Are You Southern?

Submitted by Christi

Just checked out Southern Living online. They asked the question, “What makes a person Southern?” Then they assembled a list of 40 things that every Southerner ought to do. I’ve decided to assemble my own list of things that I’ve done that I think every Southerner should do.  Some are from their list, but most are my own. What would you add?

  • Have beignets and cafe au lait at Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans and blow powdered sugar on your friends.
  • Cross over the Chattahoochee River on my way to Phoenix City Alabama from Columbus, Georgia while Alan Jackson is singing “Way Down Yonder on the Chattahoochee” on the radio and sing along.
  • Have a slaw burger and  a cheerwine in North Carolina.
  • Drive on Daytona Beach, Florida.
  • Scoot a boot at Billy Bob’s Texas in Fort Worth.
  • Attend a party at South Fork in Dallas, Texas.
  • Take a sunrise hot air balloon ride over Charlottesville, Virginia from the Boar’s Head Inn ending with a champagne celebration.
  • Attend the crawfish festival and pinch the tails and suck the heads in Beaux Bridge, Louisianna.
  • Listen to blues on Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee after having just eaten great barbeque.
  • Grow mint to make mint juleps for Kentucky Derby day (or any other day for that matter).  Haven’t ever made it to the actual Derby but I enjoy joining in the fun at home.
  • Cheer till your throat is soar at any SEC football game. (I cheer for Arkansas – wooo pig!).
  • Grow tomatoes and okra.
  • Grow roses and win a blue ribbon with one at the county fair.
  • Set a beautiful table.
  • Drive from Columbus, Georgia to Warner Robbins on a warm summer day (I did this for a work trip and enjoyed the scenery).
  • Collect Southern cookbooks.
  • Have breakfast at Brennan’s in New Orleans.
  • Attend Jazz Fest in New Orleans.
  • And of course (from the SL list) . . .
  • Mind your manners.
  • Talk Southern y’all.

I’m sure given the time I will think of many more. What about you? Feel free to comment!

Todays Lagniappe: Mama’s Beef Stroganoff

1-1/2 lb. sirloin steak cut into pencil thin strips
1 cup flour (for dredging)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 small onions, chopped fine (I usually use one medium)
1/2 lb mushrooms (can use canned if you prefer)
1 clove garlic, crushed
4 – 6 tablespoons butter (Mama says it always takes more)

2 tablespoons flour
1 (10-1/2 oz.) can beef consumme
1 pint sour cream
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Season flour with salt and pepper. Dredge strips of meat in flour. Melt butter in large skillet. When butter is foaming, add the meat. Brown the meat a little and then add the onions, mushrooms and garlic. Cook until onions are transparent.

Remove meat mixture from the pan and keep warm. Reserve 2 tablespoons of butter in the pan (this is where you probably have to add more). Sprinkle flour in the hot butter and stir until smooth. Add beef consumme and cook for a couple of more minutes. Lower the heat and add the sour cream (do not let the sour cream curdle). Add the salt, pepper and stir in the Worcestershire.

Return the meat mixture to the pan with the sauce and stir to get the meat covered with the sauce. Serve warm over egg noodles.

A Southern Elvis

Submitted by Christi

Happy Birthday, Elvis! Can you believe it? Elvis Presley would be 74 today. Of course, Elvis was a Southern boy having been born in Tupelo, Mississippi. Tupelo is a lovely Southern town with an interesting history. If you ever get to Tupelo, there are lots of things to see in addition to Elvis Presley’s birthplace. Visit to see more about this Southern treasure. I understand that Elvis’ favorite food was a grilled banana and peanut butter sandwich. Sounds pretty good. To celebrate his birthday have one of these gooey, delicious sandwiches and sing Blue Suede Shoes! Thank you . . . thank you very much.

Grilled Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich

For 1 sandwich:

Mix together a little bit of honey with some peanut butter (This is optional). Spread one side of one of the bread slices with peanut butter. Top with banana slices. Place the other slice of bread on top of the bread with the peanut butter. Melt a tablespoon of butter in a small frying pan. When the butter is melted and bubbling, place the sandwich in the pan. Brown the sandwich on one side and then turn it over and brown on the other side. Add more butter if necessary. YUM!

Clowns in Columbus

Submitted by Christi

The South is famous for its hospitality. I think in all my travels, my experience in Columbus, Mississippi was a great example. I arrived in Columbus in the evening before I was to begin working with a local client the next morning.

I was in my hotel room when my phone rang. It was the front desk telling me that I had visitors and asking if she could send them to my room. She assured me that she believed it would be safe for me to accept these visitors. Safety, of course, was a consideration for a woman traveling alone. I agreed to see them out of curiosity, if nothing else. When they knocked, I opened my door and was greeted by two clowns. Yes, clowns! They came in my room and did a little skit welcoming me to Columbus and then left. I stood there thinking, “What was that?”

The next morning, I arrived to work with the client (a local Baptist church) and discovered that one of the ladies that I was to train that week was a clown in her free time and it was her and her friend who had visited me the night before. They laughed and laughed the night before wondering what I thought of their performance. What a welcome!

One of the other ladies at the church offered to take me to see the Waverly Plantation and then have dinner with her. The plantation was incredible. We were given a tour by the lady of the house. She was fixing supper when we got there. She put it on the back of the stove and proceeded to give us a great tour. The dear lady who took me to the plantation asked the hostess about the ghost in the plantation. She had grown up in the area and knew about how the plantation had stood vacant for 50 years before it was restored. She said when she was a teenager that the teens would go to the plantation but they never did any damage because they were scared off by the ghost. Our hostess said that, in fact, there was a ghost of a little girl and that she was a friendly ghost but that she was protective of the home. What a fascinating place.

What a wonderful group of people the people of Columbus are. If you get a chance, definitely visit Columbus, you’ll be glad you did.