Monday, October 23, 2006

The Amazing Oyster Coincidence and Other Stories

The Southern Foodways Symposium never ends. That's just one of the great things about the Southern Foodways Symposium. For example, last night, when we got home from the Symposium, we called Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly to thank them for the wonderful stay in their guesthouse. Tom and Beth Ann were on their way to eat a roasted pig by a campfire in somebody's yard. It was kind of a final hurrah for the Symposium, which had officially "ended" that morning. When Theresa and I were on our way home, we stopped for gas somewhere in Alabama and a man and woman got out of their truck and started talking to us about the Symposium! See, it never ends. The man was Tommy Ward of the 13 Mile Oyster Company, who had provided the incredible, beautiful raw oysters we had eaten the night before. And tonight we're cooking a recipe for "Chicken Bog" that we got from the Lee Brothers cookbook. See? It never ends! I met Ted Lee after my panel. Then we saw the brothers later at the mass book signing. Man, that was some book signing. Everybody was eating, even though it was right before the huge oyster supper. Eating and signing and buying books and eating and reading and eating. They had West Indies salad (I just learned this weekend that people who aren't from the Gulf Coast don't know what that is!), sparkling wine and peanut brittle with bacon in it! BEFORE supper! Yes, there was lots of pork with which to reckon. The lunch on Friday included a lemongrass-roasted pork po-boy with crawfish - yes, crawfish! - mashed into condiment form. I'm sure that over the next several days I'll have lots more to say about all the nice people we met and the fine food. Everybody should go to this thing!