I’m flying to Georgia tomorrow to teach. I haven’t been to Georgia since I fell in love with the preacher’s son when I was 17, and he was living in Augusta to go to school. The preacher’s son and I didn’t get along that well afer a while, but he stole my heart there for a minute, and I loved Georgia. I had some of the best food I’ve ever had, barbecue and beautiful biscuits and cakes that weren’t fooling around, and were the definition of tenderness. I am hoping that the menu that I put together will do justice. I seem to have a way of marching myself into places where my only tangible connection is an old boyfriend that came from there, and thinking that’s enough to give me the right to teach people how to cook. The thing is, it can help. When you really fall in love, you fall in love with the whole thing, the whole package–be it man or country–and if it’s a man, then it’s who the man is and where he comes from, how the man smells, how he speaks, his touch and the food that makes him who he is. And so that your heart doesn’t break into bits when you leave him, you memorize all of that, and if you love him enough, it becomes forever a part of you, in one way or another. I know that sounds like some kind of bad B horror movie that they wouldn’t even put on television, but it’s the truth. And I have memorized just a little bit of Georgia and locked it into my DNA somewhere.
Solid cooking skills get you just so far.
Here are two of the menus I’m taking with me:
To start: waldorf salad with a homemade lemon mayonnaise, pate with bruschetta
black eyed peas
Dessert: Stacked crepes with strawberries and fresh cream
And I always take some Italy everywhere I go:
Starter: Fresh pea, mint and mascarpone frittata
Dinner: Oven roasted artichokes with lemon zest, garlic puree and parsley
Pan Seared salmon with papa al pommodoro
Roasted asparagus with fresh fennel and nicoise olives