Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I Dare You

I dare you to read this without your mouth watering.

I’ve been busy recently with actual work, so here’s something someone else wrote. I know you’ll enjoy it. I suspect Dilliard wasn’t living in Missouri when he composed this paragraph. He was probably stationed overseas or something. I read it and I get nostalgic. And I want to drool.

So what’s your favorite part of this lovely paragraph?

First, though, the citation: From Irving L. Dilliard, “People and Character,” in Missouri: The WPA Guide to the “Show Me” State. Compiled by Workers of the Writer’s Program of the Work Projects Administration in the State of Missouri. 1941. Reprint, St. Louis: Missouri Historical Society Press, 1998, pp. 5–6.

Missouri’s eating is as good as it comes. Boone County ham steaks and red ham gravy, ham baked in milk, barbecued ribs and backbone, authentic country sausage and genuine head cheese; fried chicken and baked chicken and chicken pie and dumplings and chicken soup, eggs from the henhouse and bacon from the smokehouse; sauerkraut with squabs, and turnips with spareribs, spring greens from the yard and roadside, and green beans with fat pork—bush beans as long as they last and then long pole beans until frost. Missouri tables are loaded with dish on dish of berries—strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, floating in cream; with Jonathans, Grimes Goldens, Winesaps, Black Twigs, Delicious; apple pie, apple cobbler, apple strudel, baked apples and fried apples; homegrown tomatoes and watermelons and horseradish grown in the country’s horseradish center; an endless number of pickles, always including pickled peaches and “end-of-the-garden”; vast varieties of jellies and preserves; persimmons sweetened and whitened by frost; popovers, wheatcakes and honey, piping hot biscuits and melting butter and molasses; fruit shortcake always with biscuit dough; cornbread from yellow meal without so much as one grain of sugar.


SFerber said...

Hey that did make me hungry, and I just ate! Maybe not the head cheese though. It always seems like jello with meat scraps. Then again, I think that's what it is! Turnips and spareribs sounds really good. Subtle and spicy. Or biscuits and molasses--if I use the recipe for biscuits like my Grandma Bower made. They were the best.

Julie said...

So when's the last time you actually ate head cheese? I'm not sure I've ever had it. . . . Meanwhile, I'm curious about the statement about this being the "horseradish center" of the country. Now that's a revelation. Hmmmm.