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

  • Local camp shapes Solana Beach youth into community leaders July 28, 2014
    After attending the inaugural La Colonia de Eden Gardens Youth Leadership Camp last year, Edgar Vergara was inspired to make positive change in Solana Beach’s Eden Gardens community. Along with other local teens, the 15-year-old co-founded the youth group La Colonia Changers and recently hosted a town hall forum on underage drinking. Passionate about making […]
  • Del Mar Union School District approves new contract for superintendent July 28, 2014
    The Del Mar Union School District Board July 23 approved the new contract for Superintendent Holly McClurg through June 30, 2018. Per the contract, McClurg’s annual salary will be $185,000 with an annual doctoral stipend of $10,000. She will receive a car allowance of $400 a month, 25 vacation days, health benefits and a retirement contribution of $700 a mon […]
  • Carmel Valley 5K and 10K to hit Gonzales Canyon trails in September July 28, 2014
    A new trail running race is coming to Carmel Valley this fall. Jeff Stoner of Del Mar’s Seasick Marketing visited the Carmel Valley Community Planning Board to update the board on the plans for the Carmel Valley Trail 5K and 10K Run, set to take place on Sept. 20. A portion of race proceeds will go toward the Challenged Athletes Foundation. […]