I am getting full

There is too much of a good thing, I am discovering. Maybe I am just not cut out for marathon eating, although I am trying.

The first full day of the Southern Foodways Alliance Symposium has almost defeated me. I have a theory that when you are on a trip devoted to eating, you should try everything. I am re-examing that theory. I’m just going to skip telling you about breakfast in Greenwood, Mississippi. It was gut-busting. But I forgot to take photos since I am now in a semi-comotose state most of the time.

I arrive in Oxford, home of the Alliance at Ole Miss, to a mid-morning snack of boiled peanuts. Some people have textural issues with boiled peanuts, but I do not. I love them. I intend to eat only one or two, but one of the speakers is dragging on a bit and I absent mindedly consume almost the entire box. I discover that I can open them with one hand, thereby sparing myself the need of a napkin.

Not an hour later, it’s time for lunch. Lunch consists of a lovely menu of two types of tamales – one filled with kale and the other smoked quail  – refried black-eyed peas and sweet potato salad. Did I mention they sprinkled crackin’s over the tamales? They were delicious. I especially favored the sweet potato salad and polished off every speck of it.

For dessert we had a lovely butternut squash bread pudding with a hard sauce. I am not normally prone to eating dessert, but in the name of fully experiencing this event I ignore my usual instincts. After all, it’s only two hours from our next food opportunity.

We sit back down for more culinary presentations. There is a delightful young man who reads poems about tamales. At the break, we are told there are cookies for us.

I’m not sure I need a cookie, but of course I investigate the offering. It is a homemade butter cookie with lemon and rosemary in it. I think I should have just a bite. It melts in my mouth. When will I ever have such a cookie again? I eat it all.

The afternoon session ends and there is but a wee hour before cocktail time. I will spare you what the cocktail was. Well, no I won’t. Somebody thought it would be cute to serve rum and Coke with a special rum from Kelso, Tennessee, and old-fashioned bottled Coke. No one could have known that the very first drink I consumed at the inappropriate age of 15 was a rum and Coke. Which I promptly threw up and have never consumed again for more than 40 years. I carry the drink  around like a stinking dead fish as I investigate the appetizers.

The appetizers were prepared by Tandy Wilson of City House in Nashville. There were several delicious options but the one I want to make sure you are aware of was the diabolical peanut and mortadella grilled sandwich with fontina sauce. Basically, an extremely upscale fried baloney sandwich. I am ashamed to say I went back for seconds.

The night was not going to end there. Everyone boarded a bus to go eat fried catfish. But not me. No, not me. I was done. Completely spent. I felt slightly ashamed as I quietly crept out of the reception and lurched to the car, uncertain that I would be able to wedge myself behind the steering wheel.

Tomorrow we begin at 8 a.m. with ham and sweet potato biscuits. The horror.


Filed under snacks, Uncategorized

2 responses to “I am getting full

  1. Can you tell us more about the mortadella sandwich? How was the peanut incorporated? Was it peanut butter?
    Oh I can’t wait! I will be at next year’s symposium!!

    • the south in my mouth

      No peanut butter. He chopped up the peanuts so they were very fine but still crunchy. He grilled the mortadella and then topped it with the peanuts and the fontina cheese sauce. I thought of Elvis. Utterly delicious!

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