Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!
It's been a while since my last entry. I've been busy with the holidays. My guy and I came home to the south for a little Southern Christmas hospitality.
It has been my experience that Christmas in New York and Christmas in the South are two very different experiences. Since I am a Southern girl I have certain expectations of what the Holiday season should be like. Since this has been my second Christmas in New York, I've been able to see some of the differences between the "North"and "South."
In the South there is lots of cooking; cooking of recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation of women. I have delicious childhood memories of my Mother, Grandmother, and Great-grandmother all in the kitchen cooking cakes, pies, and cookies. Each one giving her own opinion of how sift the flour, or stir the batter, or whether or not the baking soda should be cold or room temperature. As a child I remember wondering what the difference was and why was it worth arguing over, but to these Matriarchs of my family, it was of the greatest importance. As an adult, I now find myself defending and arguing over the process at which these women spent so much time.
My experience in the North (particularly people in the city) has been that when people spend time visiting with friends or family, as we do in the South, they order their dishes from the local deli or pastry shop. Instead of arguing over recipe secrets, they argue over which has found the best deli or pastry shop. They make reservations at delicious restaurants hidden in tucked away corners of the city. They pride themselves on getting reservations at hard to reserve restaurants. They argue over the best italian cuisine instead over the best fried chicken.
In the South we tease that Northerners are gruff and harsh, just as they tease that we are stubborn and slow. But I have learned that so many people in the North are warm and friendly even if they do have a rougher exterior than what I am accustomed to. So many people up here have been so helpful and kind. When the temperatures drop, the holiday spirit rises. There's a smell in the air of pine, and mistletoe and cheer. The strange thing is that same smell makes its way into the South at this time of year as well. Maybe its a coincidence, maybe its the season. Maybe its the Reason for the Season.
I love my family and I love how intergrated food is into the Southern culture. A family or family gathering is defined by the food that is served there. It is essential to setting the mood of any event by what is served and how it is prepared. It seems though, that whether you labor in the kitchen or labor over which deli to patronize every dish is selected and gathered with love.
For those Northern city women who may read this entry I must beg your forgiveness as I have simply expressed the humble opinion of a Southern Girl in the Big City.