Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Northernism ... is not a word

Crawfish's last post has finally prompted me to get my ass in gear and contribute to this blog. Since moving below the Mason-Dixon Line in 2005, I've had to get used to many things. Sweltering humidity in the summer, finding a balance between eating all the delicious food without completely choking my heart to death, and even the atrophy my arm muscles suffer from lack of snow shoveling have been a lot to get used to. Communication with the natives has been one of the hardest.

Quick Google Check: "Southernisms" brings up 21,000 search results. "Northernisms" brings up 10,000.  Why the big difference? Northernisms don't exist, they're just what things are called. Moving down south has required me to decipherer another language entirely

Shopping Cart vs. Buggy - If I say "shopping cart", everyone knows what I'm talking about. Before I met my wife, the term "buggy" brought up a ton of images in my head. Let's see ... aristocrats draw by horse through the courtyards of Versailles, a runaway baby carriage, or even Neil Armstrong kickin' up dust on the moon. A shopping cart never entered the equation. Shopping Carts don't even bounce!

Soda vs. Coke - OK, before I get going on this one, as a northerner, I do reject the common northern term, "Pop". In Wisconsin, we say "Soda" and have no clue why all our surrounding states say "Pop". Pop just sounds like a ridiculously outdated term from the '50s, and saying it further emphasizes the dreaded Fargo accent. That said Soda, Pop, and Soft Drink are all vastly superior than Coke. It seems like southerners picked the most generic term, and used it for everything it remotely resembles. If I ask for a Coke, I don't want the waitress to ask me "what kind of coke do you want?". Do I really have to say "Regular" or "Coke Coke"?

All said, the language of the South is just something I've had to learn. I work with clients that continually correct me when I say "You Guys". Sometimes I even catch myself throwing out the occasional "Ya'll". Still, if there ever comes a day when "Fixin' to", "All Ya'll", or "What in tarnation" become a regular part of my vocab, I'm catching the first Greyhound up I-55 north.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Every time I go to the grocery store with Kraut we have the same discussion....it never fails at some point I refer to our cart as a "buggy." Its usually along the lines of "grab a buggy", or "here can you push the buggy", or "I'll return the buggy"and without fail he tells me he doesn't see a horse and buggy or a baby buggy anywhere nearby. He thinks he is so funny every time! I think when we have kids I'm going to make sure that they use the word buggy instead of shopping cart just to get him back. While I suppose I see his northern view point because he didn't grow up using that term, how is the shopping buggy really different from saying horse and buggy or baby buggy? Couldn't buggy be replaced with the term cart in both of those instances as well? I suppose I'm just looking for some reassurance that I'm not the only one out there who says this (I at least know my mom is on my side on this one)!!! Not that I'll ever stop saying this, that is about as likely as getting me to use the word pop or soda....every southerner knows they are all Cokes ;)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

From Mom's Kitchen, to Ours, to Yours

My mom is an awesome cook and I've learned a lot about cooking from her. She cooks a lot of good Cajun food like red beans and rice, crawfish etouffee, gumbo, and cabbage rolls. She also makes the best roast with rice and gravy ever!!!! Plus so many other good things like chicken and dumplings, chicken tettrazini, pasta puttanesca, vegetable soup, lasagna, bread pudding, I could seriously go on forever, but those are some of my favorites. Also, these are all things that in my mind, no one will ever make as good as her. I was never a picky eater growing up, I loved pretty much everything she cooked, but I particularly loved crawfish (shocking, I know). I just thought it would be nice to share my appreciation for her, her cooking, and one of her recipes with you. I generally am all about cooking healthy when I can. However, I should warn you that this really falls into the comfort food category, but its sooooo worth it!

Crawfish and Corn Chowder

  • 1 pound Peeled And Precooked Crawfish Tails (You Can Buy Frozen Or Use Leftovers From A Crawfish Boil)
  • 12 ounces, weight Bacon
  • 2 cups Diced Potatoes
  • 1 cup Diced Onions
  • 2 cans (15 Oz. Can) Regular Or Cream Style Corn
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2 pints Half-and-half (I often sub 1 pint of skim milk to cut some of the calories, or you could sub 2 pints of skim milk and mix in a little flour to thicken it up)
  • 1 Tablespoon Tony Chacheres (or Your Favorite Cajun Seasoning)
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco (optional)

Fry bacon until crisp, reserving 4 tablespoons of grease. Saute potatoes and onions in the reserved bacon grease in a Dutch oven for about 15 minutes. Add butter, corn, cream, seasoning and Tabasco. Crumble bacon and add to the chowder. Cook on low heat until potatoes are tender, approximately 20-30 minutes. Add crawfish tails and simmer for 15 minutes more minutes (since the tails are pre-cooked, you don’t want them to get too tough). If you don’t have crawfish available, you can always use shrimp instead. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Check out this adorable face!!!!

This absolute cuteness is the other member of our family, his name is J.J. and he is 4.5 years old now. He is a collie mix that we rescued from an animal shelter down in Olive Branch, MS (just south of Memphis). Clearly he is a mix because he is the only collie I've ever seen that weighs in at a whopping 85 lbs.!!!! I swear its all fur. So, we walked in to the shelter with intentions of adopting his cute little brother, but all that puppy wanted to do was rough house with all the other puppies. I was kind of upset that the dog we went to adopt wanted nothing to do with me and in bounds this little fluff ball that just runs up to me and puts little paws on my lap and licks my face. It was done, I had to have him! At the time we were planning to name our dog Deuce...for Deuce McAllister who played for the Saints at the time....but look at this....does he look like a Deuce to you?

or this?

Or this?

I'm dying, this is no "Deuce"

I could go on, but you get it by now!! At the time his name was Barney, and that just wasn't working either. Now you may be wondering where did J.J. come from? Well its kind of an embarrassing story, he is named after Jim Jones, no no no no, not the crazy religious guy that poisoned people with Kool-Aid!!! Nope, he is named after Jim Jones the rapper, you know "We Fly High"? OK, yeah its lame, that's why we generally try to avoid the story, but Kraut and I had just started dating at the time and loved that song, plus this little guy was kind of a baller! OK, still lame, I know! But, the bottom line is this pup has stolen our hearts....here are just a few more pics so you can get an idea of how he has grown..........

Kraut has always wanted a dog, but J.J. was his first, so its been a new experience for him. I on the other hand have grown up with lots of pets. Growing up we had everything from dogs, cats, fish, a guinea pig, a bunny, and several horses. Most memorably I had a dog named Snow from the time I was 9 until I was 19. He was a Samoyed that I used to draw pictures of, and write stories about in creative writing entitled "Snow the Wonder Dog" (I would like to emphasize that I was 9). He was also pretty big and strong for me so instead of walks he would just pull me down the street on my sister's bike....I've come a long way since then. Anyway, enough about my neuroses! I adopted J.J. when I bought a house back in Jan. 2007, and Kraut and I had been dating only 1 month. So basically, we went through raising J.J. together, and he has been a big part of our relationship. Which is why we wanted to share his story with you. Plus I take waaaaay too many pictures of him and someone needs to see them!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Who are Kraut and Crawfish?

Kraut and Crawfish are a happily married union of North and South. When we met, we discovered a mutual love of football, but quickly realized we had VERY different view points, and so our sarcastic version of flirting began. Kraut is from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and loves the Green Bay Packers, bratwurst, and all things Notre Dame. Crawfish on the other hand was born in Cajun country and is serious about her cooking, the Saints, and ringing her cowbell for the Mississippi State Bulldogs. Here we are:

From food to music, and everything in between, our merger of cultures means our tastes are incredibly eclectic, and we love to expose each other to new flavors and fun. We'll be writing about our journey together as we cook, camp, tailgate, bike, and build a life together in Memphis, Tennessee.