Monday, August 22, 2005

Dinner with Oetzi?

I was asked by Anne Bramley, the brilliant host and creator of EatFeed, the very best food podcast you'll come across, to answer a few interesting questions for the EatFeed website as part of their future "Featured Listener" section. When everything is posted there, I'll let you know. In the meantime, here's a sampling:

Q: If you could travel back in time for a meal, where and when would you go?

A: During the filming of "Inherit the Wind" Katharine Hepburn cooked Spencer Tracy his favorite meal, which is said to have been salad, grilled steak and a hot fudge sundae. I've read that Mae West used to rehearse her vaudeville act in her mother's basement with her future husband and co-star Frank Wallace, and when they'd finish, she'd serve them pig knuckles with sauerkraut. And advances in science have determined -- so they say -- that the last food eaten by the 5,000 year old Iceman found frozen in the Alps consisted of red deer meat, wild grasses and unleavened bread.

None of these are the most interesting meals, perhaps. But, imagine the company.


K said...

In answer to the question…

If you could travel back in time for a meal, where and when would you go?

I would love to go back in time, maybe about ten or fifteen years and have one more dinner in Atlanta at my granny’s house. This would be at a time when my mom was in good health and my sweet little granny still knew who we were. I can see the kitchen counter filled with dishes of fried chicken, fried okra, green beans, squash casserole, mac & cheese, turnip greens, slaw and so many other sides it would make your head swim and of course, a pan of biscuits. Ah, to have one more of my granny’s biscuits! Never was anyone able to get everything on one plate, which, of course, is a good reason to go back for seconds. My granny had to have at least three to four desserts on the buffet table and everyone always hoped there would be her wonderful coconut cake.

I would love to go back just one more time, being aware of my mom’s death and soon my grandmother’s, and really focus on the moment, the people and what a wonderful family we had. Those days are gone but in no way forgotten. I can still see my granny running to the porch, arms open wide saying..”Come give Granny a kiss.” God, what I wouldn’t give to hear those words again…and to have a piece of that wonderful fried chicken!

Lee Houck said...

I think about those meals, too. All the time I think about them. So much of my childhood, my love of food now, is rooted in those incredible meals, where the food never really began or ended, it just always was, continuous and overwhelming. And I have always been happy to know that hunger is a renewable resource.

I think part of what made those events so special, so memorable now, is that when we were sitting down to eat those beyond-the-realm-of-possibilities-perfect buscuits, in our minds, we thought there would always be buscuits. At least I did. Maybe because I was a child I couldn't see far enough into the future, to see the oxygen tubes and the nursing homes, but I never considered that there would be anything less.

So, that's the way I want to remember those days. I fear that were I to go back one more time, it would all be too much to bear.

Thanks for the post. Miss you!

K said...

Hey, your mom’s biscuits are a pretty good match for Granny’s. She is the last of the family biscuit makers, unless she teaches me. She has also mastered mom’s dressing recipe too. We need her to write down how she does both so at least we can say we have some kind of a recipe of sorts if we need it.

Miss you too Lee. Be cool, stay safe and know I love you!

P.S. Why do you spell biscuits, buscuits? Is that the way it is spelled in all those fancy grocery stores you go to?

Just wondered……..

Lee Houck said...

Yes, my mom can make some good ones, though she always says, "Well, I just...they're not as good as Mother's." But they're close enough.

I spell it that way because it's one of those words that I actually have to concentrate to spell correctly. So, in this case, I spelled it wrong.

Oh well.

MotherTisa said...

Nutritionists have ruined it for me, though, as I can't bring myself to scoop up a fist full of Crisco and then eat the heart-stopping products that come out at the end, regardless of how perfectly delicious they are. I eat a biscuit from Hardee's or Bojangles now and then because they are the best "fast food" biscuits and I just have to have one sometimes. Granny will be 90 in another week, and she has been eating biscuits for at least 89 of those years, most of which were made with lard that came from the pig her daddy slaughtered. Hmmm.

I won't give up dressing for any amount of calories saved. I learned to make it before my mom got too sick to teach me, and since I make it only a couple of times a year, I look forward to a big pile with lots of giblet gravy covering the top. My older son is learning how to make it, too, because he can't stand to move away and not have dressing when he wants it. We'll make a pan of dressing together when I see him at Thanksgiving. I'm counting the days, not the calories.