Soggy Southern Comfort
While visiting my parents, in the wonderful Deep South of the Mississippi Delta, the idea of what to prepare for dinner was hanging in the air as thick as the humidity itself. Hmmm …
Me: Liver & Onions?
Mom: No. Your dad won’t eat that.
Me: Cabbage & Chicken?
Mom: Nah. I really don’t want any chicken. Tired of it.
Me: Ham & Potatoes?
Mom: No. The ham you are referring to has gone bad and needs to be thrown out.
Mom: Ah! I know what I want. Buttermilk & Cornbread. We eat that all the time.
Me: Ok. Great. Dinner mystery is solved. I will have a bowl of Raisin Bran Crunch, thank you.
Where did this soggy concoction come from? From my father’s experience he provided the following story …
Our family was not rich and there were a lot of mouths to feed. It was 13 of us and our parents were tenant farmers living out on Zimbro Plantation that was owned by Mr. Smith. We raised cows for milking and we would sell milk and milk products like butter. We always had milk and we always had butter. My mom would make a huge pan of cornbread and we would pour that fresh buttermilk over the cornbread and then pour some sugar, molasses, honey or Brer Rabbit Syrup over it if we had any because the buttermilk can have a bitter aftertaste.
Initially my mind rejected the idea of crispy cornbread and cold buttermilk. But after hearing my father explain this part of his journey, I was intrigued. I am just going to have to try a bowl of this southern fare before heading back to Virginia. Stay tuned, for I am sure there will be a follow up for this one that will include pictures and an explanation of Brer Rabbit Syrup!