Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Home of the Fried, Land of the Brave

Yesterday I mentioned the disturbing trend that revealed itself when I downloaded the photos. Sure, there were plenty of photos of the beautiful countryside but many more of food. Unfortunately my photography discipline seemed to go out the window. I didn't have my camera with me at important food events. Although I will say that dinner guests get a bit freaked out when you're constantly snapping pics of the repast. Not to mention the weird stares when I'm taking shots of other people's food!

It's safe to say that we spent 8 days in The Land of the Fried and Home of the Brave. Traditionally southern food involves lots of frying and although it's not exactly what's considered healthy I know that my relatives ate this stuff every single day and lived to very ripe old ages. Of course they also worked hard in the fields and on the farm. A full day of picking cotton under the hot Florida sun will probably flush your arteries spotlessly clean.

Hurricane Ike rolled through shortly after we arrived and the power went out. We were in a part of Hot Springs Village that is always the last to have power restored. We had rented a condo with the thought that we wouldn't have to eat every meal out, but with no power and an electric stove we were soon trolling the countryside in an attempt to find restaurants that were electrified and open. The distances involved are not minor and this meant that right after eating breakfast we needed to hit the road again in search of somewhere to eat lunch. Heck, I felt like the Man Without a Country.

For dinner one evening we stopped at a family owned place called The Home Plate. Let the frying begin! I dined on chicken fried steak, fried okra, mashed potatoes and milk gravy. Seriously, good milk gravy is one of the four major food groups. Another one is pie.


This was the coconut meringue pie from Home Plate. I've had many a coconut cream, but coconut meringue was something new to me. It was OK, not a contender, not even close.

This was followed by fried green tomatoes at The Last Chance. They were great. The best I've had. I'm wanting some right now.

Fried pickles at Sonic filled in a lull in the action. Then there was fried green bean appetizer at Molly McGuire's Pizza place. They were great. The fried onion blossom at Outback was a bit greasy. It appeared that they had skipped the step where you allow the item to drain well.

I'm sure I've missed something but my mind is in a fog induced by the homemade strawberry ice cream I made today.

I hope you're not sick of food yet because tomorrow we're going to visit one of the country's premier barbecue joints and a place in Missouri that serves the most outrageous amount of food EVER.


Simple Answer said...

Fried pickles at Sonic!!!!! I was waiting for those to come back. Rats. Have some for me please.

Living on the Spit said...

Okay...totally yummy post. I had to laugh because as I am writing, a big blog of sausage gravy and biscuits hit my desk. Yes, the cream gravy kind. This was a great post!!!

lifeinredshoes said...

No fried ice cream? it's yummy.

StitchinByTheLake said...

Since you don't live here and I do I hate to even ask this question but where the heck is The Last Chance? I love fried green tomatoes! blessings, marlene

Chris said...

I have not had breakfast yet & I am drooling all over the keyboard!

Milk gravy over biscuits...yum! (As long as it doesn't taste like wallpaper paste, which is how most California restaurants make it.) I just make it at home, pork sausage on the side.

Okay, headin' for the kitchen now. Seriously!

Mrs Parks said...

Mmmmmm, coconut pie.......
I have never heard of milk gravy, off to Google it!

Karen said...

J keeps going on about milk gravy, even begging me to make it ... however, milk and gravy, as I know it, does not seem to jell in my Kiwi mind. Perhaps I should take a deep breath, google it and try my hand at making it.

Now, fried green tomatoes is an entirely different kettle of fish. I love them. Finding green tomatoes can be a bit of a problem though...

Louise said...

You know, I loved fried food, but there is a limit!

Disappointed that the pie was only OK. I love coconut cream, and that thing looks just divine!


Paige said...

Mmm fried pickles, I had them for lunch today. Hard to come by around here and when you find them they are always spears and not pickle slices like I like.

It never occurred to me that Sonic would have such a thing--probably not good huh?

belladella said...

Mmmmm! Oh, fried green tomatoes and fried pickles- heaven. I won't even get started on gravy!

Suzanne said...

S.A. - I'm sure there are no fried pickles in Jordan, but there's none in northern Illinois either. I can't figure out how to make them. The pickle slices are awfully wet and batter doesn't really stick to them. There must be a way to make them at home.

Living on the Spit - I'm going to need to do a sausage gravy tutorial soon. My biscuits aren't as light and fluffy as I'd like but I don't know the secret. Perhaps I'm handling the dough too much.

Life in Red Shoes - Sonic has a new "blast", it's called Fried Ice Cream Blast. Did I try one? No, because there are only so many hours in a day.

Marlene - Last Chance is the restaurant on the Marina in Hot Springs Village. It's near that earthen dam that makes me so nervous. I hate earthen dams.

CHris - There is a trick to milk gravy. When you mix the flour into the sausage drippings you must let the flour mixture cook for awhile before adding the milk, otherwise it taste wallpaper paste.

Mrs. Parks - The coconut pie was just OK. I hope you found some good Google info on milk gravy.

Karen - Milk gravy is basically a white sauce. Fried green tomatoes are awesome but like you said, probably a little difficult to find in Reno.

Louise - OH YEAH.....went to Lambert's. Got the video to prove it.

Paige - The fried pickle slices are far superior to the spears. Sonic has them on their menu as a side and they call them Pickle-O's!

Bella Della - Well, isn't Virginia south of the Mason-Dixon?? I would expect nothing less of you!!

Thanks everyone for visting with me today.

Merisi said...

"My photography discipline" - next time my family complains about food being served with delay, I know what to talk to my kids about, with a stern look! *chuckle*

Those fried green tomatoes, where they made with white corn meal? The best I ever had were served from a little window in a wall, at "Dollyville" in Tennessee.