Count Furcula – or – Happy Wishgiving

Furcula. That is the funny-sounding, official name of what we commonly refer to as a wishbone. It means “little fork” in Latin. Furcula. During this season of giving thanks, it is traditional for two people to rend this little bone from the turkey carcass and, in a sometimes spirited contest of hand strength and cunning,…

To dunk or to crumble – that is the question

Recently I read an article by John T. Edge, the venerable Southern food writer and director of the Southern Foodways Alliance, in which he referenced his master’s thesis written about the Potlikker and Cornpone Debate of 1931. Yes, you heard that right — the Potlikker and Cornpone Debate of 1931. For nearly a month that year,…

Mama always said, “Be sweet.”

“Be sweet now!” “Y’all be sweet!” “Love you! Be sweet!” This is the admonition every Southern girl hears from her mother as she leaves the house to go just about anywhere. “Be sweet.” Why? Because despite their angelic looks and Miss Manners comportment, girls are not inherently sweet at all. And their Mamas know that….

The land of 2 seasons

(As I have mentioned before, I belong to a blogging group called See Jane Write. Each November SJW founder Javacia Harris Bowser challenges all the members to publish a new blog post each day of the month — to #bloglikecrazy. This year I’m giving it a go although I’ve missed a few days so far….

Don’t leave me, Joe!

“Don’t leave me, Joe!” These are the words that John Brooks Rowell spoke to his brother, my great-great-grandfather Andrew Joseph Rowell, as he drew his last breath on the Civil War battlefield at Resaca, Ga. At least that’s how Granny told the story, and that’s how I imagined it. One last plea. A promise to…

All y’all should read this!

The most notable characteristic of the Southerner can be narrowed down to the use of one little word — y’all, the second person plural form of you. It’s you and all run together. This sleight of tongue makes a little word that defines an entire culture because no matter where in the world you go,…

Georgia on my mind

Today Georgia is on my mind. Here are 10 things to love about the Peach State: 10. Georgia is one of the original 13 colonies and St. Marys is the second oldest city in the nation. 9.  Many musical icons hail from this state including Ray Charles, Gladys Knight, Brenda Lee, and Jerry Reed. 8….

And we say Ma’am…

“Yes, Ma’am!” I say it to this day as thoughtlessly as I breathe. As a child, whether I was speaking to my grandmothers, to my teachers, or to the housekeeper, I dared not leave the “ma’am” off the end of a “yes,” “no,” or “thank you.” As an adult, I still say it. It’s just…

We say grace…

We say grace. Here in the Bible belt, rarely a meal starts without someone saying grace — a prayer of devotion and gratitude — before the family dives in. We give thanks for the nourishment of our bodies and souls. We give thanks for the blessing of another day. We give thanks for family and friends. Grace…

Hold the sugar, Sugar

Let’s get one thing straight: sugar has no place in grits. If you want to put sugar on your breakfast, eat oatmeal. Eat Cream of Wheat. Eat Ralston. But never, ever, under any circumstances, put sugar on your grits. There. I’ve said it. Grits are meant to be salty and buttery. Sprinkled with black pepper….