Thursday, May 04, 2006

On Hushpuppies, Yankees and Terrorists

The picture to the left was taken along the Appalachian Trail in late Spring. somewhere between Northern Virginia and Southern PA. I'm in need of a hiking trip. I had to postpone my trip west till the fall which makes me sad.

I continued my quest to bring culture above the Mason/Dixon line. Last night I fixed dinner for about 20 certified Yankees. These folks got treated to my barbecue (which implies pork when you’re from North Carolina), coleslaw, hushpuppies, roasted spiced potatoes (not really a southern thing, but what the heck) and plenty of ice tea (here too I don't follow the ways of the south for I hate sweeten tea). It was mostly an all afternoon affair. I had about 10 pounds of lean pork that I started cooking at about 10 AM. It was cooked in my own sauce (vinegar based, which is assumed when your from Eastern North Carolina). The meat was covered with the sauce and placed in a slow cooker and left alone. At 6 PM, about thirty minutes before serving, I took the meat out, discarded the sauce (and fat), chopped the meat and added fresh sauce to it and it was ready to be served.

Before before that, I made the coleslaw (the kind you use Miracle Whip and salad cubes and a pinch of sugar and some celery seeds to make folks think I’m uptown). Then I washed and diced the potatoes. In a plastic bag, I mixed some olive oil and a host of spices and seasonings and put the potatoes in and mixed it all together before laying out on a pan to roast. The last thing I made were the hushpuppies--I taught a few of them how to cook 'em. Every time I’ve fixed them for Yankees, they make a big deal out of them and talk about the heavenly hushpuppies they once had at some diner in Carolinas or Georgia on the way south to that new northern state, Florida. As a lot, it’s not hard to please a punch of Yankees. I served the barbecue on buns and in the typical North Carolina style, placed a scoop of coleslaw on top of the meat, to make the most perfect barbecue sandwich.

Directions for Sage’s Hushpuppies

1 ½ cup cornmeal
½ cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
dash of salt
an onion finely chopped
1 beaten egg
1 cup buttermilk
a couple hot peppers diced (optional).

Mix the above together (mix the dry ingredients first, then add the onions, then the egg and buttermilk). Heat a deep-fryer or a pan with several inches of oil till it’s really hot. Take a teaspoon and scrape up a spoonful of hushpuppy batter (so that it rolls up), then drop it into the oil. Dip your spoon in water before you roll another hushpuppy. After a minute, turn the puppies over still both sides are a nice dark golden brown. The outside should be crusty, the inside soft and tasty. Some people like to put ketchup or honey on it, but I don’t see why one needs any kind of condiments. Enjoy them hot

Meanwhile, on an unrelated topic, I was glad to see that Moussaoui gets to spend the rest of his life in prison. As you know if you’ve read much of this blog, I don’t like the idea of capital punishment. Hopefully, Moussaoui will be quickly forgotten. Had he received death, he’d gotten what he wanted and been seen by many in the world as a hero. This planet doesn’t any more bad guys being sanctified into Islamic martyrs.


  1. Mmm..hushpuppies. There use to be a restaurant in the greater Nashville area that had really good ones that were the size of softballs. Now I am relegated to the lone Long John Silvers that is probably still left in the state if not the US. I hadn't thought about putting the potatoes in a bag and then onto the pan. That would save ones hands from getting messy. Thanks, Sage.

  2. By the way, you have unknowingly started the always popular Miracle Whip vs mayo debate. ;-)

  3. Ok, I've definitely got to try that recipe. All the food sounds heavenly...that's why I'll forgive you for the Moussaoui comments rofl ;)

  4. I'll have to make those and compare them with my younger brother's recipe. He is a Iowa Yankee like me but has been living in the deep south for the last decade.

    Funny thing, even though I'm a Yankee, whenever I go up north, people assume I'm from Texas.

    I was happy to see Moussaoui get life too. I think it is a much more just punishment.

  5. You are from NC but you hate sweet tea. Oh I love sweet tea...but it has to be freshly made or it tastes like syrup! (Have you ever heard the song "Sweet Tea" by Cravin' Melon?

    Hope your bbq went well....I bet the folks enjoyed your down home hospitality!

  6. Hate coleslaw, love hushpuppies (yum, yum, yum) and glad for the life imprisonment.

    Get out and do some hiking, man! :-)

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  8. Murf, is that Nashville MI you're talking about... A softball size hushpuppy would have to be fried so long to get it cooked, that I can imagine it being any good. About the Mayo/Miracle Whip debate. I use mayo on sandwiches and miracle whip as a "salad dressing" so it goes into slaw.

    Daydreamer, glad to know you can be brought off with food!

    Ed, your brother makes hushpuppies? He might get become an honorary Colonel or something.

    Deana, it's a long story. When I was in high school, my mother started using artifical sweeters in tea (uck). In college, I decided to try it without sugar and after a few weeks, found that I liked its taste. Tea needs to be slightly bitter in my book. I make a half gallon of tea pretty much every other day except for in the summer when I make that much every day!

    Dawn, do you not like coleslaw in particular, or dislike cabbage. I like cabbage--and can eat it raw or steamed or as saurkraut or kimchi or coleslaw (and I have several ways of fixing coleslaw).

  9. Sorry for the confusion. Nope, Nashville, TN. I do occasionally leave the state, you know. ;-) I may have exaggerated the size a bit...might have been more like a racquetball.

  10. I knew where you were talking about Murf, just had to pick on you. I'm sure I've been in Nashville MI as many if not more times than you! And I don't remember a hushpuppy stand there. But it's interesting how folks around here talk about someone who moves across the state as if they've made a major more and if they've gone to the UP, they might as well have moved to South America. This state is pretty much "home grown" from what I've seen, more than any place else I've lived.

  11. Good point about it seeming like a major move. Do you know how hard it is to do lunch with someone that lives a mere 2 hours away? Pretty impossible.

  12. Now I'm hungry and I just got back from lunch!
    Hello, Michele sent me.

  13. I LOVE hushpuppies. I'm not big on bbq but don't tell anyone because I'm here in North Carolina as well. Shhh. Oh and Michele sent me. ;-)

  14. Mmmm...hushpuppies. Had to stop by and say hello after your comment at my place. Great site!

  15. Reading your blog is making me hungry.

    And regarding your unrelated topic, I thorough agree with you regarding Moussaoui.

  16. Amen on Missoaui, I feel the same way. Your part of NC is knnown for it's BBQ, and rightly so. I can't beleive you don't like Sweet tea. heck, I love it like...well, I just love it. The only Tea they have in the mess hall here on Ft. McCoy is Raspberry out of the fountain machine. For two weeks it was unsweetened. Maybe they figured out they were feeding a bunch of Southerners. They've done a grat Job, God Bless them.
    Oh, BTW, you've been spot blogged. Sorry it took me so long.

  17. Anonymous, take your scam somewhere else, okay? If you come back, I'll ahve to reinstitute word verficiation.

    Murf, it must be something about this state, eh?

    Ninke, welcome

    Grins, I suppose if I'm from NC and don't care for sweet tea, they can be those from the state that don't care for BBQ, but of course, Eastern NC BBQ is better than Western NC BBQ, so many a road trip is in order.

    Wordnerd, you have a pretty nice site too!

    Daydreamer, you're not cheap, this is my food we're talking about here, only the best for such bribes!

    Tim, maybe my real calling was to stay in the grocery store I worked in as a kid!

    AI (the Appalachianist), glad things are going well for you in WI and that the army is treating you well.

  18. Sage - Maybe it's just a sign of the times that people are too busy to meet in the middle for a nice chat over a bite to eat and are relegated to just the occasional email or Christmas card.

  19. I like cabbage - kraut and raw. I don't like coleslaw. Mostly because it has mayo or miracle whip in it and I can't stand those. :-)

  20. Murf, I never got out Christmas Cards this year!

    Dawn, I make another type of slaw--called a summer slaw, that doesn't have mayo/salad dressing. Use a combo of green and red cabbage, onions, few carrots and a bell pepper. Then boil together--cup of red wine vinegar, 1/2 cup olive oil, some dried mustard and celery seed. Let cool and then add it over the cabbage mix and cool--this slaw can stay in the frig for months.

  21. Great Hushpuppies recipe. Do you have one on cornbread?

  22. Hah. I just found your cornbread recipe through your index. Well done.

  23. Mmm. I love hushpuppies. And Brunswick stew to go with them. But please have sugar in my tea, Sage. LOL