Saturday, August 11, 2012

Good Old Fashioned Southern BBQ {and a SPECIAL request!}

If you are reading this, you may very likely be a blogger and you may very likely understand how bloggers' relationships work and how we can inspire and encourage each other.  Friends are awesome in many ways, but blogging gives you a real insider look into something sometimes that you just don't necessarily get with friends.  Are you feeling me?
These two kook-a-poodles are seriously sleeping like this...they have always slept like puppies together ;-)

I had never, ever had any desire to do a road trip.  Ten plus hours stuck in a car with other people, no thank you.  I had an opportunity to drive to New Orleans for Mardi Gras in college and passed on it.  Even going to the lake - 4 hours away - is something I dread.  Washington, D.C. is three hours from us and the ride just turns me off (although we did do it two years ago).  But...lately flying has made me a little anxious... and so many of my bloggie buddies take road trips to Chicago, Tennessee, Louisiana, etc. that I decided we should give it a try.  

a BIG plus of going on a road trip was getting to bring Oliver
Jason's original idea for our vacation was to drive to Louisiana and stop in little local hole-in-the-wall restaurants that got good ratings along the way.  But I just could not fathom 20 hours on the road.  When some homeschool friends of ours went to Tybee Island, Georgia and posted some photos--we decided it was the perfect destination for us...beach + culture!  

One of Jason's requests was to try some real, authentic, good old-fashioned Southern BBQ.  Not side of the road, not tourist-trap Southern BBQ...but the real deal.  He did his homework and found Doug Sauls' BBQ and let me just say, if you are ever in or around Nashville, North sure to stop in and say hello to Doris and order yourself some of their fried chicken!  (oh, and I don't even eat fried food or chicken on the bone...and I will dream about this fried chicken for the rest of my tender, so juicy and so much taste...I don't know what they do to it!)

This Yankee was in for quite the surprise when we got there.  Piper had to use the restroom after 7 hours in the car.  She and I headed to the picnic table area, thinking that was where you go in.  We walk in and there is no air conditioning, just a fan, flies flying around and watermelons all over the floor.  No menus or board telling you what they offer.  I was a little panic stricken--I had NO IDEA what to do with this!  There were people sitting on a bench, waiting for their food and they all smiled at me and one gentleman tipped his hat at us...and I thought, "Toto, we are not in Kansas anymore."  Smiling and hat tipping does not occur where we live, most people try not to make eye contact for some stupid reason.

When we got out of the bathroom, Jason told me we were going to go to the dining room to eat, this was just the take-out area.  I'll be honest with y'all (hope you don't take offense to this Northerner saying y'all) I was ready to high-tail it out of there.  This was just a little too much culture shock for a person who is not used to their food coming out of huge metal tubs.

But my husband, whose idea of a vacation is trying "the local flavor" was grinning like a pig in you-know-what.  Scratched linoleum floor, men in t-shirts with suspenders, flies buzzing around...this was PERFECT!

The woman at the counter, Doris, could not have been nicer.  I walked up and nervously spit out, "I'm from New Jersey and I have no idea what to do here, but we want to try some good, old-fashioned Southern BBQ."

"Well, sugah," Doris reassured me.  "You came to the right place."

Doris helped us order and made sure we got a little of everything: pulled pork! fried chicken! collards! black eyed peas! cole slaw!

Heavenly Hush Puppies

Oh and hush puppies...Allie and Piper quickly became enamored of hush puppies and went on a mission to try them everywhere we went!  I think you could visibly see the girls and I relax when we saw and tasted the hush puppies.

good old-fashioned Southern BBQ
 To you that plate above may look like picnic food...but that is not the kind of picnic food us wine-and-cheese eating Northerners can get often.  And believe me, I may be a food snob, but wine and cheese ain't got nothin' on Southern Barbecue!

On my list was trying Sweet Tea, which all you Southerners are always yammering on about.  I will say, I don't "do" sugar...but Sweet Tea was really good...not too sweet, not too was something I could see myself sipping while sitting on one of your porches with the ceiling fan going while we listen to the cicadas...gosh!  I love the South!  Any of y'all got room for me??

The Special Request...
OK, my Southern friends, I need a real favor do you make collards?  We don't have them here, but I did find a grocery about 30 miles away that sells them and I bought I need to know how to cook them...chicken broth, ham do you do it????