As kids my brother and I learned several thangs from my grandparents that we still retain. Papa Haynes taught us to take a small bag of Tom’s salted peanuts and dump them into a Dr. Pepper.
We’d swish liquid and nuts around several seconds before sipping. Not only did you end up with a cold drink, you had a delicious snack to boot. It took quite the effort to get all remaining peanuts out of the bottle. People I’ve talked to from the east coast believe this to be gross.
We learned to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in Alabama. Grandma Hankins took the preparation a step further by putting sliced bananas and honey inside. There was a special way the banana was cut. She didn’t slice the fruit into small circles. Grandma fileted it or cut length ways like a fish. That kept the fruit from falling out.
My friends in Arizona or California make peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, yet you’ll never find them adding both banana and honey. They don’t know what they’re missing!
I love to eat my scrambled eggs with mustard on top. This was another one of Grandma Hankins’ culinary tricks.
My wife who’s originally from Kansas now adds mustard to her eggs. She loves it. I‘ve had a few waitresses tell me they never heard of such. One server in particular was going to take my plate away, thinking the mustard was uncooked egg. I still laugh over that one.
Catsup on eggs is something Grandpa Hankins did, yet it never appealed to me. The red just doesn’t make things appetizing.
There are several more Southern oddities:
Honey on fried chicken or French fries, black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day, melted marshmallow on top of sweet potatoes, and cornbread in a bowl with milk poured on top.
Papa Haynes loved the later dish. He ate cornbread and milk each night for supper. It’s actually not bad.
Some folks claim that marshmallows on top of sweet potatoes ain’t Southern. I beg to differ. Folks in Alabama have been doing such from the day marshmallows first rolled off the production line.
I cherish my Southern traits as quirky as they are. I suppose that’s what sets us apart from the rest of the country.
One thing you’ll not find me saying is,
“Ya’ll come back now. Ya hear?”
I’m not sure Southerners even used that line; at least not the ones I hung with. Bo and Luke from Dukes of Hazzard ran this saying into the ground.
I did a bit of investigative research on them two boys. Actor Tom Wopat (Luke Duke) was born in Wisconsin. John Schneider (Bo Duke) was reared in New York. They’re not even from the south. I had that figured from the start.
Those two were phonier than pecan pie minus Golden Eagle Syrup. Alabamians know what I’m talking about here.
You wouldn’t catch my Grandma Hankins making pecan pies without Golden Eagle Syrup. For her to do so would’ve been borderline sacrilegious.
It’d be like me substituting Georgia peanuts in a Dr. Pepper, with Hawaii plucked macadamia nuts.
That my friends, would not be a Southern thang!