February 04, 2006

Thinking Southern

In browsing the blogs this morning, I was reminded by JPW, over at Alabama Ass Whuppin', of the Associated Press series on the South that ran last year:

Stitchery by Ethel Wright Mohamed
Double Springs Sacred Harp Singing

These articles provide an interesting introduction to today's South and a few of its traditions. Off the top of one's head, any native of the "deep South" can think of a slew of additional topics, but I'll add these essentials to any discussion of Southern life:
  • the food -- smother-fried chicken and milk gravy, hominy grits, buttermilk biscuits, turnip greens and collards, cornbread hoecakes, swamp cabbage, file gumbo and jambalaya, oysters on the half shell, fried okra (and just about anything else), mayhaw jelly, key lime pie, sweet potato meringue pie, Mississippi mud cake ... (but I'm getting hongry so I'll move on to the next list);

  • the drinks and libations -- ice tea, Kentucky bourbon, scup'non wine, blackberry wine, 'shine (stump water, mountain dew, white lightnin' -- each geographical area has its own claim to originality, quality and potency) ...;

  • the music -- the blues, bluegrass, mountain, Texas swing, "sol-la-fa" Sacred Harp gospel (with dinner on the ground, naturally) ...;

  • the language -- "You're barking up the wrong tree, buddy; so call off the dawgs er I'm a-fixin' to kick. yore. ass."

No comments: