Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Gearsing Up

Believe it or not, I haven't participated in any Memorial Day Atlanta Carnival festivities in years, three years at this point. Nothing......not a parade, not a flag party, no cooler fete, nothing. A certain pesky ex made it a life mission to keep me separated from own culture, preferring instead to maroon me on a farm picking strawberries. The blame rests squarely on my shoulders though, shame on me for allowing it.

Needless to say I'm a little out of practice and having not done a T&T Carnival in 9 years, I have plenty catching up to do. Seriously, four days with little to no sleep takes practice, just take a look at the schedule:

Wednesday May 23rd: Hangover - Allyuh people must be mad, I have to work Thursday, if I end up in hangover I am  sure to get fired the next day. Free drinks all night = TIGHT at work. Sorry, but I'm skipping Hangover this year.

Thursday May 24th: Flag Party - Yes, Flag Party, my traditional ATL Carnival. I'm off work Friday and if flag party is anything like previous years, this will be a bess lime. I fully expect to get caught in Friday morning rush hour traffic after the fete. Free with your flag before 12 am so you know what that means, reach there by ten because the line will be've been warned.

Friday May 25th: Decisions decisions: Friday night will be a pressure night for many, not for me though, I've already made up my mind. Loyalties will be stretched, allegiances tested because at this point, a decision has to be made. Are you going to the Machel fete or are you going to Kerwin/Benjai/Lyrical/Destra et al. Of course if you really want to mix things up we can throw in the usual Jouvert party at the Atruim. Honestly I'm squarely in the Kerwin camp at this point as 4 artistes for $25 makes more sense than one artiste for $35.

After the Kerwin, I suspect we'll find somewhere to be, Atrium possibly, maybe Party Room or 426 till sun up.

Saturday May 26th: Parade/Square/Carnival Explosion: First off, I'm not getting up to see no damn parade Saturday morning so you can forget that. Look out for me in the afternoon jumping some fence to get in the Carnival Square down on Auburn Avenue.....I haven't heard too much hype over the Carnival Explosion fete Saturday night so I may or may not go but it might be worth a look (Kerwin/Iwer/Alison Hinds/Lyrical).

Sunday May 27th: BREAKFAST FETE: 5am to 1pm Sunday, we go be jamming hard, with free bake an buljol to boot. I promised to take the kiddies to a waterpark Sunday afternoon; I only hope that I don't drown in the people pool with all the alcohol I would probably have consumed by then. I believe the Wear White party is Sunday night so budget allowing, I'll probably be there too.

Monday May 28th: SLEEP: Trust me, I will not see the light of day on Memorial Day if I'm to function at all the following day.

So, liming schedule tentatively in place, let's hope we all have a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day/ATL Carnival Weekend.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Hog Maws

At this point it's safe to say, I love country people, particularly country people here in Georgia. Over the past few months I've developed a particular fondness for Lagrange which I think I've written about at length. Aside from the outgoing, exceedingly friendly nature of folks in the bush, it's really the food that keeps me going back.

I'm sorry but as trini as I am, my burning desire for a good goat roti is often overshadowed by a powerful need for collard greens with pork knuckles and fatback. I've been known to quickly slip through a plate of neck bones, and any thought of oildown quickly evaporates with spoonfuls of my former mother-in-law's fried corn. Don't even get me started on the giblet gravy over dressing, the cornbread or the salmon croquettes with grits that I miss.

Yup, you'd swear I was born here.

But southern cooking has it's fair share of WTF chitterlings for instance. What the fuck were they thinking? Boiled pig intestines with pepper sauce. Really? I tried a bite just one time and just couldn't get the damn thing past my lips. You see it's the smell that gets you; I'm almost sure they don't taste half bad but sorry, if it smells of ram goat and wrenk poonk, I not eating it.

Take it from my experience though, sometimes it's better to eat first then ask questions. This past weekend, my plate had a few additions that gave me pause. Next to the pot with the pig ears and cabbage was another pot with a creamy white, "meat-like" substance, chopped up then boiled with onions and celery. Hog Maws I'm told, the taste and consistency reminiscent of the meat you get on pig foot souse. It was only afterwards I discovered I had been eating pigs stomach, or more specifically, the lining of the pigs stomach.

Brilliant.......who's bright idea was this?

Why are these things delicacies? Well I imagine that African slaves weren't afforded the better cuts of meat which went to their masters so they ate whatever "meat" they were allowed....ears, snout, ribs, tails, hooves and entrails. As it turns out, pig stomach isn't bad at all though I doubt I'd see any of you lining up to try a hog maw pelau anytime soon.