Monday, June 15, 2009

These Are My People.

I don't know if it's southerners in general, or just me.  But I'm of the inclination to believe that we hold a monopoly on certain traditions/ideas/subject matters.  Such as:

*Cornbread must always be prepared in a well-seasoned cast iron skillet.  This is in the Bible somewhere, or maybe God just whispered it in my ear.  (And in the ears of all self-respecting, cornbread making southerners.)

*You have to love either  Moon Pies or Stuckey's Pecan Logs.  

I'm a Pecan Log gal myself.  Stuckey's is an institution of Dixie greatness, indeed.

*Sweet tea is the housewine of the South, and it's more delicious when served in a Mason jar.
I was brought up right.  (And yes, I really do quote Steel Magnolias daily.)

These are unwritten southern rules.  Except I take them to heart and write them down.  You see, I want my daughters to grow up and raise daughters who appreciate a well-seasoned cast iron skillet.  I want my grandchildren to love sweet tea and Stuckey's pecan rolls.  In moderation, of course.

Yet sometimes I realize we southerners (or maybe it's just me!) tend to believe it's our way or the highway.  Yeah, we (me) can be kinda territorial.  I admit it.  Especially when it comes to music.  Especially when that music is bluegrass.

We love our accoustic twang.  We love this branch of music that was brought to the Americas by the Irish and the English and the Scots. (Thank you, Irish, English, and Scots!) We love that we took that music and made it our own. And we love Alison Krauss & Union Station, and our beloved Ralph Stanley, as well.

So when a friend sent me the following video, I immediately grew into some maturity, expanded my worldview, and remarked, "Well...who knew the Chinese were southerners, too?"

This is probably one of the best videos I've ever watched on You Tube, as this is what music is all about.

I want to invite each and every one of these amazing musicians to my home.  For sweet tea, cornbread, and a pecan roll from Stuckey's.  And a big ol' hug from me.

Yee-haw, y'all.  Brilliant simplicity.  Oh, how I love it.


CaraBee said...

It seems that a case of insomnia gets me dibs on first comment!

What can I say, I love bluegrass. My uncle plays in a bluegrass band and I have always loved listening to him play. There is a really awesome festival in Winfield, KS that hosts some of the finest picking and fiddling you'll find anywhere. Those Chinese might give them a run for their money, though!

And now I'm craving cornbread and sweet tea.

Katie said...

I go to school in the South and I always feel that I stick out like a sore thumb. Half the time I think Southerners are a little crazy, and half the time I get really sad and jealous that I wasn't raised in the South because I feel like it's sort of a birth-right thing and you can't fake the culture. I can eat the food, but I can't be a Dixie chick (no country singing girls implied).

Granted, I drink tea daily. Iced all day, hot at night. I was raised on the stuff. However, I'm a purist. Spoonful of sugar and that's that. You can see where I'm going with this...I can't stomach sweet tea. Sigh.

I'd love to visit your house, Lula! It sounds like it'd be a beautiful and friendly place.

Amy said...

Now you know I am from the south. I love me some cornbread and I drink tea, but not on a regular basis and I've never tried that particular brand of pecan roll...BUT I can not handle that music. SoRRY!! Like those people who have sex changes because they believe they were born in the wrong body, I think I was born in the wrong part of the country! :P

Tammy Howard said...

I love a little bluegrass. My hubs plays with a band that identifies as 'Americana' but my favorite songs that they do are the ones with a little twang to 'em.

I'm sorry to say I do not make my cornbread in a cast iron skillet. But I will from now on, I promise.

Jackie said...

You'll be happy to know Desmond and I just danced around to the video. He was sitting in a basket playing when the music started and he immediately looked up at me, as if to say, get me out of this thing so that we can dance right now. He loved watching the musicians. Thanks for sharing. Want to get some mason jars now, so that I can drink tea proper.

Sun said...

Love it.. who knew...really..

Heather said...

I would buy their cd. I really would. It's like East meets...South. So many flavors in one. I love it!

Pinky Roth said...

You know I do not particularly like bluegrass music except for Allison Krauss, but that video was amazing...I love me some sweet tea, cornbread and pecan rolls...just saying!


Anonymous said...

I've never made cornbread in a seasoned iron skillet. (I know! Shame on me!) But, I guess I'm from the opposite of the south - I'm Canadian!

I've never had sweet tea. Is it just tea cooled with tons of sugar?

Bekah said...

you know I didn't watch that vid. but that's cuz I'm a yankee & really busy at work today. but i have the following things to say:

1) i love cornbread more than i love anything & i bet yours is so amazing
2) sweet tea? um yes please. I went to school in TN & so I know a thing or two about the south

3) PBR is a hipster drink & the rednecks should stop trying to claim it

Tony C said...

That's some of the best sanxian and pipa playing I've ever heard...actually that's the only sanxian and pipa playing I've ever heard.

What in the wide world of sports is a sanxian and a pipa? Much less a liuqin or a ruan...

Funny thing is...the Chinese gentleman I work with loves both sweet tea and cornbread. I'm springing a pecan roll on him sometime this week just to see if he's fully integrated yet.

Melissa said...

Who knew a sitar could be bluegrassy! Hilarious.

Okay, you're so right on with your love of Stuckey's. I'm kin to them somewhere down the line....(seriously). Nobody makes pecan logs like Stuckey's. I accept no substitutions.

You forgot to mention that the cornmeal of choice must be Alabama King. Best. ever. period.

Lula! said...

Um...Pinky Roth, also known as my MOM, rules. Just so y'all know.

Christina said...

LOL! Gotta love the south.

I wonder how many non-southerners are wondering what you use to "season" an iron skillet.

angie said...

I JUST recently had cornbread from a cast iron skillet for the first time. I've never had sweet tea, a moon pie, or Stuckey pecan roll.....although I know I'd LOVE it. I'm SO a pecan sweetness lover. When I found out how many calories are in a slice of pecan pie last year it almost killed me.

Brandy said...

After reading this, I realize that I am a total fraud. I claim to be Southern, and while I do enjoy a moonpie on occasion and sweet tea almost daily, I do not own, nor have ever owned a cast iron skillet.

There I said it.

And while I'm admitting things...I can't wait to sleep with you in November.

As you said, let them wonder.

Kristina P. said...

I don't even own a cast iron skillet, but I want one to make Dutch Babies!

And McDonalds is now selling sweet tea. I'm sure they won't screw that up.

Lauren said...

Dude. My dad LOVES Moon Pies of all flavors. We have to special order them for him for Christmas because they don't really sell them here.

I want to be taught the Southern ways. *planning my trip now*

Denise said...

You know, there's a southern China. One of my Chinese children is from Southern China so we joked about them being Southern. I bet those Chinese musicians really are Southern, just not the American kind. LOL But of course, you still need to introduce them to Moonpies and Sweet Tea.

Elena said...

SO funny!! I sat here and jiggy-jig-jigged to Chinese Bluegrass. Who would have ever thunk? LOVED it! And my mom always serves her cornbread from the skillet. Either that or fried in the pan. Now here's the big question. Is your cornbread sweet or salty?

Michelle said...

Chinese bluegrass?! Rock on! Could that be anymore me?? (I mean, I'm half-Chinese and my Daddy - with a capital D - hails from Water Valley, Mississippi!)

And, yes, corn bread MUST be made in a cast iron skillet - even better if it's an 8-section skillet so you have the perfect wedges of cornbread.

And, ahhh, good ole Stuckey's. There's nothing like seeing the blue roof from the highway! Now, don't get me wrong, I don't have anything against Moon Pies or the Pecan Log, but I was more of a Stuckey's Sesame Sticks girl myself.

And, mmm, sweet tea. Southern sweet tea. Now, my Mamaw makes hers with saccharin tablets, but I prefer using a ton of regular ole sugar.

Thank you, Lula, for making my vomit-filled Monday (gotta love sick kids during the last week of school) all the more bearable!

Veggie Mom said...

And don't forget peanuts in your Coke and salt on your watermelon...or is that just a Texas tradition?

Michelle said...

And, just for the record (and this IS just my humble opinion), southern cornbread is not sweet, nor does it have a yellow cake-like consistency. :-)

Mama Dawg said...

Oh, Stuckey's. I have so many fond memories of big fat clove sticks (like peppermint sticks) from there. They came in a cellophane wrap and were oh, so delicious.

I grew up on sweet tea, but I can not stand it now. I've not drank sweet tea on purpose in about 20 years (and yes, I'm only 32). I just can't handle the sweet.

I'm a moon pie gal myself. Love the banana ones.

As for cornbread in a cast iron? Is there really any other way to make it? I mean, really?

Jen said...

that was really, really awesome! amazing what happens when people come together to make beautiful music.

Sara said...

Oh my word. I need a piece of cornbread, like right now. My mom has a 50-year old skillet my Nana used. No, I'm not kidding. Too bad it's in NC. Curse you, distance!

Em said...

I just had a sudden urge to clog.

Lord how I miss the South.

Would you mail me a kudzu leaf?

Dancing Phalanges said...

Oh em gee! Lula, that was too awesome! If this were a Rebecca Wells novel, you and I would so be Ya Ya's!

Don't smack me, but I personally like my tea unsweetened. My husband grew up in SC and GA, and he personally loves Sweet Tea, but ever since I gave up regular soda at the ripe old age of 15, I haven't been able to stomach sugary drinks.

To my in-laws credit, they have been able to get me hooked on Grits (with Bacon and Butter mixed in, of course).

I'm going to have to have someone track down a pecan log for me so I can investigate...

Amy said...

I love when you quote Steel Magnolias. I am embarrassed to say (although I live no where near the south) that I have never had those pies, never eaten any homemade cornbread, is sweet tea the same thing as ice tea? If so, I've got that one and I don't own a cast iron skillet. I hope you still love me. :)

ParentingPink said...

You rock southern gal! And so does STUCKY'S! On road trips as a kid, my parents would always stop there to get us Stuckey's Pecan Logs & Pralines! Now, whenever I see a Stucky's along the road (which is rare since they seem to be few & far between anymore)I stop with my girls. Guess I'm a true southern girl too!

Kat said...

Who knew that Southern post would generate such long comments??

Michael has always said that I am a Yankee in diguise. Because I was born in Florida...and that it doesn't count. I guess he would know, being from Boston.

I don't do sweet tea. Iced. All day. With sweetnlow. I don't do stuckey's. Or moon pies. And, I do love cornbread. But I don't own a cast iron skilled. And I don't care for any sort of country music. Or the twang of blue grass.

Do you think I'll be cast out? What if I made a mean batch of shrimp and grits? Would that save me?

Jenny and the Princess Peonies said...

Brilliant. All of it.

I was raised in the Southwest by a Southern woman and now I live in the Northwest. What does this make me?

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Angela said...

Love it! That sound takes me straight back to every county fair I've ever been to. AWESOME.

And, Amen on the cornbread. I don't know how to make it in any other pan. Seriously.

Tranquility said...

That was AWESOME!
Did you see the fingers of those women FLYING???

Marrdy said...

Forget the video (I really did watch it and it was great) but you had me at corn bread baked in cast iron...My Materinal Grandmother was Scotish..I'll go with that on the origins. This is one of my favorite foods in the world! Now I'm hungry.

Shannon said...

I think I'm going to be cast out with Kat.

'Cause I don't own a cast iron skillet. Nor do I like Stuckey's or Moon Pies.

I do, however, love sweet tea... dring it by the gallon! Will that redeem me?

Aleta said...

Ohhhhh sweet tea - I always thought it was served everywhere. I'm from New Orleans and if you don't have sweet tea, then shame on you. Lol.