It began with boiled peanuts in Memphis.
Then, in Oxford, our nourishment shape-shifted into books.
Dad and I made a bee-line for Square Books—the bookstore of the South, mind you—no matter how many handsome blonde co-eds tried to drive me to distraction. Ol’ Miss boys don’t have anything on my Willie Morris or on the town’s other literary son, Faulkner.
Arms groaning with books, Dad and I hustle to the car to make our way deep into the heart of Dixie—Greenwood, Mississippi to be precise. The speakeasy-cum-restaurant, Lusco’s, awaits us. So does a perfectly mid-rare filet topped with jumbo lump crabmeat. And spinach soufflé. And golden-fried onion rings.
Oh, and it’ll also be nice to see Mamma, my 3 year-old niece and the rest of the family. Right, then there’s the bride and groom…
It’s just so hard to prioritize, focus my energies when faced with a weekend of deep-fried, catfish-heavy, cream cheese-laden, bourbon-soaked, unapologetically southern food.
Even my niece cleaned her plate—and she’s one tough critic. After driving to the wedding day brunch (all you do in Mississippi is drive, drive, drive), she was cranky, hungry, in need of some Southern sustenance. I understood her plight. We filled our bellies with creamy goat cheese grits, bacon and eggs. And, then, utterly content, Shelby and I played in the cotton fields.
Played in the cotton fields?
Yep, it’s a different world down there. And I think the only way to bring that slow, Southern heat to New York City is through my stove…