Georgia On My Mind

April 30th, 2019 § 0 comments

HG/BSK will be in Atlanta in June for what promises to be a festive wedding and family gathering. Gourmand HG is sad that the visit will be brief. Atlanta has become a great cosmopolitan restaurant town with cuisines ranging from Japanese to inventive French and down-home southern. HG made his first visit to Atlanta some 74 years ago. Far left young HG (political thinking hasn’t changed over the years) found the “White” and “Colored” segregation signs shocking. Even more disturbing was HG’s sight of a chain gang in striped uniforms laboring under the hot sun. HG was in the then provincial city visiting HG’s brother, Bernard, and wife, Shirley (both deceased). HG would assist Bernard in his optometry practice (arranging frames, etc.). At lunch, HG developed a fondness for native Georgia cuisine prepared by African-American cooks. A favorite was Brunswick Stew. The stew was tomato based and contained pork, corn, okra, butter beans, other vegetables and a melange of spices. Served with cornbread and doused with hot sauce. Icy lemonade was the drink. Sublime. Sadly, Brunswick Stew has never traveled north, not even on Harlem menus (possibly, this has changed during this new Harlem rebirth). HG also liked the Atlanta cafeterias that offered “meat and three sides.” Old time southerners believed Brunswick Stew wasn’t authentic unless it contained “something that run by.” Namely, squirrel, rabbit or possum. James Beard has a recipe for Squirrel Brunswick Stew in one of his cookbooks. HG will pass.

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