The eating is good in Georgia

cooking-with-faye-1-feb-07-wilkes-co-ga-062.jpgI was standing out in the middle of a field on the farm yesterday morning as the sun was coming up, and the sky was glowing pink and I was breathing the warm Georgia wind, and the earth and bare trees and long grasses were holding me in a hammock of memory and history that I have never known, but that I could feel. It is something when the earth speaks to you. There is nothing to do but stand there and take it in. I cried when I left. I don’t know if it was the cat called Little Kitty that found her way to my lap and loved me even though I am a known cat shunner, the group of students I had who were all so full of life, or Miss Linda and her family and Miss Sandy who are such amazing pillars of family and work and love. I don’t know. But I feel honored to have been there and nourished.
I ate. We had an onion tart the last day with a whole pile of onions that had been thinly sliced and sauted in olive oil and butter and a good pinch of kosher salt and a bay leaf until they were golden brown inside and out, and then cooked a good two hours more with spoonfuls of homemade stock ladled in bit by bit. At the end I tossed in some crispy bacon and gave it a little drizzle of heavy cream before baking. We had a torta ripiene with cornmeal added to the pasta sfrolla. We stuffed it with thinly sliced prociutto cotto, fontina cheese, sauted and squeezed spinach, roasted red peppers, roasted eggplant, a skinny frittata and then sealed the edges with grated parmesan and a good egg wash. We had a spicy salad of baby bitter greens and a selection of stinky cheeses and dessert until it was not possible to eat another thing except a few chocolate orange slices, a sliver of fig and almond cake and candied ginger.
I didn’t leave without a little something Southern though. Miss Linda made homemade sausage, Miss Caroline and Miss Nancy took me to Big Chick for a fried chicken filet sandwich with tomato, onion, mustard, mayo and pickle, fried okra, fried sweet corn, and fried onion rings, and Mr. David went out to buy me two kinds of grits, and thick sliced country ham to fry so that I could make an honest breakfast when I got home.
You put all that together, and boom, before you know it, the cook is crying.

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