Ed Driscoll has an image up from NBC’s cafeteria menu (scroll down to see it). In honor of Black History Month, those worthies are serving:
COLLARD GREENS WITH SMOKED TURKEY
WHITE RICE WITH BLACK EYED PEAS
Needless to say, everyone is screaming RAAACIST, and Michelle Malkin suggests they all chill out.
Me, I just want to yell “wrong!” at this mutant menu. No self-respecting southerner of either color would eat collard greens with “smoked turkey”. How lame can you get? Smoked jowl, fatback, or maybe just some bacon grease, but none of that smoked turkey nonsense.
Who are these people and why didn’t their mammas teach ‘em to cook right?
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Besides that, “white rice with black-eyed peas” is properly named “Hoppin’ John”. Fry ham or fatback, onion and creasy sallett till the onion and the cress are both wilted. Put in cooked black eyed peas with some of their pot liquor. Then add the rice and mix thoroughly. Heat well.
This is eaten on New Year’s Day for good luck all year. Saving it for Black History Month leaves you about thirty one days behind your chances for having any luck this year. Hoppin’ John doesn’t have squat to do with any Black History month. It’s about using up little left-over pieces of the Christmas ham and scrounging around outside for some stray sallett that’s come up since the last hard frost.
And if you’re going to serve fried chicken the least you can do is add mashed potatoes and cream gravy. Potato salad would do, too, but not hoppin’ john, for land’s sakes.
Now if you’re from New Orleans, you might get away with dirty rice, real spicy. Hoppin’ John is from the Carolinas, but dirty rice is Cajun. The “dirt part” comes from simmering the innards – gizzards, necks, and hearts (but not the liver. Save that for eggs) – with onion and celery. When the meat is cooked, then you add enough rice to the broth to absorb all the liquid. Once the rice is done, you can chop the bigger pieces of meat but take out the necks, pull the meat off and toss it back into the pot along with enough hot sauce to make everyone say “whoo boy”. Toss it up good with a fork, then set it on a real low burner for a few minutes to finish while you chew the bits of meat off the neck bones.
That corn bread sounds mighty Tex-Mex to me. A southern corn bread has bits of bacon or maybe crispy pork skin, but no way jalapenos. Please. We’re talking about corn bread here. If you’re not serving biscuits and ham then at least leave the cornbread in peace.
And if we’re going to do this circus, where’s the watermelon and the sweet potato pie and the big jars of cold sweet tea? I can’t believe that NBC was offering…get this, Aquafina water. Soul food? That stuff is for lost souls who don’t have enough sense to come in out of the rain.
Now that I think of it, why is February Black History Month, anyway? Who thought that up? Why isn’t it August, when all the gardens are peaking with okra and tomatoes and string bean vines and cucumbers are climbing around their fences or up their poles or tied onto stakes with old cotton rags?
This is sure one disordered world. It’s enough to make a body wonder what fools are running the show. Sure isn’t regular folks in charge…Aquafina water. If that don’t beat all…