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Friday, August 27, 2010

" I've Learned"

I've learned that you cannot make someone love you. All you can do is be someone who can be loved. The rest is up to them.

I've learned - that no matter how much I care, some people just don't care back.

I've learned - that it takes years to build up trust, and only seconds to destroy it.

I've learned - that it's not what you have in your life but who you have in your life that counts.

I've learned - that you can get by on charm for about fifteen minutes. After that,you'd better know something.

I've learned - that you shouldn't compare yourself to the best others can do but to the best you can do.

I've learned - that it's not what happens to people that's important. It's what they do about it.

I've learned - that you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.

I've learned - that no matter how thin you slice it, there are always two sides.

I've learned - that it's taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.

I've learned - that it's a lot easier to react than it is to think.

I've learned - that you should always leave loved ones withloving words. It may be the last time you see them.

I've learned - that you can keep going long after you think you can't.

I've learned - that we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.

I've learned - that either you control your attitude or it controls you.

I've learned - that regardless of how hot and steamy a relationship is at first, the passion fades and there had better be something else to take its place.

I've learned - that heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.

I've learned - that learning to forgive takes practice.

I've learned - that there are people who love you dearly, but just don't know how to show it.

I've learned - that money is a lousy way of keeping score.

I've learned - that my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time.

I've learned - that sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you're down will be the ones to help you get back up.

I've learned - that sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.

I've learned - that true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance.
Same goes for true love.

I've learned - that just because someone doesn't love you the way you want them to doesn't mean they don't love you with all they have.

I've learned - that maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had
and what you've learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you've celebrated.

I've learned - that you should never tell a child their dreams are unlikely or outlandish. Few things are more humiliating, and what a tragedy it would be if they believed it.

I've learned - that your family won't always be there for you. It may seem funny,
but people you aren't related to can take care of you and love you and teach you to trust people again. Families aren't biological.

I've learned - that no matter how good a friend is, they're going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.

I've learned - that it isn't always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself.

I've learned - that no matter how bad your heart is broken the world doesn't stop for your grief.

I've learned - that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are,
but we are responsible for who we become.

I've learned - that sometimes when my friends fight, I'm forced to choose sides even when I don't want to.

I've learned - that just because two people argue, it doesn't mean they don't love each other And just because they don't argue, it doesn't mean they do.

I've learned - that sometimes you have to put the individual ahead of their actions.

I've learned - that we don't have to change friends if we understand that friends change.

I've learned - that you shouldn't be so eager to find out a secret. It could change your life forever.

I've learned - that two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.

I've learned - that no matter how you try to protect your children, they will eventually get hurt and you will hurt in the process.

I've learned - that there are many ways of falling and staying in love.

I've learned - that no matter the consequences, those who are honest with themselves
get farther in life.

I've learned - that no matter how many friends you have, if you are their pillar you will feel lonely and lost at the times you need them most.

I've learned - that your life can be changed in a matter of hours by people who don't even know you.

I've learned - that even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you, you will find the strength to help.

I've learned - that writing, as well as talking, can ease emotional pains.

I've learned - that the paradigm we live in is not all that is offered to us.

I've learned - that credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.

I've learned - that the people you care most about in life are taken from you too soon.

I've learned - that although the word "love" can have many different meanings, it loses value when overly used.

I've learned - that it's hard to determine where to draw the line between being nice and
not hurting people's feelings and standing up for what you believe.

Source: (K. Hansen)

If you think you are beaten, you are; If you think you dare not, you don't;

If you'd like to win, but think you'll lose, you're lost.

For out in the world we find success begins with a person's faith;

It's all in thestate of mind.

Life's battle don't always go to the stronger or faster hand; They go to the one who trusts in God and always thinks "I can."

I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life.

I've learned that making a "living" is not the same thing as making a "life".

I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.

I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands.
You need to be able to throw something back.

I've learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you. But if you focus on your family, the needs of others, your work, meeting new people, and doing the very best you can, happiness will find you.

I've learned that whenever I decide something with kindness, I usually make the right decision.

I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one.

I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love human touches -- holding hands, a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.

I've learned that I still have a lot to learn

Thoughts And Quotes

You were not created a copy. You were born an original. You are unique and special in your own way. Be happy with yourself.

Life is like a roller coaster ride - it has its ups and downs, but if you’re not screaming, you’re not getting your money’s worth.

If you want to do something, you should do it today - tomorrow it may be against the law.
You gain strength courage and confidence,by every experience in which you really stop
to look fear in the face. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

The treatment must not be worse than the disease. Alan Tiernstein

"In times like these, it helps to recall that there have always been times like these."
Paul Harvey

Everyone is a prisoner of his own experiences. No one can eliminate prejudices - just recognize them. ~ Edward R. Murrow

"Because I took a moment to speak. And you took a second to smile. A tiny part of me will leave with you. And a little bit of you will stay." ~ Jevanaf

"Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us every day." ~ Sally Koch ~

"Our wisdom comes from our experience, and our experience comes from our foolishness."
~ Sacha Guitry ~

"I would rather live in a world where life is surrounded by mystery than live in a world so small that my mind could comprehend it." ~ Harry Emerson Fosdick ~

"Confidence on the outside begins by living with integrity on the inside." ~ Brian Tracy

Irish Proverbs

A kind word never broke anyone's mouth.

A dog owns nothing, yet is seldom dissatisfied.

A lie travels farther than the truth.

An old broom knows the dirty corners best.

Put silk on a goat, and it's still a goat.

A friend's eye is a good mirror.

It's no use carrying an umbrella if your shoes are leaking.

God is good, but never dance in a small boat.

Even a small thorn causes festering.

Every dog is brave on his own doorstep.

You'll never plow a field by turning it over in your mind.

Drink is the curse of the land. It makes you fight with your neighbor. It makes you shoot at your landlord and it makes you miss him.

You've got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your grandfather was.

"If it's true that our species is alone in the universe, then I'd have to say that the universe aimed rather low and settled for very little." ~ George Carlin

Music is the Words of the Soul.

A painter paints pictures on canvas. But musicians paint their pictures on silence. ~
Leopold Stokowski

Without music life would be a mistake. ~ Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

If the King loves music, it is well with the land. ~ Mencius

Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent. ~
Victor Hugo

Take a music bath once or twice a week for a few seasons, and you will find that it is to the soul what the water-bath is to the body. ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

To stop the flow of music would be like the stopping of time itself, incredible and inconceivable. ~ Aaron Copland

Music and rhythm find their way into the secret places of the soul. ~ Plato

Music is the soundtrack of your life. ~ Dick Clark

Love the music in yourself, not yourself in the music. ~ Jon Peter Lewis

If music be the food of love; play on. ~ William Shakespeare

If one hears bad music it is one's duty to drown it by one's conversation. ~ Oscar Wilde

" Don't meddle in the affairs of the Dragon for you are crunchy and good with ketchup "

Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some sort of battle.

What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything? ~ Vincent Van Gogh

"Imagination is more important than intelligence" ~ Albert Einstein

Food for Thought

Two wrongs do not make a right, but three lefts do

My wild oats have turned to shredded wheat

Is reading in the bathroom considered multitasking?

Seen it all. Done it all. Can't remember most of it.

Police station toilet stolen........cops have nothing to go on.

Schizophrenia beats being alone

If at first you don't succeed, redefine success.

You have the capacity to learn from your'll learn a lot today.

Heck is where people go who don't believe on Gosh!

Time is just nature's way to keep everything from happening at once.

Hard work never killed anyone, but why chance it?

All true wisdom is found on T-shirts

Strip Mining Prevents Forest Fires

I don't have a solution; but I do admire the problem.

I think sex is better than logic, but I can't prove it.

A picture is worth a thousand words, but it uses up a thousand times the memory.

The Meek shall inherit the earth...after we're through with it.

Two can live a cheaply as one....for half as long.

Ham and Eggs....a day's work for a chicken; a lifetime commitment for a pig.

Lord, if I can't be skinny, please let all my friends be fat.

Good Health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.

The buck doesn't even slow down here so keep it going

Confession is good for the soul, but bad for your career

Sometimes too much to drink isn't enough

It hard to make a comeback when you haven't been anywhere.

Welcome to Utah...set your watch back 20 years.

A closed mouth gathers no foot.

The trouble with life is there's no background music.

Money isn't everything, but it sure keeps the kids in touch

What happens if you get scared to death twice?

Losing a husband/wife can be hard. In my case it was almost impossible.

We have enough youth. How about a fountain of "SMART"?

"This is a lifetime deal.... Just remember these three things.... There is NO DEPOSIT----NO REFUND----and absolutely NO RETURN"

" It is worse to be sick in the soul than in body." ~ Polish Proverb ~

" Feed your faith and your doubts will starve to death." ~ Roadside Church Sign ~

" The naked truth is always better than the best dressed lie." ~ Ann Landers ~

" I will charge thee nothing but the promise that thee will help the next man thee finds in trouble." ~ Mennonite Proverb ~

The fruit with its seeds on the outside: strawberry.

The only vegetable or fruit never sold frozen, canned, processed, cooked, or in any other form but fresh is lettuce.

"Vision without strategy is little more than a daydream." John Maxwell

"There are many things in life that will catch your eye, but only a few will catch your heart. Pursue those." ~ Michael Nolan


'Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.'

A sharp tongue can cut my own throat.

If I want my dreams to come true, I mustn't oversleep.

Of all the things I wear, my expression is the most important.

The best vitamin for making friends...B1.

The happiness of my life depends on the quality of my thoughts.

The heaviest thing I can carry is a grudge.

One thing I can give and still my word.

I lie the loudest when I lie to myself.

If I lack the courage to start, I have already finished.One thing I can't recycle is wasted time.

Ideas won't work unless ' I ' do.

My mind is like a functions only when open.

The 10 commandments are not a multiple choice.

The pursuit of happiness is the chase of a lifetime! It is never too late to become what I might have been.

Life is too short to wake up with regrets. So love the people who treat you right...
Forget about the one's who don't. Believe everything happens for a reason. If you get a second chance, grab it with both hands. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.

Friends are like balloons; once you let them go, you might not get them back. Sometimes we get so busy with our own lives and problems that we may not even notice that we've let them fly away. Sometimes we are so caught up in who's right and who's wrong that we forget what's right and wrong. Sometimes we just don't realize what real friendship means until it is too late. I don't want to let that happen so I'm gonna tie you to my heart so I never lose you.

Source: Internet

The Work Injury

An insurance company asked for more information regarding a work-related accident claim.

This was the response:

"I put 'poor planning' as the cause of my accident. I am an amateur radio operator and was working on the top section of my new 80 foot tower. When I had completed my work, I discovered that I had, over the course of several trips up the tower, brought up about 300 pounds of tools and spare hardware.

Rather than carry the materials down by hand, I decided to lower the items using a pulley. Securing the rope at ground level, I went to the top of the tower and loaded the tools into a small barrel.

Then I went back to the ground and untied the rope, holding it tightly to ensure a slow descent of the 300 pounds of tools.

You will note in block number 11 of the accident report that I weigh 155 pounds. Due to my surprise of being jerked off the ground so suddenly, I lost my presence of mind and forgot to let go of the rope.

I proceeded at a rather rapid rate of speed up the side of the tower .In the vicinity of the 40 foot level, I met the barrel coming down. This explains my fractured skull and broken collarbone.

Slowed only slightly, I continued my rapid ascent, not stopping until the fingers of my right hand were two knuckles deep into the pulley.

I regained my presence of mind and was able to hold onto the rope in spite of my pain. At the same time, however, the barrel of tools hit the ground and the bottom fell out of the barrel.

Devoid of the weight of the tools, the barrel now weighed approximately 20 pounds. I refer you again to my weight in block number 11. As you might imagine, I began a rapid descent down the side of the tower.

In the vicinity of the 40 foot level, I met the barrel coming up.This accounts for the two fractured ankles, and the lacerations of my legs and lower body. The encounter with the barrel slowed me enough to lessen my injuries when I fell onto the pile of tools so only three vertebrae were cracked.

I am sorry to report, however,that as I lay on the tools, in pain,unable to stand and watching the empty barrel 80 feet above me, I again lost my presence of mind and let go of the rope..."

Source: Internet

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Wisdom From Grandpa ...,

Whether a man winds up with a nest egg, or a goose egg, depends a lot on the kind of chick he marries.

Trouble in marriage often starts when a man gets so busy earnin' his salt that he forgets his sugar.

Too many couples marry for better, or for worse, but not for good.

When a man marries a woman, they become one; but the trouble starts when they try to decide which one.

If a man has enough horse sense to treat his wife like a thoroughbred, she will never turn into an old nag.

On anniversaries, the wise husband always forgets the past - but never the present.

A foolish husband says to his wife, "Honey, you stick to thewashin', ironin', cookin' and scrubbin'. No wife of mine is gonna "work"."

Many girls like to marry a military man - he can cook, sew, and make beds and is in good health, and he's already used to taking orders.

Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it.

Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me, I want people to know "why" I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved.

How old would you be if you didn't know how old you are?

You know you are getting old, when everything either dries up or leaks.

Old age is when former classmates are so gray and wrinkled and bald, they don't recognize you.

Source: Internet

Made In The USA


A physics teacher in high school, once told the students that while one grasshopper on the railroad tracks wouldn't slow a train very much, a billion of them would. With that thought in mind, read the following, obviously written by a good American .

Good idea .. . one light bulb at a time . . .

Check this out . I can verify this because I was in Lowes the other day for some reason and just for the heck of it I was looking at the hose attachments . They were all made in China . The next day I was in Ace Hardware and just for the heck of it I checked the hose attachments there. They were made in USA . Start looking ..

In our current economic situation, every little thing we buy or do affects someone else - even their job . So, after reading this email, I think this lady is on the right track . Let's get behind her!

My grandson likes Hershey's candy I noticed, though, that it is marked made in Mexico now... I do not buy it any more.

My favorite toothpaste Colgate is made in Mexico .... now I have switched to Crest. You have to read the labels on everything ..

This past weekend I was at Kroger. I needed 60 W light bulbs and Bounce dryer sheets . I was in the light bulb aisle, and right next to the GE brand I normally buy was an off-brand labeled, "Everyday Value " I picked up both types of bulbs and compared the stats - they were the same except for the price .. The GE bulbs were more money than the Everyday Value brand but the thing that surprised me the most was the fact that GE was made in MEXICO and the Everyday Value brand was made in - get ready for this - the USA in a company in Cleveland , Ohio ..

So throw out the myth that you cannot find products you use every day that are made right here ..

So on to another aisle - Bounce Dryer Sheets . . . yep, you guessed it, bounce cost more money and is made in Canada . The Everyday Value brand was less money and MADE IN THE USA! I did laundry yesterday and the dryer sheets performed just like the Bounce Free I have been using for years and at almost half the price!

My challenge to you is to start reading the labels when you shop for everyday things and see what you can find that is made in the USA - the job you save may be your own or your neighbors!

If you accept the challenge, pass this on to others in your address book so we can all start buying American, one light bulb at a time! Stop buying from overseas companies!

(We should have awakened a decade ago.)

Let's get with the program - help our fellow Americans keep their jobs and create more jobs here in the U.S.A.

Source: Internet

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Elvis’ Cadillac Auctioned

elvis 039 cadillac auctioned - DOC141109
This car is a tribute to Elvis and his love for the American Cadillac. It was custom made by John D’Agostino, a California custom car designer. The car was auctioned at the Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale, Arizona on January 20th.

Elvis owned over 200 Cadillacs in his lifetime, many of which were gifts. He had a great love for Cadillacs. Elvis and Cadillac were almost synonymous, when you thought of Elvis, you thought Cadillac, and vice versa. The car is associated with Elvis in 1959, when ducktail hairstyles, white suede shoes and peg pants were in fashion. The 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Cabriolet was the most EXPENSIVE American-made car in the United States at the time.

Elvis' Cadillac auctioned
Only 975 1959 Eldorados were produced at a then-staggering price. This will be the ONLY 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Seville in the world, and the only convertible Seville (only one in existence) The custom bodywork included a 3" chopped top, cockpit shortened 18" with kustom scoops above the rear seating area, chrome bullet grille, and a perfect air ride suspension.

Elvis' Cadillac auctioned
This stunning car consists of over 100 carats of pavé diamonds and crystals and 10 carats of amethyst stone set in solid silver custom cast Cadillac crests all inlaid in metal on this "Elvis" tribute Cadillac.

Hand-cut and hand-shaped out of solid bronze metal were 2 Landau irons on either side of the cabriolet top, which are then set with solid 14 carat gold Signature D’Agostino crests, surrounded by diamonds and amethyst stones. John D’Agostino has designed 3 tributes to famous movie stars of our era — Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe and now Elvis, this being the 3rd of a trilogy and also being the most expensive and elaborate ever being designed to date.

Elvis' Cadillac auctionedThere is over 19 feet of lush diamond dust, pearl lavender paint and diamond-studded jeweled automotive art on this kustom. Dual crystal ash trays and a princess telephone are some of the accents designed into the gorgeous kustom-dyed pearl lavender leather. This true masterpiece and work of art features kustom-dyed brocade cloth inserts with silver mica thread woven throughout.

The engine is an original 1959 390 cubic inch Eldorado with 345 horsepower and tri-power six pack carbs restored to original Cadillac specs.

Source: Topspeed

Friday, August 13, 2010

What Is A Bucket Seat?

For those who do not know what a bucket seat is...

Now you know.....

Source: Internet

1978 VS 2010

Believe in yourself, because I do

This should be sent only to those whose level of maturity qualifies them to relate to it...

1978: Long hair
2010: Longing for hair

1978: KEG
2010: EKG

1978: Acid rock
2010: Acid reflux

1978: Moving to California because it's cool
2010: Moving to Arizona because it's warm

1978: Trying to look like Marlon Brando or Liz Taylor
2010: Trying NOT to look like Marlon Brando or Liz Taylor

1978: Seeds and stems
2010: Roughage

1978: Hoping for a BMW
2010: Hoping for a BM

1978: Going to a new, hip joint
2010: Receiving a new hip joint

1978: Rolling Stones
2010: Kidney Stones

1978: Screw the system
2010: Upgrade the system

1978: Disco
2010: Costco

1978: Parents begging you to get your hair cut
2010: Children begging you to get their heads shaved

1978: Passing the drivers' test
2010: Passing the vision test

1978: Whatever
2010: Depends

Just in case you weren't feeling too old today, this will certainly change things. Each year the staff at Beloit College in Wisconsin puts together a list to try to give the faculty a sense of the mindset of this year's incoming freshmen. Here's this year's list:

The people who are starting college this fall across the nation were born in 1992.

They are too young to remember the space shuttle blowing up.

Their lifetime has always included AIDS.

Bottle caps have always been screw off and plastic.

The CD was introduced 2 years before they were born.

They have always had an answering machine.

They have always had cable.

They cannot fathom not having a remote control..

Jay Leno has always been on the Tonight Show.

Popcorn has always been cooked in the microwave.

They never took a swim and thought about Jaws.

They can't imagine what hard contact lenses are.

They don't know who Mork was or where he was from.

They never heard: "Where's the Beef?", "I'd walk a mile for a Camel", or "de plane, Boss, de plane.."

They do not care who shot J. R. and have no idea who J. R. even is.

McDonald's never came in Styrofoam containers.

They don't have a clue how to use a typewriter.

Do you feel old yet? Pass this on to the other old fogies on your list. Notice the larger type, that's for those of you who have trouble reading..

So have a nice day!!!!! It is good to have friends who know about these things and are still alive and kicking!!!!

Source: A Friend

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Song Of The Old Folks

Growing old ain't so much fun,
It's to the doctor you run,run,run.

The "hereafter",is often on your mind,
What ever it was your mind left behind.

To walk up the stairs is quite a toil,
You wish your joints had more oil.

You pop when you walk,
You croak when you sing,
To hot on the porch,
You don't want to swing.

The doctor says no salt,
You shake out to much.
The food is no good without,
A bit or a touch.

Now the doctor just took away my sugar too!!!!
What in the world am I going to do?

My hearing is GOING, "What's that you say?" AND
I no longer see clearly, most often these days,
Every thing looks murky, or glowing with haze.

You wake up at night, to the bathroom you go,
Oh Yeah! I was here only an hour ago.
You stager back to bed, to sleep you can't go,
Then off goes the alarm clock, oh no, and oh no.

By: Lucy Waters Hagy

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Cuisine Of The Southern United States

The cuisine of the Southern United States is defined as the regional culinary form of states generally south of the Mason-Dixon Line, and extending west to Texas.

Evolution of Southern cuisine

The most notable influences come from British, Scottish, Irish, French, Native American, African American, and to a lesser extent, Spanish cuisines. Soul food, Creole, Cajun, Lowcountry, and Floribbean are examples of Southern cuisine. In recent history, elements of Southern cuisine have spread north, having an effect on the development of other types of American cuisine.

Many items such as squash, tomatoes, corn (and its derivatives, including grits), as well as the practice of deep pit barbecuing were inherited from the southeastern American Indian tribes such as the Caddo, Choctaw, and Seminole. Many foods associated with sugar, flour, milk, eggs (many kinds of baking or dairy products such as breads and cheeses) are more associated with Europe. The South's propensity for a full breakfast (as opposed to a Continental one with a simple bread item and drink) is derived from the British fry up, although it was altered substantially. Much of Cajun or Creole cuisine is based on France, and on Spain to a lesser extent. Floribbean is more Spanish-based with obvious Caribbean influences, while Tex-Mex has considerable Mexican and native tribes touches.

Dark red states considered Southern; medium red usually considered Southern; striped states occasionally considered Southern.

American Indian cuisine

Southern American Indian culture is the "cornerstone" of Southern cuisine. The immigrants could not have survived without the instruction and assistance of American Indians, who had mastered hunting, planting, and food processing in this environment thousands of years before the Europeans arrived. From their culture came one of the main staples of the Southern diet: corn, either ground into meal or limed with an alkaline salt to make hominy, also called masa, in an American Indian technology known as nixtamalization. Corn was used to make dishes from the familiar cornbread and grits to liquors such as whiskey and moonshine, which were important trade items. In most of America "hominy" came to mean lye hominy, or whole kernels that had been skinned but not ground.

A lesser staple, potatoes were adopted from Native American cuisine and were used in similar ways as corn.

American Indians introduced the first Southerners to many other vegetables still familiar on southern tables. Squash, pumpkin, many types of beans, tomatoes (though these were initially considered poisonous), many types of peppers and sassafras all came to the settlers via the native tribes.

Many fruits are available in this region. Muscadines, blackberries, raspberries, and many other wild berries were part of Southern American Indians' diet.

“To a far greater degree than anyone realizes, several of the most important food dishes of the Southeastern Indians live on today in the "soul food" eaten by both black and white Southerners. Hominy, for example, is still eaten ... Sofkee live on as grits ... cornbread is used by Southern cooks ... Indian fritters ... variously known as "hoe cake," ... or "Johnny cake." ... Indians boiled cornbread is present in Southern cuisine as "corn meal dumplings," ... and as "hush puppies," ... Southerners cook their beans and field peas by boiling them, as did the Indians ... like the Indians they cure their meat and smoke it over hickory coals.”

—- Charles Hudson, The Southeastern Indians.

Southern American Indians supplemented their diets with meats derived from the hunting of native game. Venison was an important meat staple due to the abundance of white-tailed deer in the area. They hunted rabbits, squirrels, Virginia Opossums, and raccoons. Livestock, adopted from Europeans, in the form of hogs and cattle were kept. When game or livestock was killed, the entire animal was used. Aside from the meat, it was not uncommon for them to eat organ meats such as liver, brains and intestines. This tradition remains today in hallmark dishes like chitterlings (commonly called chit’lins) which are fried or boiled small intestines of hogs, liver mush (a common dish in the Carolinas made from hog liver), and pork brains and eggs. The fat of the animals, particularly hogs, was rendered and used for cooking and frying. Many of the early European settlers were taught Southern American Indian cooking methods, and so cultural diffusion was set in motion for the Southern dish.

African-American influences

A woman preparing poke salad near Marshall, Texas, in the 1930's.

Main article: Soul food

Plantations were born after Southern settlers realized the region's great potential for agricultural profit. The wealthiest land owners began to cultivate the land in larger tracts, utilizing mostly African slaves to work the land.

Most Africans’ diets consisted of greens, various vegetables, and also stews were common and rice was a familiar staple to them. Foods that became part of the Southern diet from African heritage include eggplant, kola nuts, sesame seeds, okra, sorghum, field peas, black-eyed peas, African rice and some melons.

The term "soul food" dates only to the first half of the 1960's, and to some extent can be considered an expatriate version of Southern country or home cooking familiar to both blacks and whites of the South. There are many stories about white Southerners going to other parts of the country and having to seek out African restaurants for the food they grew up on. In some cases they have been told they cannot get certain grocery items and to try the foreign sections. Generally speaking, white Southerners traditionally eat the same food prepared the same way as black Southerners. However, there are subtle differences in preparation, such as types of spicing, and in certain regions, such as Florida, there are distinct variations between white Southern and black Southern cuisine. There are also class differences affecting the Southern table in racially significant ways. For example, the less palatable or nutritious results of butchering, such as chitlins and pig's feet, were often the only meats available to slaves or people living in poverty (which affected a larger percentage of the African American population), and creative solutions to making such food edible are therefore more a part of black Southern cuisine than white. As more African Americans enter the middle class and become health- and weight-conscious, they find themselves confronted with the decision of whether to abandon certain high-salt, high-fat, low-nutrient food items previously eaten only from necessity, or to embrace them out of cultural loyalty or personal preference. Grits plays such a role for some Southerners of both races, its having become a fashionable "Southern" dish, but still being associated in the minds of many Southerners with the unvarying menu of their poverty-stricken up-bringing.

Much of Southern cuisine developed from African foods and traditions of preparation. Often in charge of Southern kitchens, from slave times on down to the institutional kitchens of schools, African Americans have played a pivotal role in the development of Southern cuisine. In addition, many famous Southern restaurants have had African Americans as their chefs, and barbecue restaurants, whether owned and patronized by blacks or whites, typically have an African American as pitmaster.

Southern cuisine for the masses

Southern food is steeped in tradition, as seen on a sign for the Granny Cantrell's restaurants in the Florida Panhandle.

A niche market for Southern food along with American comfort food has proven profitable for chains, which have extended their market across the country, instead of staying solely in the South. Other Southern chains specialize in this type of cuisine, but have decided mainly to stay in the South. Pit barbecue is popular all over the American South; many rural places even sport several locally run locations, although this is rare in most other parts of the country. There are many individual family style restaurants based on the cuisine of the American South. Despite the down-home image of many Southern-influenced restaurants, some are more upscale. There are several chains with mass produced items of Southern cuisine on their menus, such as Cracker Barrel, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Bojangles' Famous Chicken 'n Biscuits, and Popeye's.

Southern cuisine by region

Southern cuisine varies widely by region:

* In Southern Louisiana, there is Cajun and Creole cuisine. Louisiana is also a large supplier of hot sauces with its peppers, as well as being the largest supplier of crawfish in the country.

* Rice was historically an important crop in the coastal areas of North Carolina and South Carolina, leading to local specialties like "Hoppin' John" (a mixture of rice and black-eyed peas flavored with salt pork) and Charleston Red Rice.

* Barbecue has many regional variations in the South. Barbecue sauce also varies by location.

* Virginia is noted not only for its Smithfield ham, but also for its major supplies of apples and peanuts.

Oklahoma has a reputation for many grain- and bean-based dishes, such as "cornbread and beans" or the breakfast dish biscuits and gravy. Mississippi specializes in farm-raised catfish, found in traditional "fish houses" throughout the state. Arkansas is the top rice-producing state in the nation, and is also noted for catfish, pork barbecue at restaurants, and chicken. Tennessee is known for its country ham. Maryland is known for its blue and soft-shell crabs, and Smith Island Cake. Florida is home of the Key lime pie and swamp cabbage. Orange juice is the well-known beverage of the state. Georgia is known for its peaches, pecans, peanuts and Vidalia onions.

The Appalachian areas have ramps (onions and their relatives) and berries aplenty. Kentucky is famous for Burgoo and beer cheese. Texas specializes in chili, while Brunswick stew originated in the eastern parts of the South. Generally speaking, many parts of the Upper South specialize more in pork, sorghum, and whiskey, while the low country coastal areas are known for seafood (shrimp and crabs), rice, and grits. The western parts of the South like Texas and Oklahoma are more beef-inclined and the eastern parts lean more towards pork.

Creole and Cajun cuisine

Dishes typical of Creole cuisine

Southern Louisiana developed significant culinary traditions: Louisiana Creole cuisine in southeastern Louisiana centered on New Orleans and Cajun cuisine in central to Acadiana in southwestern Louisiana. Both share influences of the traditional cuisine of France, though with greater use of rice, local Louisiana resources and African imports such as okra. Creole cuisinières also had access to many native coastal animals such as crawfish (commonly called crayfish outside the region), crab, oysters, shrimp, and fish. These seafoods were incorporated into their diets and are still seen today in the various dishes of the region. Fruits such as figs, plums and grapes are also grown in the region. Additionally, pecans and peanuts are native to the region, providing an alternative protein source.

Cajun cuisine

Cajun cuisine includes influence from the Acadia region in Canada. Rice, which could be used to stretch meals out to feed large families, became a major staple food. Today we still see that resourceful influence in many Cajun dishes which are served over a bed of rice. And again, stretchable corn was a major staple. In addition to the above listed foods, Acadian families were introduced to vegetables such as okra, which is a key ingredient in gumbos and étouffe as well as many other Cajun and Creole dishes. Many Southerners also enjoy deep-fried or pickled okra.

Louisiana Creole cuisine

Southeastern Louisiana was more heavily influenced by France, Spain and Latin America than Acadiana. The region maintained more trade with France, and incorporated more recent French culinary traditions well into the 19th century. The major city of New Orleans, long known for its fine restaurants, allowed development of more gourmet variations of local dishes. In 1979, Cajun chef Paul Prudhomme opened a popular restaurant in New Orleans which started significant influence of Cajun food on to Creole traditions.

Lowcountry cuisine

The Lowcountry region of the coastal Carolinas, Virginia, and Georgia shares many of the same food resources as the Upper Gulf Coast—fish, shrimp, oysters, rice, and okra. Not surprisingly, it also displays some similarities to Creole and Cajun cuisines.

Appalachian Mountain cuisine

Travel distances, conditions, and poor roads limited most early settlements to only foods that could be produced locally. For farmers, pigs and chickens were the primary source of meat, with many farmers maintaining their own smokehouses to produce a variety of hams, bacons, and sausages. Seafood, beyond the occasionally locally caught fish (pan-fried catfish is much loved) and crawdads, were unavailable until modern times. However, Appalachia did offer a wide variety of wild game, with venison and squirrel particularly common, thus helping compensate for distance from major cities and transportation networks. As wheat flour and baking powder/baking soda became available in the late 1800s, buttermilk biscuits became immensely popular. Salt was primarily available from Saltville, Virginia, but until black pepper appeared, few other seasonings were used. Women were often herbalists, and used local plants like spicebush in seasoning. Chicory, which can be grown or gathered locally, was historically used as a coffee substitute. Beverages such as Corn whiskey, milk, butter, and spring water were available from the early Appalachian farm. Coffee, granulated sugar, and black tea all became available in the early twentieth century. The two primary sweeteners in Appalachia were sorghum and honey--the sugar cane molasses of the lowland South never was a dominant sweetener.

Today, a breakfast of buttermilk biscuits and sausage gravy is also very common throughout the region, as well as places Appalachian people have migrated. Pork drippings from frying sausage, bacon, and other types of pan-fried pork are typically collected and used for making gravy and in greasing cast-iron cookware. Chicken and dumplings and fried chicken remain much-loved dishes. Cornbread, corn pone, hominy grits, mush, cornbread pudding and hominy stew are very common foods, as corn is the primary grain grown in the Appalachian hills and mountains. Fruits that tend to be more popular in this area are apple, pears, and berries. Sweetened fried apples remain a common side-dish. Maple syrup and maple sugar is occasionally made in the higher elevations where sugar maple grows. Wild morel mushrooms and ramps (similar to green onions and leeks) are often collected. In Appalachia one may find festivals dedicated to the ramp plant . Home canning is a strong tradition here as well. Dried pinto beans are a major staple food during the winter months, used to make the ubiquitous ham-flavored bean soup usually called soup beans. Canning included green beans (half-runners, snaps) as well as shelly beans (green beans that were more mature and had ripe beans along with the green husks). Kieffer pears and apple varieties are used to make pear butter and apple butter. Also popular are bread and butter pickles, fried mustard greens with vinegar , pickled beets, chow-chow (commonly called "chow") and a relish called corn ketchup. Tomatoes are canned in large numbers, and fried green tomatoes are common. Along with sausage gravy, tomato gravy, a roux thinned with tomatoes, is very popular. A variety wild fruits like pawpaws, wild blackberries, and persimmons are also commonly available in Appalachia.

Traditional Southern dishes

Biscuits with honey.

A traditional Southern meal is pan-fried chicken, field peas, greens, mashed potatoes, cornbread, sweet tea and a dessert that could be a pie (sweet potato, chess, pecan and peach are traditional southern pies), or a cobbler (peach, blackberry or mixed berry are traditional cobblers).

External Links:

* Tex-Mex cuisine
* Cuisine of the Southwestern United States
* Cuisine of the United States
* Soul food
* Southern Food & Beverage Museum

Some other foods commonly associated with the South are mint juleps, pecan pie, country ham, fried chicken, chicken fried steak, grits, buttermilk biscuits (especially with gravy or sorghum) pimento cheese, sweet tea, pit barbecue, catfish, fried green tomatoes, fried dill pickles, bread pudding, okra, butter beans, pinto beans, turnip greens, collard greens, mustard greens, and black eyed peas. A common snack food, in season, is boiled peanuts.

Fried chicken is among the region's best-known exports, though pork is also an integral a part of the cuisine, with Virginia ham being one renowned form. A traditional holiday get-together featuring whole hog barbecue is known in Virginia and the Carolinas as a "pig pickin'". Green beans are often flavored with bacon and salt pork, biscuits served with ham often accompany breakfast, and ham with red-eye gravy or country gravy is a common dinner dish. A bit of fatback is added to many vegetable dishes, especially greens, for flavoring.

It is not uncommon for a traditional southern meal to consist of only vegetables with no meat dish at all, although meat or meat products are often used in the cooking process. "Beans and Greens," which consists of either white or brown beans alongside a "mess" of greens has always been popular in most parts of the South. Turnip greens are generally prepared mixed with diced turnips and a piece of fatback. It is often said that Southerners tend to cook down their vegetables a little longer and/or use more seasoning than other Americans, but it often depends on the cook.

Southern desserts include many dishes such as strawberry shortcake, banana pudding, baked apple slices, sweet potato pie, apple pie, pumpkin pie, and many other pies utilizing fruits that are grown around the area.

Source: Wikipedia

Southern Hospitality

Southern hospitality is a phrase used in American English to describe the generalization that residents of the Southern United States are particularly warm and welcoming to visitors to their homes, or to the South in general.

Southern hospitality described

Some characteristics of southern hospitality were described as early as 1835, when Jacob Abbott attributed the poor quality of taverns in the south to the lack of need for them, given the willingness of southerners to provide for strangers. Abbott writes:

“The hospitality of southerners is so profuse, that taverns are but poorly supported. A traveller, with the garb and the manners of a gentleman, finds a welcome at every door. A stranger is riding on horseback through Virginia or Carolina. It is noon. He sees a plantation, surrounded with trees, a little distance from the road. Without hesitation he rides to the door. The gentleman of the house sees his approach and is ready upon the steps.”

Abbot further describes how the best stores of the house are at the disposal of visitors. Furthermore, says Abbott:

“Conversation flows cheeringly, for the southern gentleman has a particular tact in making a guest happy. After dinner you are urged to pass the afternoon and night, and if you are a gentleman in manners and information, your host will be in reality highly gratified by your so doing.
Such is the character of southern hospitality.”

Food figures highly in Southern hospitality, a large component of the idea being the provision of Southern cuisine to visitors. A cake or other delicacy is often brought to the door of a new neighbor as a mechanism of introduction. Many club and church functions include a meal or at least a dessert and beverage. Churches in the South frequently have large commercial style kitchens to accommodate this tradition, but many "fellowship suppers" are "covered dish": everyone attending brings a dish. However, if a newcomer arrives without a dish, he or she will be made to feel welcome and served generously. When a death or serious illness occurs, neighbors, friends, and church members generally bring food to the bereaved family for a period of time. A number of cookbooks promise recipes advancing this concept.

Other features of Southern Hospitality include proper local etiquette (i.e., calling one "Sir" or "Ma'am," opening doors for women, cooking enough for everyone who might be around at mealtime, inviting one to church functions, etc.) While persons from outside the region often mistake many of the southern hospitality customs as being disingenuous or fake in some way, in actuality the customs are often a way to make the visitor feel as comfortable as possible in an unfamiliar setting. Additionally, although some customs may be seen as odd or even offensive by people not from the South, they are considered polite in local culture and usually meant as an expression of traditional warm greeting.

Several cities are viewed as being bastions of Southern hospitality. These include New Orleans; Lafayette; The Upstate of South Carolina known as the Golden Corner; Charleston; Columbia; Nashville; Charlotte; Wilmington; Lexington; Birmingham; Houston; Tulsa; Little Rock; Memphis; Richmond; Annapolis; Jackson, Mississippi; Stillwater, Oklahoma; Savannah, Georgia, Augusta, Georgia and Atlanta, Georgia

Critical examination

Southern hospitality has been examined by sociologists and other social scientists, some of whom have characterized the practices as a masquerade designed to cover deficiencies in southern culture, such as slavery, discrimination, and widespread poverty.

One such author writes:

“Tradition and manners are repeatedly framed as the glue that binds the South together, distinguishing it from other regions. This is a familiar mantra, one linked to the "famous" southern hospitality capitalized on by many of the tourist attractions highlighted earlier in the book. Contemporary fascinations with the "grandeur" of the Old South depend on a certain sense of decorum, and this genteel mise-en-scene of southernness is constructed via a carefully manipulated stage set of moonlight, magnolias, and manners. White southerners frequently stress the importance of keeping up appearances; for example, in her Womenfolks: Growing Up Down South, popular writer Shirley Abbot describes the "natural theatricality" inherent in southern hospitality. It requires "a talent for taking on a special role in a comedy of manners that will apparently run forever, no matter how transparent its characters and aims". This maintenance of an aura of tranquility despite a certain degree of transparency suggests that southern hospitality is a performance, a masquerade, an agreed-on social fiction, albeit a powerful one with material effects. ”

Southern hospitality has also been examined, however, as a reflection of the deeply-held religious beliefs of the region; the idea that one should be good to strangers is an outgrowth of such Biblical parables as the Good Samaritan. Indeed Ernest Hamlin Abbott wrote in 1902, "as religious observances are in the South as naturally included in the hospitality of the home as anything else, so, conversely, hospitality in the South is an integral part of the church services".