As a born-and-raised Southerner, one of my pet peeves is when people make fun of the South, or buy into Southern stereotypes. No, we don’t all talk “lack the-us.” We don’t marry our cousins. We don’t eat fried chicken at every meal, and we don’t end each meal with a big ol’ slice of pie (pronounced piiiiiiiiie). We are NOT all Paula Deen.
The way I see it, making fun of the South is kind of like making fun of my family—if you’re a member of my family, go for it. Let’s all talk about the time Grandaddy forgot Nanny in the gas station bathroom on the way home from the duck blind and drove a good half hour before realizing his mistake (true story). But, if you’re not a member of my family? I best not catch you talking smack about them.
In that same way, if you’re from the South, I’ll gladly make fun of it with you. But if you hail from Portland, or San Diego, or Ithaca—with all due respect, keep your mouth shut. Or fill it with some pie. Just don’t you dare pronounce it piiiiiiiiiie.
That being said…since moving back to the South, I can’t help but notice that some of the stereotypes DO prove themselves true, time and time again, in a way that’s almost comforting.
We met our neighbor Mr. Phil a few days ago. He was sitting in his driveway, beer in hand at 5:00 sharp on Friday. The ice chest beside him was evidence that he’d been out there for a while, as there were about 6 empty bottles of Bud already drained. He was sporting overalls like nobody’s business, and rocking about 3 teeth in his mouth. His lack of teeth didn’t prevent him from talking to us for a good 45 minutes about…well, nothing really. His opener? “What are ya, Methodist or Baptist?” We didn’t have the heart to tell him we’ve been attending the Unitarian church. He asked us how much we paid for our house. Told us if we needed any work done, he was a damn good carpenter, plumber, and general repairman. He introduced us to his 95 year-old mama, “Miss Vera,” who’d recently been fired from her job in the nursery at the Baptist church for “bein’ too old.” Damn Baptists.
So yeah, I guess some of the stereotypes hold true.
On Saturday night, we got another taste of stereotypical Southern hospitality at its finest when our other neighbors, Cal and Liz, dropped off a jar of homemade lemon curd, just because. I’ll gladly put up with Mr. Phil if living in this neighborhood means that we get delicious jars of lemon curd dropped at our doorstep for no reason other than neighborly kindness.
And a jar of free lemon curd is a tasty reason to make…scones!
16 oz. flour (about 2 cups)
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sugar
6 tbsp. butter, cold and cut into cubes
zest of one orange
3/4 cup heavy cream
splash of orange juice
Preheat oven to 375.
In a bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Cut in butter with a fork (or you can use your hands, which is what I did).
Combine heavy cream, orange zest, egg and orange juice, and whisk together. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and work into a dough. Dough will be pretty dry—it might take a bit of kneading to bring it all together. Divide the dough into two or three batches.
Working on wax paper, roll dough out. Use a biscuit cutter (or wine glass) to cut into biscuit-sized rounds.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden.
These scones are perfectly buttery and sweet, and were just perfect with the lemon curd.
I’ll leave you with one more stereotype of the South. If you need a laugh, check out this morning show that Ryan was interviewed on last week:
Now that’s a good Southern accent. You gotta love it.