A Little Bit of Country

George and I drove around Nashville today looking for a decent breakfast.  We came across a divey little diner called Wade’s Chat and Chew.  The run-down facade of the meet and eat matched the spartan interior.  But after walking up to the front counter and seeing trays filled with typical Southern food, we decided to stay.  I love hole in the walls because I enjoy the surprise and satisfaction in finding a gem of a restaurant.  We ordered two thirds of the offered options: biscuits and grits, grilled bologna, ham steaks, green beans, okra, buttermilk pancakes, poached eggs, grits, and salmon croquettes.  Unfortunately the food looked better than it tasted.  I was so eager to love everything, but nothing really satisfied.  My ham was dry and thin, my poached eggs were well cooked (blasphemous in my book!), the okra was akin to eating a used tissue (sorry), and the green beans didn’t compare to the ham hock flavored beans from last night.  It was enjoyable only because of the residual longings which earnestly anticipating a good meal…but those didn’t pan out, so we ate brownies for breakfast instead!  

Later today I met Lynne Tolley, the great grand-neice of Mr. Jack Daniels.  Yes, my friends, the Jack Daniels.  She continues the tradition of Southern hospitality at Miss Mary Bobo’s Boarding House Restaurant in Lynchburg, Tennessee..  True to boarding house tradition, she explained that “guests sit together at large family tables alongside a gracious hostess who encourages conversation, shares a bit of local lore and ensures dishes are passed to the left.”  It sounds just like the experience I had last night…and I didn’t even know what a boarding house was!

She shared her Dad’s Barbecue Sauce with me, and in turn, I’d like to share this sauce with you.

1    medium onion, grated

1/2  cup butter (1 stick)

1    cup dill pickle juice

1/4  cup apple cider vinegar

1/2  cup white sugar

2   lemons, thinly sliced rounds

2   tsp. crushed red pepper

2   tsp. cayenne pepper

2  tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

Salt and black pepper to taste

Cook onion in butter over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the remaining ingredients and simmer about 20 minutes.  Use as a barbecue baste or serve warm on the side.  Keep unused portion in fridge.  Makes about 2 cups.


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