In September of 2007 my father had a milestone birthday. I was having a milestone year but not in the good way. To celebrate and get the hell outta dodge we drove to Kentucky to drive the Bourbon trail and see the Corvette Museum. Once we hit Maryland the air changed, the humidity kicked in and by the time we got to Louisville (say it right, it’s lou-a-vul) I could hear the cicadas. They soothed my soul and reminded me of the southern girl who lives inside me. I spent my college years in North Carolina but I was raised a yankee. However, there is something about the south that I can’t help but romanticize and adore. My southern girl tends to crave pies, crumbles, moss-covered tree-lined streets, humidity, and mint juleps. She also loves Sara Foster’s Southern Kitchen, where there is a whole chapter dedicated to the hog. My favorite chapter is called Stay Awhile Longer: Sweets, where the Molasses Bourbon Pecan Pie, Jam Tarts and Blackberry Cobbler will have you fallin in love with the south faster than you can say “I reckon!” This is what Sara Foster has to say about southern’ cookin’,
There’s a whole other side to it too – one that’s all about farm-fresh produce, long growing seasons, simple preparations and homemade everything. It was this side of Southern cooking that I came to know best on my grandparents’ farm, where I spent the majority of my weekends and summers throughout my childhood. But I learned the most important lessons on that farm – that there is a deep satisfaction in eating locally and seasonally, that feeding family and friends is an essential act of love and that you can never have too many vegetable sides.