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1  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: can someone explain American food to an Aussie?? on: May 08, 2006 12:37:49 PM
Okay.  This has been one of my favorite food posts so far because 1) I HEART food and 2) I am from the South.  Several good points have been made already, like cornbread is NOT sweet (very important) but several misconceptions: GREENS is a generic term that refers to any greens- collards, kale, mustard, etc.

Collards are not bitter if cooked properly and picked at the right time.  Mustard greens are very bitter and an acquired taste for most.  You must add hot sauce and a splash of pepper vinegar to any greens for an authentic experience.

Southern food (soul food) is very much based on African and Central/South American food- that is, heavy on the beans, pork, hot sauce and tomatoes.  The important thing to remember is that vegetables are not necessarily vegetarian, as most are cooked with fatback or saltpork for a long time until they are stew-like.

Several important things left out t hat you should try: hushpuppies (fried dough that is also NOT sweet- eaten with fried fish and incredibly tasty), fried okra (yum), blackeyed peas, fried green tomatoes, sweet potato souffle and Brunswick stew.  (You get the picture- everything is pretty much deep fried). 

Boiled peanuts are one of my all-time favorite foods and you can buy them on the side of the road in the early fall from vendors.  Kind of like hot, salty chickpeas.  Cocacola cake, pineapple upsidedown cake, red velvet cake, pecan pie.  Desserts are incredibly sweet and rich.  They don't hold back on anything...sugar, fat, salt, spices.  Walk into a Southern restaurant and order iced tea and it is invariably sweet (unless you request unsweetened, which makes you suspicious). 

Barbeque is another subject unto itself, but the person from South Carolina covered that pretty well with the mustard vs. tomato-based variations.  I prefer the tomato myself.

Southern food is incredibly rich and usually requires a long nap afterward if you eat a traditional menu.  Not for everyday, of course, but damn tasty every once in a while.

Oh, one other weird SOuthern food tradition...salt on fruit (like the Latin Americans).  I can't eat an apple or a pear or watermelon without salt on it.  Makes the fruit sweeter by contrast.

2  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: Ideas for good road trip food? on: May 08, 2006 12:18:56 PM
Tamari roasted nuts are one of my favorites...salty, addictive but also nutritious.  Just roast whatever nuts/seeds you like (sunflower, almonds, cashews, pumpkin, etc.) in a dry frying pan until they puff up and then add a couple of tablespoons of tamari or soysauce and stir.  Let cool and dry.  Excellant.
3  COOKING / Dessert / Re: I made Peeps! on: May 08, 2006 12:16:03 PM
Ohmigod...I don't really like candy or sweets but I LOVE Peeps.  They are so gross and delicious at the same time.  Why didn't I ever think to make them?  Now I can have them year 'round (maybe that's not such a good thing)

Yours are delectible-looking.  Where did you find the chick cookie cutters?  Wonder if rabbits are available somewhere too?
4  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Re: Retro whirl away dress! on: May 08, 2006 09:34:04 AM
That is absolutely adorable.  The fabric matches the dress style perfectly.  Looks great on you.   
5  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Re: blackbird batik northwest native american on: May 05, 2006 10:30:14 PM
That's really very beautiful.  I think the "mistakes" where the paint bleeds over are wonderful.  Nicely done.
6  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Re: BEER GOGGLES!!! 'Nuff Said... on: November 17, 2005 07:27:09 PM
Thank you for totally cracking me up.  I bet you made lots of people happy wearing those.  I have to make a pair. 
7  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 3 ENTRIES / Re: spilled guts - my very first post ever! on: November 17, 2005 06:59:07 PM
That's way, way cool.  I love the concept, the color, the craftsmanship.  I would hang that in a second.
8  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 2 ENTRIES / Re: Floral Curtain Wrap Dress!! on: November 17, 2005 06:47:08 PM
Cute, cute, cute!  I wish we had Value Villages in the Bay Area.  I always hit them when I'm in Seattle.  Lucky you.
9  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 2 ENTRIES / Re: Table Cloth outfit for Craft Challenge#2 on: November 17, 2005 06:44:57 PM
Really nice work.  You are an expert seamstress and have a great eye for color.
10  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Discussion and Questions / Re: creative planter ideas? on: September 18, 2005 07:37:27 PM
You can pretty much plant in anything that will hold dirt and that you can make some drain holes in...My neighbor has an amazing garden and she plants in everything- old sinks, bathtubs, cans, broken statues...but the coolest thing she's used are broken clay pots.  I'd have thrown them away, but somehow hers look really cool with plants growing out of the cracks.  My descriptions makes her garden sound junky but it really isn't.  I guess its all in how she arranges the pots and what she plants in them.
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