Kiss my southern and northern grits this Memorial Day

Let’s come to the table and have a good ol’ non-partisan Memorial Day picnic! My contribution is a blending of the regional cuisines from Maine to Mississippi.

Catherine L. Kaufman

Catherine L. Kaufman

Cocktails anyone?

Southern comfort starts with a tall, icy glass of Alabama sweet tea, a classic Mint Julep or a tumbler of Swamp Water mixing apricot brandy, lime vodka and lemonade.  Northerners whet their whistles with handcrafted brewskis and cocktails, iced teas and lemonades sweetened with seasonal simple syrups, such as blood orange and elderflower.

Now for the vittles

If Paula Dean met Bobby Flay and Julia Child, this is what you might get: Start with the BBQ sauce: make it Champagne vinegar, tomato- or Dijon mustard-based, or a combo thereof. Next comes pulled pork, mutton or shredded chicken smoked with sassafras and hickory, smothered in caramelized onions, roasted red peppers and fried green heirloom tomatoes on a seedy baguette. Consider braised buffalo ribs with a side of tart apple and red cabbage slaw. Or how about a plate of soul spaghetti: a casserole of dishrag noodles, tomatoes, and ground, grass-fed sirloin. Or a burger swabbed in mustard and gin sauce. Or deep-fried paprika-spiced chicken enveloped in flaky puff pastry with braised mustard greens in Grand Marnier sauce.

For your just desserts

Southern belles will serve a peach crème brulee, pecan and bittersweet chocolate pie with Amaretto whipped cream, and banana pudding with raspberry drizzle.

Flowing northward along the Mississippi River

(If that’s possible), northerners would contribute a whole different kettle of fish to a Memorial Day feast. Think Clambake on the beach, a culinary project everyone can pitch in to complete, especially for the assemblage of ingredients including lobster, ears of corn, clams (little neck or soft shell), blue mussels, bliss potatoes and onions. Don’t forget drawn butter and tools of the trade – cracking pliers, narrow forks and bibs.

Clam “chowdah” comes in three versions – New England with a cream base, Rhode Island a clear broth, and Manhattan a tomato-based broth. Cod is big in these parts. Try it grilled, poached or served fajita or taco-style. Traditional Boston Baked Beans can be jazzed-up with crumbled applewood bacon and a splash of sherry.

For sweet endings, apples (especially Lady and Pippin), cranberries and maple syrup are the raw materials for great northern desserts. Try baked apples drenched in cinnamon and maple syrup, apple cranberry cobblers or maple fudge.

Some authentic Civil War treats included, Hospital Gingerbread served to lift the spirits of wounded solders, applesauce cookies, Lincoln cake, and an “Idiot’s Delight” even a neophyte cook couldn’t spoil — a deep-dish of dumplings floating in rich cinnamon-raisin sauce.

This Memorial Day, like the Biden’s, who are honoring the troops with a patriotic shindig at their home, open yours for a feast celebrating the hospitality of the south and single-pot colonel cookery of the north.

Carolina Coleslaw

1 head cabbage, finely shredded

1 bell pepper, diced

1 sweet onion, diced

2 carrots, grated

1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, grated

3/4 cup brown sugar (adjust to taste)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2/3 cup grapeseed or canola oil

1 teaspoon celery seed

1 cup apple cider vinegar

Directions: In a large mixing bowl, combine the veggies and apple. In a saucepan on low, combine the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil. Simmer until sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally. Toss over slaw, cover and chill.

Northern-style Roasted Corn

12 ears corn, husks remaining

1/4 cup softened butter, equal parts olive oil

Kosher salt and cracked pepper to taste

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons fresh thyme or herb of choice

Directions: Prepare gas grill with cover closed. Remove the outer husks, leaving the inner ones. Peel back, removing the silks. In a mixing bowl, combine the remaining ingredients, and brush on the kernels. Cover the cobs with the husks, place on the fire, turning frequently until tender, about 8 minutes. Discard husks and serve with extra oil mixture.

Related posts:

  1. Has Mango Mania worked its magic at your house?
  2. Market in La Jolla hosts month of special fun for foodies
  3. Globally, Mother’s Day breakfasts are all a sweet treat
  4. Hooray for spring fever, April festivals … and the foods they fancy
  5. The Kitchen Shrink: It’s easy to trick your senses with April Fools’ Foods!

Short URL:

Posted by Staff on May 26, 2011. Filed under Columns, Editorial Columns, Food, Kitchen Shrink, Life. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

La Jolla Community Calendar


Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6

RSS North Coastal News

  • ‘Downton Abbey’ Spring Tea to be held by Del Mar Community Connections April 18, 2014
    All things “Downton Abbey”— from ‘20s tunes to exotic teas — will be featured as Del Mar Community Connections holds its annual spring tea on Wednesday, April 23, at St. Peter’s Parish Hall, 324 14th St., Del Mar. The 2-4 p.m. event includes music from the “Downton” era performed by entertainers “Janet and Jay” and piano music provided by Lori Ritman, who al […]
  • Week in sports for Carmel Valley, Solana Beach and Del Mar April 18, 2014
    Cathedral Catholic extended its winning streak to 11 games as the Dons opened Western League play with a 7-2 victory over Patrick Henry on April 9. The victory followed a 7-4 nonleague win against Mater Dei Catholic two days earlier. Will Law had three hits including a home run and a double and drove in four runs to lead the Dons in the Patrick Henry game. […]
  • Man pleads guilty in fatal Del Mar hit-and-run case April 17, 2014
    A man who drove drunk and struck a marine biologist in a crosswalk in Del Mar, then fled the scene, pleaded guilty April 16 to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and a hit-and-run allegation. Christopher ``Chip’’ Stockmeyer, 41, faces between nine and 15 years in prison when he is sentenced June 20 for the March 28 death of Rachel Morrison. […]