Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Posts Tagged ‘memory’

Beat the Heat with Buttermilk Popsicles?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, June 12, 2017

A good and longtime friend shared recently about making buttermilk popsicles at home with family, using a recipe presumably which came from Steel City Pops, a trendy nouveau foodery in Birmingham, AL. And giving credit where credit is due, Alabama has some mighty fine eateries, and an amazing wealth in it’s diversity of food. As evidence of that fact, Chef Frank Stitt, owner of Birmingham restaurants Highlands Bar and Grill, Bottega Restaurant, and Chez Fonfon has been on the James Beard Foundation Award‘s radar for quite some time, and most recently, NPR recognized the excellent oysters produced by Murder Point Oysters using farming methods in that Bayou La Batre, Alabama Gulf Coast town, which were also feted by Chef Emeril Lagasse. Alabama food is a literal treasure of gastronomic proportion. And it’s not just limited to the holiest of holies… barbecue.
(👉Get your Alabama Barbecue Trail app here!👈😋)

Now, I confess an aversion to buttermilk except in cooking. And the reason, of course, is that I’ve tried it. And not just once. In fact, I recollect as a youth visiting with relatives in Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in - Business... None of yours, - Even MORE Uncategorized!, - My Hometown is the sweetest place I know | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

On the Bleeding Edge of the Front Line

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, June 7, 2015

Uncle Dean never spoke to his blood relatives about his WWII service – even though they inquired – which was for them, perplexing, and they eventually stopped asking. However, he voluntarily spoke at length about it with me.

Perhaps it was because we shared a common bond of military service, I don’t know. They never understood why he didn’t talk about his experience. His Purple Hearts, Bronze and Silver Stars, and other medals of valor that Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in - Did they REALLY say that?, - Faith, Religion, Goodness - What is the Soul of a man?, - My Hometown is the sweetest place I know | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Cheap Beer And Chili

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, November 10, 2014

It’s getting much cooler – chili, in fact…

Earlier, I had purchased ingredients to make chili. Among them, cheap beer. For me, that would be Pabst Blue Ribbon.

There were a couple left over from making that delicious batch of comfort food, which was well worth the extra effort. So, not recollecting to have ever tried a PBR – at least not in many years – I opened one up.

Wow…

First sip of a PBR in a ~very~ long time.

It was a 16oz “Tall Boy,” and so, not having a larger capacity glass, I poured, and drank it from a jar.

Naturally, your nose goes in the opening as you put it to your mouth for that first sip, and you breathe in some of the brew’s smell.

It was like I was Read the rest of this entry »

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A Father’s Day Essay

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, June 15, 2014

This year, 2014, my Pop will begin his 82d year of life in good health.

I am blessed, fortunate, happy and to be envied to have him with me now. Some of my peers’ fathers have been long departed.

A friend once said to me that “we never truly become men until our father dies.” In that sense, I suppose I’m still a youth… even though my teen years have been long departed.

My Daddy - v42

My Dad – When he looked at this photo, he said with a smile, “Who’s that? I’m going to have to get a new mirror!” I love my Pop. He’s a swell fellow – a real gentleman – with quite a life’s story! Raised in poverty in rural West Alabama, he knows how to pick cotton by hand, remembers when electricity came to his family’s house, the electrician’s name who wired their house, and so many other hard-scrabble stories of a life unknown to many of us in this day & age.

My dad is a Southern man. Having grown up in abject poverty in rural West Alabama, he was not merely acquainted with “everything but the squeal,” but was intimately familiar with a very real daily struggle for existence, where food was precious, and life even more so.

On occasion, I still hear him recall with utter amazement how much food he saw wasted – literally thrown into the garbage at San Diego Naval Station – where he attended Basic Training before shipping off to serve in the Korean War aboard the U.S.S. Juneau – CLAA-119, also known as “The Galloping Ghost of the Korean coast.” To his then-18-year-old eyes it was a culture shock which he remembers to this day. In his first day there, he saw more food thrown away than he had ever seen in his still-tender life. The adage “waste not, want not” is practically embedded into his DNA.

For those unfamiliar with the term “everything but the squeal,” it refers to the use of every part of the hog for food, and material. Nothing would be wasted. The fat would be rendered into lard, some of the meat would be preserved by smoking, while some parts were made into sausage. It was also time in which neighbors would help one another in the preparation of the animal. (If you’re interested in seeing & reading about some of the various aspects of hog butchering, see here.) It was only many years later that electricity came to my dad’s house – and he remembers the electrician’s name, and date the house was wired.

I recall tales he shared with me of his youth of “hog killing time,” which refers to the first enduring snap of cold weather, which was the proper time to slaughter a hog because the preservation of it’s parts would be more readily facilitated. That is, spoilage would be significantly reduced, because it could be stored in cooler conditions. Their “refrigerator” was an ice box – literally. ‘What’s an ice box?,’ you may ask. An ice box is literally a box into which a 100 pound block of ice was placed to cool food items. Not many items, mind you, because the creek was still a location where food items which readily spoiled were placed. Milk, dairy, meat and select other foods were regularly stored in a special box made to keep critters out, and keep food cool by the running water.

Naturally, not having electricity also meant that the meals were prepared in a “wood cook stove,” literally an implement which had to be tended night and day by his mother to prepare the family meals. Temperature regulation was achieved by moderating the amount of wood, the type of wood (seasoned dry or unseasoned green), and the variety of wood (species, such as oak, hickory, pecan, birch, pine, etc.).

Suffice it to say, his was a hard scrabble life. And it’s certainly neither joke nor exaggeration to say that they were so poor, someone had to come from Washington to tell them there was a Great Depression going on!

Dad honored his father and mother. He was Read the rest of this entry »

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The South’s gonna’ do it again!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, August 6, 2010

Music lifts our souls and spirits, innervates and energizes us, soothes our weary souls, troubled minds and hearts. It is the veritable soundtrack of our lives, sometimes reinvigorating and re-energizing us to press on, to continue, to bear up under duress, and for a brief moment, forget about our troubles, to leave them all behind in an ecstatic abandonment of rapturous joy.

Every generation has their own music, those seminal and prophetic voices of the era. To some, it’s hated, while to others, beloved, and yet to others still, misunderstood and frequently mischaracterized, even demonized.

And through it all, we every one acknowledge our own depence upon music to be there for us, albeit if unconsciously.

And so, with a nod of the hat, I give you the following. I only wish you could hear it. And if you’re of that era, I’m certain you will.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in - Even MORE Uncategorized!, - Faith, Religion, Goodness - What is the Soul of a man?, - My Hometown is the sweetest place I know | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

In Memory on Memorial Day

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, May 31, 2010

My Great-Grandfather Michael emigrated from Ireland to the United States, and enlisted in the Union Army in Corinth, MS, 1862, and served the United States of America in the First Alabama Cavalry as a farrier. For more history on Union soldiers from the South, and the 1st Alabama Cavalry United States Volunteers, specifically, please see: http://www.1stAlabamaCavalryUSV.com

Age: 38
Birthplace: Langford, Ireland
Rank at enlistment: Private
Rank at discharge: Corporal
Company Assignment: C

12/6/1862  Enlisted, Corinth, MS
12/22/1862  Mustered In, Corinth, MS
12/17/1863 Mustered Out, Memphis, TN

My Great Grandfather, my father – a Korean War veteran of the Navy …Continue…

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All You Need Is Love

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I recollect, a few years ago, having gone with a dear friend to the apartment where her former husband lived.

He had died alone.

D’Angelo (not his real name) was a retired Army NCO, whom had volunteered for service. He was genuinely a “squared away” soldier, and rose to the rank of First Sergeant (E-8), which rank is politely nicknamed “Top,” because, aside from Sergeant Major which is also an E-8 position, it is the highest rank and position a NCO can obtain.

His generosity was well-known, and his humility, honesty and genuine love for his fellow man was evident throughout his life. And though he was a good man with many admirable character qualities, a congenial fellow, well liked – even loved – by many, it seemed he never could win the battle over the bottle.

What little I know of him from others’ reports and my own limited interaction with him, he was an honorable family man. And yet, his family didn’t know it, and apparently had low regard for him because of his human frailty, particularly for the bottle.

When he had retired from the Army, never one to merely sit still and wait for things to happen, he became …Continue…

Posted in - Faith, Religion, Goodness - What is the Soul of a man?, - Lost In Space: TOTALLY Discombobulated, - My Hometown is the sweetest place I know | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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