Friday, August 19, 2011

My home's in Alabama no matter where I bake my pies...?


I've lived in Manhattan for almost 5 years now and (excusing the random smells and outrageous cost) have loved every minute. So why am I always 'fixin' to do' something with 'all y'all'? Why do I go to a football games in pearls? How is it that a good biscuit still beats a good bagel any day? And why, when asked where I'm from, I always say 'Alabama' and not 'Washington Heights'? That's a tough one to answer but I can wrap it up in a song lyric:

My home's in Alabama/
No matter where I lay my head/
My home's in Alabama/
Southern born and southern bred

There's just this pride that comes from being an Alabamian...and it's hard to explain. Is it the generous hospitality? Is it our 'colorful' families and their histories (Whey'ah d'yo'ah PEEPLE come frum?). Or is it all the traditions: storytelling, jazz, rock n' roll, bluegrass, FOOTBALL, cotillions, the food? All of that is somethin' for me to be proud of but if it were just the FOOD...that'd be enough.

I feel like there's a move in New York (the hoity-toity cuisine capital of the U.S.) towards comfort food, and southern or 'soul' food in particular. BBQ joints are popping up left and right. Fried chicken is actually 'trendy' up here! There are even whole restaurants devoted to macaroni and cheese. But where, you shee-shee New Yorkers, are your cheese straws and piminto cheese? Where are your caramel cakes and pecan and chess pies? Where is your fried okra, green beans with ham hock, and REAL cornbread? And where the hell are my biscuits??

An animated crab once said 'If you want somethin done right, you gotta do it yourself' and I agree. So the last few times I went home I asked my mom to go through her old recipes with me. Out poured not only dish after delicious dish, but also some really sweet stories and wonderful memories, too. I couldn't wait to get home and try them all again. So I started baking. And baking. And baking some more. And eating. And baking again.

Oh, and that's an important little snibbit about me...I'm a HOOKER for baked goods. Chocolate, pies, cakes, cookies, pastries, candy, you name it (except licorice...eff that stuff) I'll hoover it. Thank God this is a 'walking' city cause you'd be looking at a plump lady if it weren't.

So here goes my little blog experiment:
-make a bunch of weird but instructional videos while baking southern and personal favorites
-spread the southern goodness not only in New York but to...ya know...whoever's gonna read this thing
-make my mama and daddy proud (sorry about the foul mouth y'all!)
-have a damn good time while doing it


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