Today the high was 12C/54F here. That's the official reading. However, I know that while I was in town earlier that it was only 9C/47F.*
It's bizarre to be this cold in June. JUNE! Where I grew up
** it's 33C/90F today.
Hot summers in flatland Carolina meant lots of potlucks. Some were just sort of 'in the area' ones, but my favorites were the church potlucks.
When you grow up in the South as a vegetarian, you don't eat a lot of the things that are considered staples of the cuisine: pork, chicken, and fish.
But, that means that you get to spend more time with mashed potatoes, fried okra, black eye'd peas, succotash, nut loaf, biscuits, iced tea and a never ending array of desserts.
Desserts are something of a religion in the South. They've taken a toll, collectively, on the waistline of Southerners in recent decades, but back in the days of all day field work or mill work they were no problem.
Because of the heat of the South, dessert was the chance to cool down after any hot items consumed during the main part of the meal. Even if you're served hot apple pie, it'll come with some cool (and hopefully homemade) vanilla ice cream.***
There are the redeemable desserts...those containing fruit. Cherry or peach cobbler, blueberry buckle, apple pie or dumplings.
Then there are the ones that are completely an indulgence.
Of course, those are the best: homemade moon pies, brownies, blondies, seven layer bars, sugar cookies...and my particular favorite, chocolate pudding pie.
When I was about 7, we attended a little church in Wilson, North Carolina
, roughly 60 miles from our tremendously rural home.
A lady named Betty Lou**** made a chocolate pudding pie in a graham cracker crust with meringue on top. It would sit in the heat of the kitchen during church and the meringue would sweat and form little orange beads on the surface. I thought that was how meringue was supposed to be...and I secretly miss that when I get 'proper' meringue.
When we moved away from North Carolina to Georgia, Betty Lou gave my brother and I a whole chocolate pudding pie as a going away present.
We couldn't have been happier with diamonds.Any nostalgic stories about food?*****
* Degrees Celsius were observed, degrees Fahrenheit are my own half-assed conversion.
** We actually lived further out, but this is the closest
city town hamlet.
*** You've got to know that redthought makes some mean homemade ice cream.
**** Really her name. :)
***** I'm okay with being a sap on my own, though.