Grits, Gravy, and Graciousness: Or I've lived in The South for almost a year

Roasted Cauliflower Soup on Papa's Trunk

This coming December will mark the first anniversary of my living in The South. As if swimming along the coast with a gash in my thigh, the sharks have been circling, demanding my opinion on whether or not I have enjoyed my 365 days of grits, gravy, and graciousness.

After the third inquiry in one week I finally broke down and asked my boss if my demeanor was beyond my comprehension. Perhaps I was unknowingly pea-cocking a unspoken disdain for my surroundings. Giving off a bad vibe. Scaring small children.

Let's face it, my resting bitch face could take home the blue ribbon. I don't give off the most come hither, welcoming vibe. I really do scare small children. 

But that doesn't mean I don't love my new home, The South. 

The Jew in me is mildly uncomfortable with all the Jesus prayers that are made at public gatherings. But I appreciate the community their faith provides. And the height of hair in correlation to ones closeness to God.

The lover of history in me is daily aroused by the story telling that happens in The South. A meal is almost always paired with a story about some eccentric old timer, some misadventure had in youth, or some hotly debated "whose momma made it best" recipe throw down.

I've gone from wondering how many handguns are concealed while I grocery shop, to accepting that there are more pocket book or calf strapped handguns than I could shake a stick at. I trust that Grandma at the deli counter is a better aim than I am.

I will proudly say my blood has in fact thinned. Fifty-five degrees is cold to me. I don't miss having to carry an extra handkerchief just to wipe down my frost covered beard from walking from the house to the car. And you know what? Your blood would thin too. However, I will say, I do very much miss snow. There best be a white Christmukkah when I go North in December.

"Yes, Ma'am", "No, Ma'am", "Sir", "Have a blessed day", "Might could", "Tighter than Dick's hat band", "Fixin' to", "Cussed out", "Blessed out", "Rode hard and put up wet", "Drunk as Cooter Brown", "Y'all", "All Y'all", and "Y'all ain't right" are phrases I understand, use if needed, and hope to carry with me until I die. 

As we slowly enter into this next year, and the period of hibernation that winter brings let it be known I do not regret my choice to move to The South. It may not be my forever home. But its roots have cracked my foundation and will forever be a part of me. Let's see what happens in year two. 

Soup for a Southern Fall Day (highs in the 60's - I'll be wearing a jacket when I go outside)


RECIPE FROM Produce on Parade

Serves 6