Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Hog's Head Cheese, y'all

Thanks for everyone's concern...really. I'm not sure how founded it is, after all, I'm queen of wearin' the blue badge of frowny face land. I think it's just the holidays that get me down in a way.

I've been missin' my Gran-Gran somethin' awful lately. She was my Dad's Mom. We were always so close. I grew up practically right next door to her, and when I didn't live right next door, my daddy nearly always did. I was heartbroken when she passed away and I was only 15. Somehow, I'd thought my Gran-Gran would around forever. But in the last year or so of her life, she was so fragile and beaten. I know it was her time. It hurt me to see her like that; I know it hurt her more for us to see her that way. I just don't think I've ever let go. I still cry over her loss.

For Christmas I made her potato salad and punch bowl cake (best stuff EVER, y'all). It was my way of remembering my holidays with her. Thanksgiving is always hard because her birthday was November 27th, and every now and then it would happen so that Thanksgiving day would fall on her birthday.

If you guys have learned anything from me, it's that food is near and dear to my heart. It's more than food for me; it's pure emotion. So often, I don't get to enjoy the food of my childhood. You see, I married a picky ass eater. He doesn't like anything that I grew up eatin'. He hates potato salad. Would rather eat dirt than greens. He hates anything in bean or pea form nearly (he can eat some pintos though) -- no black eyed peas, purple hulls, lima beans, butter beans. No beans. I'm sure he'd hate hog's head cheese (yes, y'all heard it right -- hog's head cheese. Look. It. Up.). He won't touch grits. It's a rare occasion that I get anything I really crave as comfort food. And food is my way of remembering. I swear I could recount my life fully using earmarks of what I ate and when. I'm sure of it. I could probably describe the way it was eaten too.

So it makes me sad that I don't get to enjoy all that food. He tells me to cook it anyway. But why in the world would I want to cook a big fat pot of greens for just little ol' me? No reason. So I don't. And it makes me incredibly sad.

I'm more than sure he gets fed up with me moaning and pissin' about what he will and won't eat...but it means more than just food. It's everything. And I know it sounds trivial: but it's just flat out not to me.

So, in defiance, I made me some potato salad for Christmas. I think it tasted darn near like my Gran-Gran's and it was great. One thing she always made was potato salad. For any and every occasion. For no occasion. And then there's the punch bowl cake. I know, you've probably never heard of it before. But oh my goodness, y'all...if you had a big bowl of it you'd be wishin' you'd been hearin' about it your whole life. My Gran-Gran made that for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I remember eating it the Christmas before she started getting her sickest. Had I known it would be the last punch bowl cake I'd ever eat of hers, I think I might have savored a little more and scarfed a little less. Little did I know that she would pass away the next August.

I got the Paula Deen book It ain't all about the cookin' for Christmas and I've been reading that. Maybe that's why I've been so dead set on my southern cravings lately. But all that started a few years ago when I realized Andi just didn't have a shine to like anything I do -- food wise, anyway. I think it's really just more than the book is reinforcing something that I already thought: Food is more than food -- It's a tradition. I'm losing those traditions. I thought I'd start crying when I got to eat that potato salad on Christmas. Nobody makes it like my Gran-Gran did. It'd been so long since I'd made it, that I was afraid I'd forgotten. Let me go another year and I may have. Even now, it pangs me to admit that the exact flavor, bite, and tang of Gran-Gran's potato salad is starting to escape me. Eating it on Christmas helped a little bit, though.

I just don't want to lose my food. If I lose my food, I'm losing my memory. And I hate that.

I really want some biscuits and gravy. With grits.


Rantings by a Middle Aged Drama Queen said...

OMG LOL I felt I was reading paula d's blog! "Ya'll" :)

Mimi aka pz5wjj said...

I love food too. And I love to cook.

It is difficult when your other half doesn't like the foods you like. Often we eat "plain boring food" which tastes good but does nothing to soothe the soul.

When I go home, the boys get their fill of my mom's cooking -- even simple things that we had every day growing up (like a dinner salad and rolls) or sloppy joes for dinner seem like real treats sometimes.

Farrah said...

I have TOTALLY been craving biscuits and gravy lately!!! And although I am a southern girl, I don't like greens. I LOVE black-eyed peas though. There is something so comforting about southern foods, so soothing. I totally agree. It brings a flood of emotion and memory. I wish we could have a southern foods fest together and let our boys reap havoc in the other room! :)