…I thought I’d post this picture of the seitan I made and wrote about a couple of weeks ago.
I wanted to show that delicious, healthy food can look just as unappetizing as the artery-clogger I posted on Friday. This is my seitan, right before getting sliced and tossed into a yummy stir-fry. Sorta like skinless chicken breasts, which also look pretty nasty, especially to chickens.
If anyone is interested in the recipe, leave a comment or send me an email and I’ll write it out for you. I combined a bunch of recipes, added some ingredients, forgot to add some others, and it came out great.
I do have a couple of southern vegan/vegetarian cookbooks: Cookin’ Southern Vegetarian Style and a really neat split cookbook: Hot Damn and Hell Yeah/The Dirty South Cookbook. They are both filled with tasty recipes. Big Bubba Tofu in the Trailer Park Specials section is living proof that grease and salt are not just the provenance of the meat and potatoes set.
But Southern cooking is a lot more than barbequed rodents and chicken-fried tofu. If you drive along a country road in the south you’ll pass cotton fields, tobacco barns, then a Free Will Baptist church. More cotton fields, then the Pentecostal church. Tobacco and another Baptist. And so on.
Southern cooking is covered-dish lunches and suppers at these little country churches. (I know, it’s not just a Southern thang, but since we’re here….)
I got to experience real Southern cooking and hospitality during the middle of NaNoWriMo. It was a glorious clear, warm fall day and my little church choir drove a couple of hours to sing at a tiny Universalist Church that was celebrating its 125 years as “an oasis of liberalism in a desert of orthodoxy.”
What an understatement. In the church foyer, looking like the Smith Bros. cough drop box, hung two pictures of the founding ministers, side by bearded side. One had served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War, while the other had fought for the Union, indicating from the get-go “the congregation’s willingness to embrace diversity of opinion and outlook.”
After the service, we went out back where picnic tables were piled high with the most amazing assortment of dishes: fried chicken, chicken and dumplings, fried okra, fried tomatoes, succotash, Crowder peas, baked beans, mashed potatoes, hush puppies, fruit salad, collards, green beans, ham, cornbread, biscuits and gravy, all waiting to be washed down with big pitchers of sweet tea.
While we ate, the kids played hide and seek in the ancient church graveyard next to the picnic tables. Birds sang, the sun shone, leaves rustled in the breeze. Time was…timeless.
Then we moved on to the dessert table, and Lordy, Lordy!! Pecan pie, chocolate pecan pie, red devil cake, lemon squares, cherry pie, chocolate cream pie.
Yeah, I had two slices of the made-from-scratch 7-Up pound cake. It was awesome.
And that is Southern cooking. Enjoy, y’all.