This past weekend I ended up at a 90-year-old’s birthday party. My boyfriend’s family was having a family gathering in South Georgia. We had Dinner on the Grounds. I saw cotton for the first time. I ate creamed corn, and barbecue. It was a nice southern experience for someone growing up a Yankee.
Dinner on the Grounds is a traditional Southern picnic-like gathering usually surrounding a Church. Everyone brings a potluck dish, a blessing is said, and then it is time to dig-in. The food was delicious. Pictured above is my plate of food (minus the huge dessert plate full of chocolate and banana pudding, apple cake, and bread pudding). Broccoli casserole and sweet potato casserole were popular (I am obsessed with sweet potato casserole). There were over 10 different kinds of barbecue. There were numerous other casseroles including what I think to have been chicken tetrazzini (cue The Soup chicken tetrazzini woman). I also ate what I believe to be a fried potato/cornmeal pancake. You taste the pure oil, fried flavor in them. Pure indulgence. I had a type of field peas for the first time this weekend. I believe they were most likely whiteacre peas or possibly zipper peas. They are these itty bitty peas packed with protein. A variety of peas including black-eyed peas are common in the South. Growing up, the only peas I was familiar with were green peas!
Here is an image of my boyfriend’s plate. As you can see he had the peas, fried pancake, some pasta salad with bacon, barbecue, creamed corn, broccoli casserole, and more. I was introduced to creamed corn a while ago when my boyfriend made it. He whipped out this package from the freezer, and threw it in a pan. It’s delicious, of course, because of the sweet and salty flavors combined.
Anyway, the point of this story is that there are always delicious foods out there that I have never tried. And I am continuously on the hunt to try new foods. Families have been making some of these recipes for over a hundred years, so of course they are going to be tasty! Southern food is true comfort food: casseroles, barbecue, salads, corn breads, beans and peas, cakes and pies. And we left lunch stuffed full until 9 p.m. that night!