Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Five Things

1. Farmland + the city. We have the best of both worlds. Most of my family lives in Nashville, Tennessee {which is my favorite place in the south}. What I love about Nashville is that you can live in a quaint town with tons of rolling hills and farmland just twenty-five minutes from the hustle and bustle of the city. People are incredibly friendly and there is always something going on {art exhibits, fresh markets, professional sports, etc}.
2. Girls in the south know their football. I love sports, but football is in my blood {my dad was a high school assistant coach}. I grew up playing in the front yard, taking my little brother to practice, spending Friday nights at the high school stadium, and attending every Alabama game day during college. I must say that here in the south we love college football the most. Probably because our southern NFL teams are pretty mediocre.  And I'd also like to add we are not only knowledgeable about the sport, but well versed in our school anthem. Did I mention we dress to impress? Every college game I went to, all the ladies {and gentlemen} dress to impress in team colors, of course. I'm not sure how this tradition started, but I love it.
3. Never leave home without a rain jacket. Especially in April, because all those April showers bring pretty May flowers.
4. Accents. Southern accents are charming. Country accents are cute. And redneck accents . . . well, I run the opposite direction. But seriously, every part of the south is unique with different dialogue in each state - sort of a melting pot of the above accents. Although, the Cajuns down in Louisiana sound like Yankees. No matter where I go, especially when I lived in the city, as soon as I open my mouth people know I'm from the south. I've been practicing to cut out my southern drawl, but sometimes it works to my advantage {hi there police officer, I didn't know there was a stop sign back there}. Words and phrases in my daily vocabulary include: y'all, bless her heart, darling, ma'am & sir.
5. The food. I grew up with the best food - everything is made with love. I love cooking and it stemmed from watching my mom and grandmothers in their kitchens. When I would visit my grandparents, my sister and I would go out to the garden and pick fresh green beans for dinner. Homemade jams and preserves were made from the blueberry bushes and fig trees in the yard and slathered on warm biscuits. To this day, my grandmother makes a five course meal {everything homemade, of course!} that is finished with a cake or pie - a sweet tooth's worst enemy. I stay away from all the sweet and fried goodness most of the time, but once in a while I can't pass up homemade ice cream and fried okra. Can we count sweet tea in this group? I've never had good sweet tea above the Mason Dixon line, so all you folks need to come down here and try some.
Southern Sweet Tea
10 Lipton tea bags
1 1/2 cups of sugar
4 cups water
Lemon wedges, for garnish
Fill a two quart pot with the water. Add the tea bags. Heat over medium-high until water comes to a boil. Leaving the tea bags in the water, let steep for thirty minutes. Add the sugar to a gallon size pitcher. After the water is done steeping, pour into pitcher and mix with cold water until full. Pour over a tall glass of ice, squeeze in a lemon wedge if you'd like, and enjoy!

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