaw and smooshed between a XL hamburger bun. Order quick, and get to the point the ladies behind the counter don't have time for you to hem haw, the line is usually out the door. This stuff is so delicious that Mike and I actually requested this be served at our rehearsal dinner. Best pork sandwich I've ever had here in the South!

CHICKEN AND DUMPLIN'S
Yes, Dumplin's the G is not needed. Such comfort food.

via • Crawfish and a Mich Ultra, you read my mind!

CRAWFISH
I love me some crawfish. I never thought I would but I'm completely hooked. I'm still trying to get used to sucking the head... that's what she said! Again.... not sure about the faces but when in Rome, right?

GUMBO
Love it. Love it. Love it!

PIMENTO CHEESE
When I first heard about this stuff I was like WHAT, THE FREAK? But it's actually pretty tasty and has to be a Southern thing because I had NEVER heard of it.

Beverages for Front Porch Sippin'
via • this is my favorite brand
SWEET TEA VODKA
Since the South is the home of Sweet Tea it's no mystery that I would have discovered Sweet Tea Vodka here last year. I'm obsessed with it. LOVE it to pieces! Mix it with some lemonade and it's a great afternoon!

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BUFFALO ROCK GINGER ALE
Have you ever had this Ginger Ale? It's knock your socks off spicy. I'm not kidding. The first time I had it it took my breathe away, but I loved it. It also will make you sneeze upon first sip! It's chemistry has roots in the civil war if I'm not mistaken and it's strong but so tasty. If you've never had it, be prepared it will burn until you get used to it. This is NOT your everyday Canada Dry.

via • When it hits your lips, it's so good!

SOUTHERN PECAN BEER
Love, love, love this brew from Lazy Magnolia brewers. Mike and I usually try to snag it for Thanksgiving dinner. It doesn't really taste like Pecans but it does that have a bit of a maple flavor to it. It goes great with football, pulled pork and crisp fall days. Sold yet? P.S. You Southern ladies say "Pe-CAUN" I say "Pee-CAN", Pe-CAUN is totally a Southern thing.

JUMPIN' MONKEY
Nothing good comes from this, I will warn you. I assume this is a high school or college party drink, involving Mt. Dew, kool-aid and Everclear it will go down smooth and knock you on your butt. But it's delicious. Perfect recipe for disaster. You will forget your name and you've been warned. I've had it once and never again.

MUSCADINE WINE
I've only ever had this homemade. A friend makes wine and beer and while the first batch we ever had was delicious it made us huge wine-o's that night. Again, exercise caution.

WHISKEY
My husband is a whiskey drinker in the fall. He's recently become a Gin and Tonic guy, and I really love that combo too. But I can shoot whiskey and I'm proud of that. Maybe not a lot, but I can do a shot or two. #takethatcarrieunderwood

So there you have it, my extensive list of items I didn't try until I became a Southern Belle In-Training! My husband and I have had a pretty fair trade off. He makes me eat seafood with the face still on it, and I do as well when we dive into All you can Eat Crabs when we're home in Maryland. Fair is fair. See you tomorrow when the topic will be one of my favorites Fashion and Game Day attire!

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WOOTD: Rest Day - Take June for 20 minute+ walk
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10 comments:

KatiePerk said...

This post is delicious. It made me hungry!!!

Elise said...

Stopping by from the link up...I LOVE sausage balls. Love them. I can eat a whole batch of them by myself. And pimento cheese? Yum.

betterwithfreckles said...

Oh girl, I LOVE me some sausage balls!! In fact, you have sparked a craving and I might have to make some soon! And my husband was so confused the first time my Mom made collard greens!! But I do have to say that Maryland has the south beat on seafood-we love how fresh it is here! Any good places you know of that we should try?

Casey @ Classic with a Pop said...

Oh my word, where do I even begin. I would LOVE your sausage ball recipe, pretty please :) As for the cucumber sandwiches, I use the Southern Living recipe - you can find it here! http://tastykitchen.com/recipes/holidays/southern-style-cornbread-dressing/ You were close! Mayo mixed with cream cheese. I have heard of Hoe Cake, but have never had it! Sounds delish. I had no idea that Pimento Cheese was only in the south! There is a brand out of Charleston called Palmetto Cheese, and Lord have mercy. I could eat a tub in one sitting. With a spoon. Southern Pecan Beer is also a new favorite of mine! I found it in Whole Foods the other day - score!

April said...

Stopping by from the link up...what a cute blog!

Next up is to make sausage balls using pimento cheese. Your face might melt from all the deliciousness!!

Kelly @ turned UP to ELEVEN! said...

April - I LOVE that idea... I fear it will be a new favorite!

April said...

:) I usually increase the amount of Bisquick until I get the right consistency. I also have used pimento cheese with sharp cheddar cheese. Heh, I'm a cheese junkie.

Sasha said...

I mix the Firefly Sweet Tea vodka with sweet tea.... and it's yummy of course! I like it with lemonade too.

Kait said...

Your comment on my blog was so, so sweet. It made my day! Thanks for coming to check out my little space on the web.

Now, most importantly, YOUR BLOG IS ADORABLE! I need to spend some serious time on mine and give it a makeover :)

hotpants™ said...

You had me at sausage balls. OMG, yum!

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