#1: Butter. But-ter.
Now that we have that established, let's get down to the less frivolous. I write a blog concerning what it is like to live in South Mississippi at this point in history. I write about food, mostly, because who doesn't love to look at, write about, and read about food. But I also address some current events and my position on them. Why in god's name, would I write a blog like this? Why would I take a stand for something that is so potentially offensive? Because I am neurotically attentive to justice and realism. And I find that far too often the rest of the country-possibly the world-throws out the proverbial baby with the proverbial bathwater when it comes to my home state. I am, by no means, idealistic about my home. I know how poor, uneducated, backwards, and even racist some of us can be. I cringe harder than anyone whenever a good ole boy politician parades his ignorance. But I also know that we Mississippians are unfailingly polite and kind, which is not something you'll find everywhere these days. We also have a rich and complex history that is not all bad, we can tell a damn fine story, and we can boast some of the best food in America. Additionally, the Gulf Coast (where I reside) has a culture all it's own that is marked by survival, resilience, cooperation, and hope.
In short, I choose to focus on the positive. Not because I deny that there is negative, but because I believe we will overcome it.
Gathering for food isn't as much a tradition in my family as it is a complete and unexamined way of life. Cooking in the South, however, is a tradition. And a way to gain status. And a way to love folks, not to mention an excuse to get together. And so many other things. Some of the recipes I share here are from my experiences working in restaurants, some I've ferreted from other blogs, but many are from my grandmother's, my great-grandmother's, and even my great-great-grandmother's hand-written recipe books. They gathered recipes for decades, each one building on the last, so that now I have an impressively voluminous collection, and so part of the function of my blog is to consolidate, preserve, and share their efforts.
I welcome your thoughts on whatever entries I choose to publish, and I am an enthusiastic conversationalist when it comes to the Mississippi situation, but please, don't be counter-productive. I will not tolerate anything rude or cruel, and I'd really rather not have to delete anyone's posts. We're all adults here; we can disagree without being offensive. For more on my attitude about your criticism of my home, please read The One With No Pictures.
Thank you for visiting my blog. I hope it makes you think, or gives you access to a cherished recipe. Above all, I hope you enjoy it.