I Now Call Him, Bubba!
My friend, Dave LaChapelle, who is now sharing my house with me. Is a simple man with simple tastes. He only eats the plainest of foods, which can be locally grown or raised. This is a result of growning up on a farm and working locally all his life. He has travelled little, never by plane or train. So at 84 he is not hard to please with regard for food. As long as it is meat and potatoes and vegetables, in season, or pickled vegetable, out of season. Bread is OK and he loves my muffins since they are similar to what his mother used to make. For Dave, like so many country people, the only exotic spice he uses is "catsup", the universal spice:)
He has never eaten grits or corn bread., Southern peasant food. I told him I would make him some for breakfast instead of muffins and hot oatmeal, his usual fare. It told him he would like it and if he did:. . . "Dave I will have to call you Bubba from now on.!"
SO I NOW CALL HIM BUBBA!! He is a French Canadian version of a country "good ol' boy.
Grits are a running joke of mine around here. You cannot buy them in the stores. My Floridian friend, Veronica brought me 25 pounds a year ago and I have been eating on this supply. Whenever I get to town i always check out the cereal section of the chain grocery stores. When I find no grits for sale I always say in a loud voice, "WHAT NO GRITS, WHAT KIND OF A GROCERY STORE IS THIS.". Being shy and not wanting to draw too much attention to myself, I say no more although I have been know to confront some young female cashier over the lack of grits in her store. (An old guy's way of flurting. I try to do it with a bit of a twinkle in my eye.)
Also, it is very hard to get stone ground cornmeal in Canada. The cornmeal is so refined it does not make good cornbread. While living in the US, I started making cornbread to feed those who dared to go camping with me. Now I have to depend on friends to bring me cornmeal from the States. Veronica, a year ago, also brought me 25 pounds of it , which I am still using.but supplies are running low. Hummm! maybe I need to get my brother to bring some from North Carolina when he comes for a visit to Toronto this summer. (make a note to Self!)
My first experience with grits and cornmeal was when I lived in Roxbury, the inner city black neighbourhood of Boston. As a minister in the area, I used to eat in a local store front restaurant, where I was always the only white patron. I got to know the owner and short order cook who told me what was going on in the community. The menu was limited in this restaurant so I most ofen got grits, cornbread, and smothered chicken. (Not the healthiest fare but it sure filled you up and "stuck to your ribs".) To make it special I sometimes got black eyed peas as well. Yumm! Perhaps, I should make Dave smothered chicken next. That would be a real adventure in eating for him. It is the Southern equivalent of poutine, the "haut cuisine" of French Canada. (For my American friends it is french fries with cheese curds smothered in gravy.) So disgusting looking, I have never been able to bring myself to eat it. Those that do say it is good.. . . . . .lots of calories and stuff the harden your arteries!
I must have been hungry to start this rant on food. Time to go for a cornbread muffin slathered in butter.