THE SOUTH WILL ALWAYS BE THE SOUTH
The South. Texas. I was born and raised in Texas. I live in central Texas and we are Southerners and we Southerners have a very unique way of doing things.
“In being unique try some of our southern cooking. Some of the most famous recipes in the world come from the deep south and date back past the 1800’s. Over the years German influence and their great sausage and smoked meat recipes have been passed down through the ages. Sausages have been made and eaten as far back as 850 BC and are still cherished today.
People came to these Southern regions from all over the world and from all walks of life. Each and every one of these people have brought their own special cooking styles,smoking recipes and their very own unique way of smoking and curing meat and sausage. As all these different people’s have melded together and refined their new styles of cooking and developing new spices and recipes for the south. Their way of cooking is called “Southern Cooking”. Each region of the South has its own unique dishes and flavors.
THE ENGLISH AND THE SPANISH
The English had no idea what corn was until Our American Indians taught these European Settlers how to grow, harvest, and cook the corn. The native Indians again came to their rescue when they started teaching the settlers how to build a smoke house and the technique of smoking and making pimmican.
They also learned to dry meat, fish, fruits and vegetables. The Spanish of course had lent their influence to the region by bringing pigs with their explorers in the 1500’s. Pork sausage quickly became a favorite dish along with smoked ham and pork jerky.
And a side note. Due to the Spanish bringing their pigs to Texas and the import of the Russian Boar we here in Texas are over run with feral pigs and wild boar cross. These Feral Pigs are destructive to the land they are on and in particular they are causing BILLIONS of dollars of damage to our farm and ranch land.
The FERAL PIG is an invasive species growing to 200 pounds and more and there is no limit or license to hunt these animals here. The sows average 7 baby pigs per litter and have 2&1/2 litters a year. A sow will come in estrus at about 5 months and continually breed the rest of her life.
Well. Back to a little of our heritage. Africans. In their voyages to the new world they brought some of their food items with them. Water melon, known the world over and especially here in Texas. We are one of the biggest producers of watermelon in the country. Of course here in my great state of Texas we are pretty big on every thing. eggplant, collard greens, and okra were brought here around the 1600’s. French and Haitian immigrants mixed with the Spanish settlers down in the Louisiana area and now we have “Cajun” influence. Cajun influence is well-recognized for their distinctive style of cooking and their unique dialect and accent.
French settlers in Nova Scotia were driven out by the British in early 1755. Acadians, as they were called originally, made their way to Louisiana.
Catfish, and “mud-bugs” as they are sometimes called(craw fish) are cooked up in different ways depending on the region. Fried Catfish and Craw fish boils are popular all across Louisiana and are served as one of the staple diets in the area.
Hey guy’s. Don’t forget Texas’s spicy “Tex-Mex” cooking since Mexico is just about a 3 day drive to the border, actually anywhere you want to go to get out of Texas takes about 3 days of driving. We eat a lot of “Mes-kin” food here in Texas. And don’t forget our great German Influence either. WurstFest and OktoberFest every year around the month of October. Our Festivals last about 10 days and serve thousands of pounds of sausage and hundreds of gallons of German and local home-brew. All night street dancing with German and Check bands coming from around the country, and some making the trip from overseas. These bands come to entertain the public and also enter events for trophies and cash prizes. Take the time to investigate some of these activities and events, you will have a blast.
Soul Food. After the American Civil War, if you have a hard time remembering, this was 1861 to 1865, African-American cuisine was dubbed Soul Food. The first African-American known to have written a cookbook was Abby Fisher. “What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking” published in 1881 and has numerous old-fashioned simple recipes for the time. Mrs. Fisher is one of the first ladies ever in history to document recipes from her family and several friends and relatives.
FRIED CHICKEN. Main staple for Southern Sunday Cooking.
Black eyed peas, grits, turnips, collard greens are all Southern-grown vegetables. Nothing beats Grand Ma’s thick hot Crackling Corn Bread and Pinto Beans(Red Beans).
Every other Sunday or so the family went to Grand Ma’s house for Home made Fried Chicken and Hand Cranked Ice Cream for desert. First we had to catch the fryer, then we had to pluck the fryer then Grand Ma took over and started frying. Always had a great day for Sunday after noon after church at Grand Ma’s house. I really miss those yester years.
Let us not forget about our wonderful Southern Deserts. First and Foremost comes banana “Puddin”, and then Chess pie, sweet potato pie, pecan pie, key lime pie, and that wonderful Southern favorite—WATER MELON, which by the way is the most popular melon in the United States, and Texas is one of the BIGGEST growers.
This DELECTABLE DELIGHT came to us straight from Southern Africa around 1700–1800’s and has spread all over the United States. Here in Texas we grow “um” big and ELGIN(pronounced southern way ELGUN)is the WATERMELON CAPITAL OF THE WORLD. (Told ya, every thing is big in my great state of TEXAS. We have a watermelon “THUMP” every year in the summer when watermelons are just ripe for the picking. Come visit us any time and try out the biggest melons grown, THE FAMOUS BLACK DIAMOND grown right here in TEXAS.
NEED A FRUITCAKE
Fruit Cakes. Nothing better than our Southern Traditional Fruit Cakes at Christmas(that’s right little liberal, we are in the Bible Belt here and we still call it CHRIST–MAS and still believe in Jesus Christ) and Easter. Besides our own home-made fruit cakes the leading producer in the industry is the Claxton Fruitcake company in Georgia. Claxton sells more than 200 tons of fruitcake each year.
Ham is still the traditional main course for the Holidays both for Christmas and Easter. The south is known for our famous country ham or pork shoulder preserved with salt or sugar, smoked and aged for a year or more. Our cured and smoked hams are shipped all over the world today. The quality of our pork products are well-known and respected throughout the country.
SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY, COURTEOUS, RESPECTful
There is nothing in this world like Southern Hospitality. We still believe in saying “Yes Mam or No Mam” and being courteous. We are independent here in the South and still do not want “BIG BROTHER” interfering in our lives. Big Brother works for us, We Do Not Work For Him!!!!
I enjoyed writing a little about Southern Living and Cooking here and I hope you will enjoy reading my blog. Have a Blessed day and hug a Vet.