The Gift

The Ramblings of a Big City Girl Gone South

Archive for February, 2005

Soul Food

You know, I never REALLY knew what soul food was until recently. I actually thought soul food was some sort of crazy Indian/African fusion that was probably prepared by someone with a nice ‘fro and very colorfully, hip clothing. No kidding, and stop laughing. Now when my lovely, caucausian, upstanding neighbor offered to cook Mario and I some soul food, I didn’t know what to think. (she doesn’t have a ‘fro…what IS she doing??)

Turns out, soul food is food like Black-eyed Peas, Greens, (or for those who don’t know-collard greens) Ham hocks, cornbread, turnips and the sort. Isn’t that what we called southern cooking in California, not soul food. Southern Sunday cooking. No ‘fro, no paisley, no jive!

Well, we let her cook it for us, and have our southern-style, Sunday supper…no, not dinner, that would be lunch silly! Turns out, most of it isn’t so bad. I don’t care for the Black-eyed peas much, they need too much salt to make palatable, and I am not much for just plain ham, but I kinda liked the turnips. They were like potaotes that didn’t need all the fixin’s. However, I still can’t believe what they do to those poor collard greens! I say they, because everybody makes them pretty much the same way. You boil them for a good, long time (after church until supper) with a piece of something called fatback.

Now for those of you yanks that don’t know what fatback is, allow me to clarify. Appearantly, there is a piece of meat on a pig that is fattier than bacon! It is just pure fat and they put that piece into the water to “flavor” the greens. I can’t believe that people actually pay to get nothing but fat. I pay to have my meat trimmed, not to buy the trimmings!

Anyway, it really makes the collards really greasy…’er flavorful, as they say here, when you eat them. It’s just wrong, vegetables should not be greasy. To me, if it’s not being fried, it doesn’t deserve that much fat! If you can’t flavor a vegetable with cilantro, garlic or onion, it probably isn’t worth eating, and you should probably just pull the weed out of your garden. (and I don’t care how healthy is was before you started cooking it!)

So, after all the work my neighbor put into her soul food, bless her heart, Mario and I didn’t take much to soul food. We’d glady take our sushi, avocados, artichokes, latkes and fajitas over soul food any day!

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  • Out of the mouth of babes

    Devin has really been into Popeye lately, which is kinda cool, because I have fond memories of watching Popeye as a child myself, the theme song always reminds me of watching TV over breakfast in the morning before school.

    The other night, we spent the evening tasting some Popeye brand spinach, (yes, somebody cashed in on that market!) which he didn’t like too much, but kept eating it so that he could beat me at arm wrestling. 🙂 The things we subject ourselves to for the good of our children! Imagine, ME letting anyone win anything!

    So, anyway, today, we were driving our normal 1/2 hour trip to the store in Mt. Airy, and having a great conversation on the way. Which, if you are a parent, can be a very good thing or a very bad thing! (I’ve also had to listen to him hum the entire Star Wars theme over and over for 25 miles!) Sorry, I digress, during our conversaion, he stops suddenly, looks at me very seriously , as if to search out my parental wisdom and asks, “Mommy, do you really get little pictures on your bumps when you eat a whole can of spinach?”

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  • Little Smart A**

    I go to rouse Devin out of bed and after a little talking, a little prodding and a little yelling, he looks up at me and says, “MOM, how do you expect me to get any sleep if you keep bothering me!”

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  • It’s a monster couch!

    It’s a monster couch, a monster couch, a monster couch. And we all just love it, it’s a monster couch!

    Yeah…finally broke down and bought a couch that is big enough for all of our friends and family when they come over! I know that you are asking, yes, technically it IS a sectional, but if you look closely, it’s actually a couch, a love seat and a wedge, so I don’t consider it truely a sectional. Kinda that whole “’s an SUV, NOT a minivan thing.”

    Gotta run….I feel a nap coming on!

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  • I believe that I am formally and offically a farmer. Snowflake, my pygmy goat, had a surprise baby doeling. I figured out that Snowflake was pregnant on Sunday morning when I went to feed everyone and let the chickens out, because her udders were noticably larger. After some quick internet research, I figured out that not only was she pregnant, but she was in early labor! You see, goats have a ligament on the top of their backs at the base of their tail that gets really soft when labor is coming soon, and hers was very soft, not to mention the fact that she was acting very weird.

    We didn’t think that D’Argo, our only buck, got anyone pregnant last fall since he was soo sick. (He almost died) Not to mention the fact that he is soo tiny, (he was 25 pounds) that we didn’t think he could reach any of our females. (If ya know what I am talking about) i don’t knwo what kind of goat he is, but he isn’t your classic pot-bellied pygmy.

    So anyway, we watched her all day, and most of the night and no other signs of immediate labor. Jsut when I was getting more relaxed and used to the idea, I got out to check on her again before retrieving Devin from school I see her being chased feverishly around the corral by D’Argo, and definately in labor. Mind you, I had to get Devin from school on time, and no one else was home to help me, so it was clearly time to panic!

    Once I got back home from getting Devin, I started getting all of my supplies together, called Mario to come home, and went back to the goat yard to start my adventure. D’Argo had chased Snowflake underneath our chicken coop and she would not come out. This wasn’t good because it was raining and muddy under there. I caught D’Argo and threw him out of the pen into our yard and went back to tend to Snowflake. She came out after a few really good contractions and decided to find a spot in the open to have the baby. (kid are usualy born in a nice warm, clean stall) I laid puppy pads out everywhere and just stayed back and watched. (snapping a few pictures as well) Shortly thereafter, I see little feet pop out, which is normal, but I couldn’t tell if they were the proper direction. More paniking! Finally, after a few freaked out phone calls and prayers, I saw a little head, and it was where it was supposed to be! Hooray!

    Just before the baby should have come all the way out, Snowflake stopped pushing. I don’t know if that was what she was supposed to do, but after a minute or so, I decided to give the baby a little tug…whoosh. I had a girl! Strangely enough, she was brown! Mom and dad about both pure white. All I could think was that a deer had sneaked into the goat yard at night and knocked up my goat!

    She was beautiful, and after clearing out her lungs a little and wrapping her up in some of the puppy pads, (it wass getting cold now too) I moved her around to mom to nurse. The little tyke didn’t want to nurse, she wanted to stand up and get out of the rain! Momma cleaned her and then I moved them into their warm, clean house.

    Whew…what an adventure. Now, I want more babies in my yard. It’s amazing how soon you forget all the pain of birth once you get to see that tiny, beautiful face.

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