So fine. I admit it. I'm a bone buryin', floppy eared, sometime leg-humpin', always sittin' under the table waitin' for scraps 'hound. I'm cool with that. I've been makin' food since the first time Mommy and Daddy "had new friends". Hell, I didn't even know they were the "old friends" back then. "C'est La Vie", eh, Chuck? Tune up the Gibson ES-350 - I can play a lick or two.
That bein' said, I am pretty,* as the twerkers say it, "old school", 'bout some things. I make barbecue they way I discovered it. I use the biggest cuts I can lay paws on. I cut logs with a chain saw and split pieces with an axe. I mix woods according to the meat. I modulate "temprtur" based upon humidity and wind direction. I measure time in beers consumed. Shit, I believe in alchemy, magic, and the power of the old gods. I find comfort in the sound of storm surf.
I still make pierogi with a couple tablespoons of yogurt in the dough - like Gammy did it. I make my leckvar filling with Polish brandy, some raisins, and prunes with pits, 'cause that's the way the old widows at St. Mary's in South River did it. "And, Hell, Son", that's the traditional way my original namesake liked 'em. Sh*t, I even still hold to the dogma that "OUR LORD" has some bug up his ass about not tastin' the pierogi filling with any meat in it when you put it together on Christmas Eve. Seasons Greetings, but get your seasonings right the first time!
Now, every summer, I grow lots of stuff in the garden I made outta the first part of my front lawn. Tomatoes**, chiles, herbs, eggplant, etc. But, I've never learned to pickled or can. While I'll preserve peppers in sauce or the freezer, I am truly "hat's off" to those who preserve Nature's Bounty. In fact, that's the kinda lost art I'm thinkin' about. Man, I read them "pickling" posts with a grin across my three day old stubble. Heartwarming (with a tinge of jealousy)!
So, please, my beloved 'hound friends, tell me 'bout the ways you carry the torch. Did you have a grandmother who had a secret latke fryin' fat combination you hold fast to? Do you say a prayer over your Christmas roast in a lost language? Take your bobka to get blessed by the parish priest?*** Do you still circumvent the science of an electric smoker for the glory of the blue smoke? Do you still bury kimche in the yard? Do you still use real pineapple and coconut for your pina colada? (By the way, this is a fun track: http://brushfirerecords.com/blog/cate... - Just scroll down a tad to the Walter Mitty screen) Do you still believe in the Spirit of Santa or the Power of the Full Moon? Do you hold to traditions no matter what "improvements" have been disclosed, even if it's simply borne out of tribute?
*Please read on, 'cause ain't many ladies who see this grizzard scowl as "pretty" unless it saves 'em from an even nastier lookin' ol' wolf.
**I live a half mile from the Atlantic after all.
***My Great Aunt Olga did this. She never wrote a recipe. Her cheese bobka was so good that folks fought over the toasted Easter leftovers 'til Memorial Day. Her son let me look through her "cookbooks" which yielded no information besides how many bottles of Canadian Club her husband bought between 1964 and 1968.