Are we lucky, or what? An invitation to a real Southern Thanksgiving, joining our dear friend Diane, her wonderful sister Laura, and their kin. Even though Laura is the Superintendent of all Middle Schools in Nashville, and works long hours, she always hosts the holidays. We watched as all the family chefs began to lay out huge platters of their signature dishes.
Normally, I don’t take pictures of food because it requires special skill to look edible in photos. However, I break my rule here to showcase Bertha’s chopped collards in ham hock pot liquor. I also vow never to eat another piece of sweet potato pie if it doesn’t look like Bertha’s…souffle light, straight forward splendor. Diane used TV Chef Alton Brown’s brined, roasted turkey recipe (no basting, and no opening the oven door to peek), as did my mother in Los Angeles: moist and delicious; even those who hate white meat asked for more. At dinner, I also received instruction on making my favorite: hot water cornbread (no leavening and fried of course!) According to, “Southern Belly”, by J.Edge, Tennessee is famous for the “Meat N’ Three” plate lunch. It usually is a meaty entree and sides of coleslaw, greens/veggies in pot liquor, and of course, cornbread. Pork and cornbread are for sure the heart of Southern cooking!
Okay, so where does the “Battered and Fried” come in? A delicious restaurant by that name creates light, non-greasy, crunchy fried products. We had never tasted rich molten hot cheesecake and brownie bites in a crispy coating before. Fortunately, we don’t live here as the richness and texture is addictive. We also had to try fried Hostess Twinkies with a bourbon vanilla sauce, only because there may never be a fried Twinkie opportunity on the planet ever again, with Hostess’ demise. The “Twinkiness” just disappears into molten and crunchy sweetness.
With all the good food available here, we knew what was required. Diane dragged us to three sports a day: tennis (covered courts!), golf (three affordable, gorgeous courses), a huge modern YMCA, free to us for our first 14 visits, and took us out fishing on Lake Percy Priestly! We just cannot find all these amenities at these prices at home. We danced at a (free) Tango Milango downtown, as well as taking a tango lesson. We keep meeting Californians who have moved here for the affordable real estate and the culture: food, arts and entertainment, sports, and the extremely friendly people. We love Nashville…and haven’t even told you about the arts and culture part yet! We were deeply honored when Laura said, “So where is the rest of the family?” when Steven and I were out for the evening.