Third helping, anyone? We start off our 21st year of publishing with one of our favorite topics: food. Again guest edited by Marcie Cohen Ferris, our third food issue serves up Appalachian chicken & waffles, spot from Virginia’s Eastern Shore, gas station grub from the Mississippi Delta, Florida’s Datil pepper, collard sandwiches out of Robeson County, NC, pies, paintings, poetry—and much more.
"[Y]ou can't cheat time; age brings its changes, large and small, and we are no exception."
"A multi-layered past and present underlies these foods and explains why southerners eat the way they do, and why we think of these foods as deeply southern. Food is history. Food is place. Food is power and disempowerment."
"Pearl spiked her drink. And then I made a painting about it."
"'That's all I wants to do . . . to find something to can. I can stay in the kitchen from morning 'til night canning—'if I can find something to can, and have the jars, and the tops—'good tops, and lids. I loves to can.'"
"I looked at the glistening beauty of the bluegill scales, looked at my catfish, looked at Bobby. After careful comparison, I told him I wanted the catfish, that it was my first, that it was bigger, that I had caught it. We should keep what we caught, I explained. That was the right decision."
"'My husband likes to say . . . 'We're not just another hot sauce, we're 400 years of history.'"
"In recent years, food journalists, scholars, chefs, and devotees have scoured the corners, real and metaphorical, of the U.S. South in search of heritage, artisan, and rare but representative food cultures and practices. Lard has been rehabilitated; Brunswick stew fought over; early bean, pig, and fruit lines have been debated; almost everything has been pickled, preserved, or smoked once again."
"Lumbees are not a stereotype. We're Indians, southerners, and Americans, all at once and without doubt . . . We don't forget, even though others have largely forgotten, the role of Indian people in creating what we now know as 'southern' food."
"'I would say the average age of most people that buy spot now is probably sixty. Nobody young comes in this door and buys a box of fish.'"
"I happen to believe that you can taste 'loving care' if foods are truly prepared with it . . . In my mind, the essence of 'loving care' is unrushed, small-batch cooking for people you truly like and want to please."
"darkness lends its seasoning to every cast-iron skillet . . ."