Southern Food in Georgia
Last week Funk and I took a trip down south with friends to Lake Burton, Georgia. We were so flipping excited for this trip as it was our first time down south (Florida doesn’t count) and we always have a blast with these friends. While I was supremely excited for our gorgeous lake house, zero plans, and plenty of boat rides, I was most excited to try good ol’ southern cooking.
Within about an hour of our plane landing, our host took us to a total dive on the side of the road called Stew & Que. It was country eating at its best. There was a cafeteria-style line and we got to choose a few options to pile on our plate. I got the cucumber tomato salad, fried okra, collard greens, sweet potato pie, and cornbread. Holy mackerel salt and sugar!!! The sweet potato pie was so sugared it made my teeth hurt! It was more like a decadent dessert and nothing like my northerner grandma’s dish on Thanksgiving.
The cucumber tomato “salad” looked more like a cold soup, since the veggies were literally swimming in Italian dressing. The cornbread was legit cornbread – nice and crumbly. I thoroughly enjoyed my first southern meal but don’t think I could handle this type of food more than once in a great while! Funk got the sweet tea that everyone talks about and I really think sweet tea could give Coke a run for its money in terms of sugar content. Does anyone know how much sugar is actually in sweet tea? Kool aid tastes like flavored water next to this drink!
Another thing on my list to eat was boiled peanuts. I first had these at Nicole’s wedding in Florida and couldn’t believe how little they taste like peanuts. Boiled peanuts are exactly that: peanuts boiled in-shell with a briney salt water. After boiling they take on a strong salty taste and become softer with the length of cooking, resembling a pea or bean. We picked up a container of these for the group at a neat farmstand slash moonshine slash corn maize stop on the side of the road. Yeehaw!
Aside from those good eats, we had a great time grilling and feasted on watermelon, grilled veggies, burgers and dogs for the group, salmon patties for me and Funk, baked beans, s’mores, grilled peaches, and more. I whipped up a cold mediterranean salad:
1 package whole wheat orzo, cooked and cooled
1 small jar (1/4 cup? Capers, drained)
1 small jar sundried tomatoes in olive oil, reserve the oil
1 small can sliced black olives
1 small container cherry tomatoes, halved
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
salt to taste
Feta cheese optional
I don’t have exact measurements because I pretty much just opened all the cans, drained, and dumped them in! No measuring required. There wasn’t even olive oil in the house (vegetable oil only…I’m told they don’t do olive oil down south) so I’m glad the sundried tomatoes were packed in olive oil.
Aside from eating…a lot…we took the pontoon boat out on the lake, jumped off the boathouse dock (I watched – the jump was too high and I’m a wus!), watched a stunning pre-4th of July fireworks show from our boat on the lake, celebrated a 30th birthday, and even crammed a 5k/10k road race in there. Two of our friends placed 1st and 3rd in their age group!
It was one of the best, most relaxing vacations Funk and I have been on and we’re already talking about our next visit down south.
Did we miss any crucial southern foods? We did taste fried catfish and hushpuppies, and there may or may not have been moonshine involved, but if we missed anything else, we’ll have to go back!