Saturday, June 02, 2007

I'm Not in Alabama Anymore


My version of "Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore" entails a few random observations. I can’t call these folks in Missouri Yankees although the state is farther north. Heck, they serve sweet tea! Well, maybe that’s no surefire way to delineate north from south anymore since I have found sweet tea in Pennsylvania for God’s sake.

It’s very white here unlike the 50-50 black/white ratio you find in the deep South of Montgomery and environs. And so, the place is definitely not south-like in that regard.

They don’t seem to have the meat and three lunch dives that I so dearly loved. Everyone and their uncle seemed to be at Steak ‘n Shake yesterday when we couldn’t even get a parking space at the location nearest to us, the one on historic Route 66. But there seems to be plenty of good restaurants including a great Italian one downtown. And speaking of downtown, this place has a wonderful downtown full of life and variety.

And as I write this, I’ve already read the morning newspaper, the Springfield News-Leader, which is head-over-heels way better than the Montgomery Advertiser although both share corporate Gannett overlords.

The nest is slowly getting feathered and the town explored. Lots of trips shopping for this and that. I’m tired and miss the familiar places but embrace the world of possibilities in my new home.

12 comments:

Jackie said...

Second time today I have heard sweet tea mentioned, must do a search and see what it actually is. Love my tea and my favorite is Lady Grey, a fruity Earl Grey tea.

Being in Africa all we see about the South is either slave or Human Rights type movies on TV. Rather sad as I have seen the photos of the South and it is really beautiful and amazing architecture in some areas. So much more to learn.

Phil Roberson said...

Speaking of sweet tea and meat-and-threes, here's a site you might be interested in: http://www.meatandthree.com (MEATandTHREE.com).

Maybe you will find some good places to eat wherever your travels take you. We are adding new ones almost every day.

BTW, I am originally from Birmingham, moved away as a kid, ended up in Nashville. Was at the A-Day game with my dad, son, uncles and an aunt, and cousins. We have gone a few years - it's a good chance to get together and have fun, eat at Dreamland, etc. The size of the crowd was crazy, but fun. I took a ton of pictures.

david santos said...

Hello Done Sheila, I passed this way to desiring a good week to it. Congratulations for its work.

tim said...

Glad you're settling in - my recent trip back to the deep south left me with a few trips to the Ralph room. Apparently my palet can no longer take southern cuisine. Oh well, it was still enjoyable.

Marion said...

Sheila, is it Iced Tea you're talking about? I notice in my travels in the States that some areas have Iced Tea that is not sweetened and some that are. I prefer unsweetened myself; however, Iced Tea in Canada is usually sweet...

And what is a meat and three?

Will there be new opportunities in that morning newspaper for you?

I'll bet you're tired. Moving is one of the great stressors...

Sheila said...

Jackie, I'd love to try the Lady Grey tea. Curious, do South Africans drink iced tea? The southern sweet tea, which is apparently enjoying a much wider appreciation than I'd originally thought, is chocked full of sugar and certainly has to be a contributing factor in the increase in adult-on-set diabetes. I can't drink the stuff.

And the South is very beautiful but the race thing is still a big picture of life there. Things have dramatically changed but the attitudes of blacks towards whites and whites towards blacks have miles to go.

Sheila said...

Thanks Phil for the Web link on the meat and threes.

That A-Day game attendance was somethin' else, wasn't it? We have high, high hope for Coach Nick. Hope he can deliver. Dreamland's buzz came along after my heyday at Bama. We would go to the Cotton Patch. Is it still there? On our trip to our new home we stopped by the Waysider which didn't disappoint. I miss those good ole college days.

Sheila said...

Glad you stopped by David.

Tim, I think we get accustomed to the southern fare and then when we get weaned off of it, our bodies rebel a bit. I'm sure the diet in Norway is healthier.

Marion, I grew up with the sweet iced tea version, but my mother put considerably less sugar than the version found in most restaurants in the south. When we lived in Illinois, the iced tea was most often some powdered substance passing for the real brewed kind.

A meat and three is a restaurant in the south serving what some might call a "blue plate special." The menu might include fried chicken or catfish, meatloaf, chicken casserole, pork chops, country fried steak, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, fried okra, yellow squash, blackeyed peas or field peas, fried green tomatoes or sliced ripe tomatoes in the summer, turnip or collard greens cooked with hamhocks, coleslaw, creamed corn, macaroni and cheese, broccoli salad, potato salad, squash casserole, pineapple cheese casserole, fruit salad, and banana pudding for dessert. Boy, that sounds like the scene in Forrest Gump (an Alabama boy) where the young black fisherman Bubba recites all the different ways you can cook shrimp (he was a shrimper before being drafted).

Well, I always says I need to be briefer but not today.

Naomi said...

This was an interesting post Sheila. I tried the Liptons iced tea they sold in cans here a few years ago. But it didn't really take off here in England. The Brits are very traditional and prefer their tea served warm. It sounds like you southerners enjoy your food. Just reading your comment about the meat and three made me feel hungry! Sounds like you're settling in well to your new location.

Sheila said...

Naomi, the canned or bottled version of iced tea is so overprocessed I wouldn't bother.

Duane Keys said...

Welcome to the Ozarks!

Sheila said...

Thanks, Duane. I'm liking what I've seen so far with much more exploring ahead.