Posted by Jeanne Adams Jul 9 2012, 12:15 am in barbecue, Burgers, Cassondra Murray, Cassondra's blogs, coleslaw, hot dogs, Jeanne Adams, potato salad, potlucks, southern traditions, Summer food, summer traditions
So, last week we talked about burgers and dogs. I’ve been thinking about that all weekend.
Cassondra: Not only have I been thinking about it, I had hot dogs for lunch today. *grin*
Jeanne: Well….ugh. (Snork!) BACK to what I was trying to say… I made my husband fire up the grill, despite the 100+ degree heat, and make burgers. When I proposed this sweat-dripping activity, his very first question (after the groan about the heat) was “What are we having for sides?”
Ahhhhh, NOW we’re talking! Potato Salad. Corn on the cob. Fruit Salad. Cole Slaw. Rolls. Molded salads. Next-to-Sex desserts. Bovinder Pie (made with chocolate cookies and coffee ice cream…OMG!!!). And ohhhhh, W-A-T-E-R-M-E-L-O-N.
Now, I eat my summer fruit with salt. Watermelon, honeydew, and cantelope alllll get cut up, sprinkled with a dash of salt and ooooohhhhhhh, yummy. Cassondra, my Evil Twin, in most other things, believes that I’m insane for doing this.
Cassondra: Not entirely insane. I salt watermelon and cantaloupe. Just every now and then, when I’m dehydrated and salt deficient. Honeydew? NEVER!
Jeanne: Fine fine. You’re nitpicking now.
And of course, since I think she’s nuts (as she knows) for putting Mayo on a burger, I judge that all of this makes us even.
Alas, we also have a disagreement about some of those sides. We’re in complete harmony on the Corn on the Cob. In fact, I think both of us would utter the same, famous three words when greeted with that luscious side: Nom, Nom. Nom.
Cassondra: One word. Amen. (Or is that two words?)
Jeanne: One word, I think. (But easily drawn out to two for emphasis, quite appropriate in the case of corn!!) The point is that we find ourselves in conflict over the question of whether Cole Slaw or Potato Salad is the REAL summer side. I maintain that Potato Salad has been around longer, and is more popular. Cassondra says the opposite.
Cassondra: Well….they’ve both been around longer than I have. But my mom made coleslaw. And hardly ever made potato salad. And I’m really picky about potato salad. Some of it is just…blech. Some coleslaw too, to be fair, but I like an awful lot of it. I think it’s the crunch. Every summer meal should have some CRUNCH to it.
Jeanne: Well okay, I concede the point about the need for crunch. I’m just not sure it should come from coleslaw! One thing we agree on, however, is pasta salad.
Cassondra: A blight on the traditional southern potluck.
Jeanne: SO true! We do both lament that it’s become popular in recent years to put together a pasta salad in addition to one of these treats. Gets so you can’t swing a….drumstick…without hitting five bowls of pasta salad on the summer picnic buffet tables.
Not that I object, but…seriously people, it isn’t a substitute, just an addition!
Cassondra: Right. And the thing is, that as disorganized as some of these things are…”Oh, everybody just bring something.” (Former event coordinator cringes when she thinks about this uncoordinated trust of the universe to put a meal together)…..you end up with meat and six different pasta salads, and nothing freaking ELSE to eat. Lord save me from the carbohydrate overload.
Jeanne: Hahaha! Okay, true, but can I please make my point? *crickets chirp*
Okay good. I maintain that nothing, and I mean NOTHING beats good, old fashioned mayo-not-mustard Potato Salad made with redskin potatoes, a little onion, egg, salt, pepper, a dash of sweet pickle relish if you’re so inclined….Ohhhh yeah.
Cassondra: At least we agree on the mayo instead of mustard. Mustard potato salad? Ick.
Jeanne: Now THERE’s something we can “Amen!” over! Ha! If there’s a potato involved (sans mustard), I’m there. Baked, scalloped, and made into that summertime delight, Potato Salad. Hence my passion for the dish.
Not so with Cole Slaw. Oh, and BTW, that weird name? Cole-Slaw/Coleslaw? I looked it up. It’s from the Dutch, Koolsla (kool = cabbage, sla = salad). I heard some one call it “cold slaw” not too long ago and wanted to smack ‘em. Hahahah! I will confess that despite my love of word origins and the fun of figuring that out, I’m not a fan. In fact, I’m not a fan of cabbage much at all. I don’t like sauerkraut – another favorite hot dog topping, ugh! – nor do I like cabbage soup or anything of that nature. I’m okay with spring rolls and egg rolls, but that’s deep fried food – a whoooooole ‘nother blog. Grins.
Cassondra: Did you grow up in the country or not? You don’t like cabbage? I mean, I know a LOT of people don’t like cabbage. But it really does depend on how it’s fixed. It’s a completely different animal cooked than it is raw. But we’re talking about raw here. And we’re not even gonna get into the bazillion different ways you can fix slaw. That’s what it was called when I was growing up. It wasn’t coleslaw. It was just slaw.
That’s where you get slawburgers from. They’re burgers with slaw on ‘em. Or Barbecue with slaw on it, like in that picture. And yes, I did capitalize Barbecue. As it should be. With slaw.
Burger or BBQ, either way, they’re yummy.
Cuz of the slaw.
Jeanne: Hahahaha! Oh, I know all about that, but I’m just not a fan. And yes, I grew up in the country, and everyone in the family liked slaw but me! Ha!!
So how about y’all, Banditas?
Potato Salad or …slaw?
Mustard in your potato salad, or mayonaise?
Either, both, or neither?
Have you ever had molded Jello salad?
Cassondra: Jello salad? Ahahahahaha! Oh. You’re serious. But jello salad? Really? That’s hospital food. Isn’t it? I can’t even look at it without flashing back to bad memories of the school cafeteria and those ugly, aqua-green lunch trays…..EWWWWWW! (Somebody wake me when the flashback is over!)
Jeanne: Ahem! Buddies, have you ever made Jello salad? What do you put in it?
Do you grill your corn, or boil it?
What other sides do you love?
What’s your favorite summer fruit and/or dessert?
And if you make baked beans, do they have bacon on ‘em?
Posted by Caren Crane Jul 4 2010, 4:21 am in BBQ, blackberry cobbler, Caren Crane, corn on the cob, favorite foods, hamburgers, holiday food, hot dogs, ice cream, Independence Day, watermelon
by Caren Crane
At work recently, they posted a survey on our Intranet site asking what peoples’ must-have food item was for Independence Day. Our headquarters are in Raleigh, North Carolina, where we don’t have genteel picnics like the lovely Regency/Victorian affair pictured here. There are never footmen waiting to fetch the hampers and no one ever clears up the mess left behind except the picnickers themselves. When we have a cookout, we do it Southern style. For that reason, the choices on our workplace survey had a distinctly Southern flare. In the South there is nothing we love better than a cookout (or any other affair involving food), so this survey attracted a lot of responses. I did not agree with all the choices presented, but managed to choose one. The choices were:
1. Southern-style BBQ – I could see where they got this one, but I’ve never considered BBQ a necessity at the 4th of July festivities. North Carolina, though, is the leading hog producer in the United States so I know that many here take their pork products very seriously. They have a tradition here called a “pig picking”. They roast a whole pig on a spit over a fire (or on a smoker if they have one for the purpose) and people literally pick the meat off the pig once it’s done. I find this a barbaric and unappealing pasttime despite the 28 years I’ve lived in North Carolina. This one did not get my vote.
2. Corn on the cob – This was more like it. I remember many a family reunion at my paternal grandfather’s farm (it was a hobby farm on his timber property) where corn was wrapped in foil and roasted on the grill, as God intended. It wasn’t just any old corn, either. It was sweet, white Silver Queen corn that had just been picked from the fields near the house. Best. Corn. Ever! I seriously considered voting for the corn because of my fond memories of the Crane family reunions, but I did not vote for this one.
3. Ice cream – At the above-mentioned family reunion, as well as at reunions on the Dugger side of the family, there was always homemade ice cream. I remember when the ice cream churn had to be loaded with ice cubes and salt and hand-cranked for hours until the ice cream was done. Of course, Poppa Crane had an automatic ice cream maker as soon as they came on the market, which was a nice break for the young men in the family, but I remember the hand-cranked churns and the fresh peach ice cream with a sweet pang of nostalgia. Despite all those peach and vanilla memories, though, I did not vote for ice cream.
4. Hamburgers and hot dogs – The American favorites, burgers and dogs. I have so many memories of grilling hamburgers and hot dogs I have trouble singling any out. I have enjoyed grilled meats as centerpieces of cookouts in Tennessee, Texas, North Carolina, Florida, Georgia and Alabama. I have eaten tons of burgers and dogs and enjoyed each and every carcinogen-laden mouthful. There are few pleasures greater than a hot dog grilled within an inch of its life, popped open at the ends, blackened at the grill marks, slathered in mustard and relish. Mm, mm good! Still, my family gave up beef and pork a couple of years ago and I don’t miss beef burgers much. All the hot dogs I’ve had have been chicken or turkey, which are good but just aren’t the same. So, I did not vote for burgers and dogs.
5. Watermelon – Aaah, watermelon. Nothing evokes images of summer quite like watermelon. Hefting a two-inch-thick slice from half a watermelon is one of life’s simple, sticky pleasures. As a kid, we always ate watermelon outside. We sprinkled it lightly with salt (no idea why) and spit seeds gleefully into the yard. By the time we reached the slightly-sour part next to the rind, our bare arms and legs were covered in juice. Watermelon eating was followed by turning on the hosepipe (which is what we called the garden hose) and washing the juice off our sun-kissed bodies with clear, cold water. Yes, watermelon means summer to me and watermelon got my Independence Day vote.
Of course, others did not agree with me. Hamburgers and hotdogs won by a landslide, with watermelon coming in a distant second. Corn on the cob was third, BBQ fourth and ice cream dead last, finishing with only 3% of the vote. Much as we all love ice cream, its life is fleeting in the Southern July heat and it simply couldn’t hold its own. My own Independence Day must-have is blueberry/blackberry cobbler. It didn’t even make the survey!
What are your Independence Day favorites? If you don’t celebrate Independence Day, what would you have chosen from our five survey items? Do any evoke splendid summer memories? We would love to hear them!
And for all of you in the United States, HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!!