Friday, September 06, 2013

Daddy's Southern Favorites



My dad was one of those poor kids who never went to the same school for more than a year or two. He grew up during the war, and because of his dad's job (building aluminum factories), their family was always on the move. Many of his early years though, were spent in the South.

For whatever reasons, he doesn't have a lot of fond memories of the South. I think probably all that moving around makes it hard to really bond with a place. Plus, those were the days of segregation in the South, which he doesn't remember fondly.

My brother and I certainly didn't grow up hearing amazing stories about the South from him. And yet! - one thing I distinctly remember is hearing him ask for his Southern favorites: grits, black-eyed peas, collard greens, lemon merengue pie... Isn't it amazing? The foods from our childhood really do have a special place in our hearts.
So, when I started to think of foods that remind me of my sweet dad, I definitely knew I would have to make a nice Southern meal. Unfortunately for my dad, my mom isn't really so crazy about black-eyed peas or collards or grits, and she isn't in the habit of making weekly lemon merengue pies. But, I had a feeling that her prejudice against black-eyed peas could be conquered... and recently I had been thinking that I should make her a few super yum dishes with BEPs in them, just to show her the error of her ways. Mostly, when I think of BEPs, I think of Southern food and Indian food... which is a pretty good place to start!
 

Thinking about my dad and his Southern tastes, I decided to make a dinner of Hottie Black Eyed Peas with Collards (from Appetite for Reduction), and serve them with Creamy Polenta* (from Let Them Eat Vegan). Then, at the last minute, I realized that instead of just dedicating the meal with my dad, I could just invite my mom and dad over the share the meal with us!


What a delicious meal we had. You guys, that polenta/grits is so totally delicious! It was a perfect combo with the BEPs and Collards!
My dad has been on my mind and in my heart and in my thoughts so much in the last couple of months, as he had a big surgery this summer, and has been recovering ever since. One side affect of his situation is that he has lost a lot of weight, and hasn't had much appetite. Just in the last couple of weeks, his appetite is really starting to pick up, and this has also helped pick up my spirits. We had such a great evening together, and the meal was a 100% hit. It felt so wonderful to make some foods for my dad that I know he loves, and see him happily eat his whole serving. I love my dad so much!

p.s. Even my mom loved our Southern meal! 



14 comments:

  1. That's sweet :) I hope your dad continues to improve :D

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    1. thanks veganopoulous! :)

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  2. Lemon meringue pie was my favourite dish as a child! I hope your dad feels better soon.

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    1. oh really?! I remember a neighbor friend helped me actually make him a lemon merengue pie once and I was so proud of it. I think that's the only time I've ever actually had it. :)

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  3. This might just be one of the sweetest, kindest things I've ever heard/read. I hope your father battles on through, although I'm sure the food will help a lot!

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    1. thank you so much, movingscouse! he is getting a lot better, and I am so grateful for it!

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  4. Aw. I'm happy to hear that he's getting his appetite back! (And also that you won your mom over on black eyed peas, one of nature's most perfect foods.)

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    1. I agree! I was like "Mom! Black eyed peas are great! SEE??!" ha ha

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  5. That meal does look delicious, and I'm so glad you all got to enjoy it together. I never cook with black-eyed peas but I've got some in my freezer now, so maybe I'll try that recipe soon!

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    1. Try it, Bonnie, it's a really easy and delicious meal. I made it a few hours ahead of time, and it was even better after sitting around a little bit!

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  6. I'm glad your dad is doing better!

    Also, my picky kid and husband LOVE the hottie BEPs (of course I do).

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  7. I love this recipe! I want it for dinner now!

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  8. Those BEP look very delicious!
    Glad to hear that your dad is doing much better as well. I'm sure your meal gave him a very loving and homely feeling.
    I personally have not tried BEP yet but I'm always looking for the opportunity.
    They'll have to be on my grocery list for next time!
    Thanks for sharing this too.

    vegcourtesy.blogspot.com

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  9. Awww. Really sweet post. I wish your dad all the best on his road to full recovery from the surgery!

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