Sunday, February 10, 2013


Yesterday was a big day around here. My father-in-law's 60th birthday is coming up, so we held a celebration, which involved lots of family and lots of pie! He's a big fan of pie, so we baked up a variety of kinds and had a nice little get-together with the whole crew. (I made a key lime pie and a mixed berry crumble pie -- delicious, if I may say so myself!) Having gotten up bright and early to start baking, and having been in party mode all day, I was exhausted last night. CW and I had a nice lie-in this morning, and when I finally rolled myself out of bed, I was determined to keep today a low-key day. So, I put the makings for a vegetable soup into the Crock Pot (or, what I like to call "My Personal Chef") and just let it stew for the day.

When it got to be supper time, I decided that we needed some cornbread to eat with the soup, so I whipped up a batch in my well-loved, kind of ancient cast iron skillet. While it was cooking, I brewed a batch of "sweet tea" (AKA "iced tea"). I realized that I have been down here in the South long enough that I am beginning to "acculturate." Making tea and cornbread seemed like a perfectly natural accompaniment for the soup -- there was no question in my mind that meal demanded it. Cornbread was a rarity to me growing up, especially the kind that they make here in the South. I am fairly sure I had some version of it as a kid, but mostly when I used to think of cornbread I thought of a kind of round loaf we used to buy that happened to contain some cornmeal. It was bubbly and chewy, but more like loaf of artisan sandwich bread than the soft, crumbly skillet bread that is made down here.

I was plenty familiar with tea growing up, but to me "tea" is hot tea, served with milk and sugar. If you ask for tea down here, you will be given a tall glass of incredibly saccharine clear black tea served over ice. I'm still not quite Southern enough to drink proper "sweet tea," which is sweet enough that it sets my teeth on edge! But a tall glass of not-too-sweet tea is an incredibly refreshing drink, and I have developed quite a liking for it.

The whole point of this story is that it is amazing to me how quickly you can reorder your "world view" and become used to a different way of doing things and a new sense of "normal". I'm still a Canuck at heart, but after nearly 8 years, and many batches of cornbread and glasses of sweet tea (oh, and the best barbecue I've ever tasted), I feel like I can begin to call myself a Southerner-in-the-making. This dual sense of identity is a nice feeling -- the anthropologist in me loves it!


  1. Hold on there, my Dear! Time for Mum to ship you some xxx rated maple syrup to top your Canuckness up! That Southern stuff is all well and good, but you cannot beat a good bannock cooked on a camp fire , and then dipped into maple syrup. It is a lovely finish to a good old meal of moose and a salad of dandelion greens!��

  2. Oh, agreed! I am merely expressing my happiness at being a "citizen of the world" (or of North America, at least) -- thoroughly enjoying experiencing a variety of tasty local treats and ways of doing things. But, if you really feel the need to ship me a barrel of maple syrup, I sure won't complain! ; )

  3. : ) I don't think I could give up metric (speed & temp & volume). That would feel like traveling back in time. Nice to find your blog by the way! : )

    ~Monika Out & About in Saskatoon

    1. Monika, I'm with you: I haven't been able to give up metric! I still don't understand these crazy "miles" and "degrees Fahrenheit." Still, it's kind of fun to have a foot in each camp. Thanks for stopping by my blog! I've added you to my blog list, too -- I always enjoy finding new craft-related blogs to read.