A friend of a friend contacted me about a month ago about this cooking blog and said he loved what I was doing. He liked my passion for cooking and my dedication to making good food. Soon, with our shared interest in the stuff we put in our tummies, we became foodie friends. He told me about a website he and some fellow foodies were thinking of creating - a website dedicated to southern food and southern food culture - and asked if I wanted to be a part of it: The Hungry Southerner.
Funny thing is that even though I lived in the south (GA & TN) for five years, and am married to the most incredibly gorgeous Tennessean, I am nothing like a southerner. I might have good manners and love college football, but I lack a certain twang and craving for rich food. I don't like fried chicken, sausage gravy, or okra - not because it is yucky, frankly because my stomach can't handle it.
I am 100% Yankee, born and raised in Connecticut, and hold onto my Nutmeg State heritage like it is a piece of platinum gold. Ask my husband - I used to get mad when people said I was starting to pick up a bit of an accent. I proudly tell anyone I encounter that I am from the North. I LOVE being from New England and everything associated with that particular region of the country involving food - lobster rolls, clam bakes in a handmade stone grill or a hole dug on the beach, New Haven pizza, cookouts (not bbqs), bagels and omelettes for breakfast (not grits), and so on. I am also half Irish/half Italian - and my palette is more drawn towards pastas than a big juicy slab of beef.
With all of that being said, I asked my friend how I could contribute to THS. He said he thought it would be great if once a month I attempted a southern meal - this attempt in the form of a Yankee Challenge. All I had to do was make the dish, take some pictures, feed someone other than myself, and blog about my experience. I am always up for a challenge, for I think I can follow any kind of recipe, so I quickly and happily accepted my friend's invitation to be a part of The Hungry Southerner.
I was welcomed to the southern foodie gang with open arms and a sweet intro on the website - Meet the Yankee. Then I was prompted with my first dare...take on a BIG southern breakfast...my first thought was, "OH BOY....what the heck have I gotten myself into??"
Now you may wonder why I am so nervous after stating that I can cook anything.
I think I can cook anything ....but a southern breakfast...
The hungry southerner that will be eating my buttermilk biscuits, eggs, thick cut bacon, stone ground grits, and skillet gravy is MY HUSBAND. The man who was raised eating his MawMaw's famous southern breakfast atleast four times a week. From the first Sunday he brought me to her kitchen, on a ginormous farm in Tennessee, he's told me there is no breakfast better than MawMaw's. Her biscuits & gravy, or her fried potatoes and bacon, no one can compete with her. No one has ever been able to even come close to making anything as delicious as her.
And now I have to cook some of the same things she's known for cooking... and hope that he likes it or I will feel like I've failed my first Yankee Challenge. My husband won't hold back - he will tell me if my gravy is too runny or if my bacon is too soft.
Sunday is the big day... and I'll be posting all about my experience on The Hungry Southerner next week.
Wish me luck! And follow me on Twitter throughout the challenge...
Because I am sure going to need it...