I daresay any fine recipe used ... could have been attributed to a local lady, or her mother ... I often think to make a friend's fine recipe is to celebrate her once more, and in that cheeriest, most aromatic of places to celebrate in - the home kitchen.Eudora Welty, The Jackson Cookbook
to make a long story short, i'm feeling homesick today.
i had a dream in which my mammaw died. of course, this was not really a dream, as she's been gone for eight years as of august 14th.
sometimes keeping up with the anniversaries of the dead seems wrong, like i'm remembering something i ought to forget. i imagine the back of my calendar is littered with hanging chads, the numbers where the dates should be, punched through carelessly by death's unflinching hand.
august 14th, ruined forever.
so -- that brings me to my homesickness.
typically, when i am lonely for the real south, i go to sonic drive-in, or, as we call it, "the sonic." look, before you make fun of me, in my defense, i have many happy memories associated with the sonic. one of my only memories of mammaw driving was when she was heading to the sonic. when i was a little girl, mama would make me call in orders for the brown bag special. i made it through my senior year of college on sonic's value menu. we have a history.
the sadness brought on by the ugly black hole that was once august 14th -- well, let's just say it calls for drastic measures.
therefore, it is time for a southern food throw down.
every day leading up to august 14th, i am going to make something from scratch that reminds me of my home, which always has been and always will be mississippi.
on the menu for tonight: potato salad.
now, my mammaw's recipes were in her head. i don't know if she ever wrote a one of them down. she might've, but if she did, i'll likely never see them. i was so low on the totem pole at the time of her death that i had to settle for raiding her button jar. so, i am going to use the next best substitution: eudora welty.
isn't she lovely? my favorite southern writer, and a fitting substitute for the most wonderful lady i know.
i found this article, which i just adored. obviously, i am going to adore anything that exalts the south, namely mississippi, but i digress.
without further ado, i present:
eudora welty's recipe for potato salad
a quart of just-cooked, cut-up potatoes
3 chopped hard-cooked eggs
a whole green pepper, chopped fine
a couple of roasted red peppers chopped fine
6 strips of crisp bacon, chopped
a bunch of mayonnaise and mustard
salt and pepper
and, though i am a proud supporter of duke's mayonnaise, i cannot condone using store bought mayo in real southern potato salad. therefore, i made my own.
southern throw down mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
beautiful. mammaw would have been pleased as punch.
i am yet to get the potatoes and red peppers, unfortunately, so the complete outcome will have to wait. but for now, my mayo is chilling in the fridge, and i am going to read why i live at the p.o. before heading to the grocery.
i miss you, sarah lee tilghman, today and everyday.