Archive | Boiled Peanuts RSS feed for this section

Gulf Coast Foodways Organziation is Officially Unveiled

24 Mar

 

Gulf Coast Foodways is a new community of foodies on a mission to preserve and promote the rich culinary culture along the US Gulf Coast through education, events, documentaries, seminars and more. Gulf Coast Foodways will be a member driven organization and we’re currently looking for charter members and sponsors.

How exactly are we going to do all of this, you ask?  Through the development of thematic maps and tours, we can drive food tourism to our region. Through video documentation, we can capture and show off the unique culinary culture of our coast.  Cookbooks and published compilations of local food writings and treasured family recipes will draw attention to the traditional foodways of our area. 

We plan to hold periodic meetings for members to make connections and network. These events will include guest speakers on local topics and you can always count on a good meal or two along the way. Our annual symposium weekend is now in the initial planning stage.  Hotel and restaurant industry members will always benefit from the trails, meetings, and symposiums.

We’d like for you to play a key role in the creation of this tasty “gumbo.” 

 Your annual membership or sponsorship will:

 *Help finance research projects

*Promote food-related businesses along the Gulf Coast

*Document local traditions & businesses preserving them

*Promote and grow food tourism along the Gulf Coast

*Underwrite any necessary administrative costs

 In return, your benefits will include:

 *Bi-annual e-newsletter

*Profile feature on the Gulf Coast Foodways blog: www.gulfcoastfoodways.wordpress.com 

*10% off all Gulf Coast Foodways event registration

*Priority registration for events

*Discounts at participating restaurants/shops

 We urge you to join this worthy cause today.

Contact Eileen or Gary Saunders at gulfcoastfoodways@yahoo.com.

***Pass this note along to your friends and LIKE us on FACEBOOK.

UGA Press publishes “The Southern Foodways Alliance Community Cookbook”

5 Oct

The Southern Foodways Alliance Community Cookbook

Edited by Sara Roahen and John T. Edge
Foreword by Alton Brown

“Local recipes from the worldly South”

“Each page herein delivers a strong sense of community; the contributions are from real people with real names; the collection is democratic, but with nary a sign of culinary chaos; and the food is just plain good. And here’s the best part, as far as I’m concerned: Regardless of whether it looks back into the past or ahead into the future, this book looks ever Southward.”
—Alton Brown, from the foreword

Everybody has one in their collection. You know—one of those old, spiral- or plastic-tooth-bound cookbooks sold to support a high school marching band, a church, or the local chapter of the Junior League. These recipe collections reflect, with unimpeachable authenticity, the dishes that define communities: chicken and dumplings, macaroni and cheese, chess pie. When the Southern Foodways Alliance began curating a cookbook, it was to these spiral-bound, sauce-splattered pages that they turned for their model.

Including more than 170 tested recipes, this cookbook is a true reflection of southern foodways and the people, regardless of residence or birthplace, who claim this food as their own. Traditional and adapted, fancy and unapologetically plain, these recipes are powerful expressions of collective identity. There is something from—and something for—everyone. The recipes and the stories that accompany them came from academics, writers, catfish farmers, ham curers, attorneys, toqued chefs, and people who just like to cook—spiritual Southerners of myriad ethnicities, origins, and culinary skill levels.

Edited by Sara Roahen and John T. Edge, written, collaboratively, by Sheri Castle, Timothy C. Davis, April McGreger, Angie Mosier, and Fred Sauceman, the book is divided into chapters that represent the region’s iconic foods: Gravy, Garden Goods, Roots, Greens, Rice, Grist, Yardbird, Pig, The Hook, The Hunt, Put Up, and Cane. Therein you’ll find recipes for pimento cheese, country ham with redeye gravy, tomato pie, oyster stew, gumbo z’herbes, and apple stack cake. You’ll learn traditional ways of preserving green beans, and you’ll come to love refried black-eyed peas.

Are you hungry yet? Place your order now!

http://www.amazon.com/Southern-Foodways-Alliance-Community-Cookbook/dp/0820332755

A Day Trip to Bay Minette, Alabama

10 Jul

Street’s Seafood Restaurant is apparently the place to go for good old home cooking in Bay Minette, AL (www.cityofbayminette.org). That’s what I had learned in talking with Sara Godwin at nearby Faulkner State Community College. It’s always good to get some feedback from a local. And in this case, Sara did not steer me wrong.

The exterior at Street’s is nothing special at all, but the food inside these walls certainly is. I happened to stop in on a Friday … shortly before noon. The parking lot was already filling up – mostly with pickup trucks and company logo’ed vehicles of all shapes and sizes. That is always another good sign. Inside, the hustling female servers wore T-shirts stating, “If you miss us, you have wasted a trip.” Well, I was going to call their bluff this day.

Friday means a mess of fried whole catfish on the lunch buffet at Street’s. The buffet was large and in charge, that’s for darn sure. Lots of choices and everything looked fresh and homemade. TIP: Always try to hit lunch buffets early. The food will be at peak freshness and not so picked over. Further, the most popular items (and usually best tasting too) will likely still be there for your dining enjoyment.

The chicken pot pie at Street’s is obviously freshly made and totally satisfying. It is served up in large rectangular chafing dishes sporting a dense, golden brown crust. Cracking into the crust with the serving spoon, I exposed the glistening interior chock full of white chicken meat, sliced carrots, and tender green peas. I also made stops for some sweet BBQ beans, a creamy macaroni cheese riddled with chopped bacon (you heard right, bacon!), buttery green beans, and what turned out to be a very flavorful buttermilk cornbread muffin.

Street’s also has a very nice salad bar, although I am not so sure how much action it sees with the all the other tempting high-calorie options that are always available. The large group of 60-something men dining at the next table appeared to be regulars. I’m guessing they were retired because no one seemed in a big hurry to move on with his day. These were strong, salt of the earth, good old boys speaking in a deep Old South dialect that had this longtime Dixie resident struggling to follow the conversation. Eavesdropping? You bet! Yet I must admit that these gents were tossing in the “y’alls, fixins, and directlys” at such a clip that I had a hard time keeping up. “Doggone!”

The cole slaw at Street’s is also made fresh daily – always a welcome touch! 

Banana pudding is actually offered up two ways at Street’s. Now how is that for attention to detail? One variety is served cool with a whipped cream topping. The other is presented warm out of the oven with a glorious brown meringue topping. I am a lifelong member of the “Warm Nanner Puddin’ Society” and I was most certainly not disappointed here.  

Pineapple Upside Down Cake has always been one of my favorite desserts, so you can imagine my glee when I spied the moist squares like you see in the above image. Just the right size too — not too big, not too small. Plenty of carmelized pina. Gotta have the cherry too. Right? It was amazing with all the brown sugar, residual pineapple juice and melted butter being absorbed just below fruit level. Soooo good!  Street’s also makes a killer peach cobbler and I couldn’t resist having a little taste of that too. So many delights, so little time! The ownership at Street’s (a derivative of the last name Overstreet) also operates the popular Stagecoach Cafe in closeby Stockton, AL. Gotta give that a shot soon. Really good steaks, that’s what I hear.

Heading back home along southbound Highway 59/31, my eye caught the sign pictured above. Who knew the Bee Gees were now in the filling station business??? With a smile still on my face, I also noticed a makeshift boiled peanut stand in the gas station’s parking lot.

How can a motorist resist such a whimsical, homemade sign?  

Mel (Pastor Mel, to be exact) was not around when I first stopped in, but Mel’s mom was present and she turned out to be a very sweet lady indeed.  As you can see, free samples are offered. I tried the regular and Cajun boiled peanuts and found both to be masterfully prepared.

I decided to purchase a big bag of regular boiled peanuts. These were some seriously massive briny goobers! Batches are made fresh each morning with green peanuts grown right here in Baldwin County. How ’bout that?  

Look at the size of these monsters, grown locally at Fiddler’s Farm near Silverhill, Alabama (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silverhill,_Alabama). Needless to say, they were amazing and quite warm to the touch. That is always a good sign. Get ‘em warm, get ‘em fresh. They will keep in the fridge for a few days, but they are never quite as good as they are right out of the cooking vessel.

The prices are fair and the proceeds go to church mission trips in Latin America. How is that for a true win-win proposition? They even have photo albums on display from previous mission trips. It becomes clear very quickly that these fine folks are doing God’s work — whether it’s in their peanut preparation or their efforts in the high hills of Guatemala.

Roasted peanuts are also offered. This is a good back-up plan for Yankees who have not developed an appreciation for the soft, salty boiled ground peas. I’ll stick with the boiled variety, myself. They are always a treat and especially welcome when they are crafted with such love and heavenly conviction. GOD BLESS AMERICA!

Mel’s Boiled Peanuts – (251) 455 7719

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 647 other followers