This is what my family calls ‘Southern Supper’, and it is a crowd favorite, right up there with ‘Polish Dinner’.  Next time my sweet mama has us over for that dinner I’ll be sure to post a picture!

The ‘gut bombs’ (or pan fried cornbread), lovingly renamed by my Dad the first time he encountered them at my Nana and Gran-Gran’s house when he was dating my Mom, IS the staple item!  All Southern Supper’s, whether the summer or winter variety, begin with this item.  They are featured in the picture on the far left, partially cut off… but they know they are the favorite, so the spotlight is unnecessary.

They simply cannot be replaced, and have no equal.  Fact.

I’m sure you all have family favorites and foods that you feel a similar love and possibly weird affection for.  I think this is what society and psychologist’s commonly refer to as ‘Comfort Food’!  And I am here to tell you that it is OK to eat comfort food, no matter what it is made up of (Gut Bombs = cornmeal, water, and salt…fried in Canola Oil)!

Food is not just for nourishment, it is for pleasure too.  It is a key player in socialization.  A comfort when we are sad.  A companion when lonely.  It brings back fond memories.  It’s there during the making of most memories.    A wonderful part of a celebration.  Something to add some zing when we are bored.  It’s what we take people when we don’t know what else to do for them.  A reward for a job well done.  A peace offering in apology.

All these reasons for eating are valid, yet many times we are admonished for them.  We carry guilt for having that piece of birthday cake, or consider ourselves a failure when we seek refuge in the Ben and Jerry’s.  And if you are overweight, then the guilt, self-loathing, and feelings of failure are magnified.

Have you noticed that the more legalistic and strict that we are with our food choices, the more obsessed with eating we become?

It’s true.  Just tell yourself you can’t have lunch today, and you’ll be thinking about dinner by 10am.

Strict diets, food constraints, yes versus no foods, overly restrictive food rules…this all makes it MUCH HARDER to eat healthy foods.  We have taken “healthy eating” to a new level in this country, and it has resulted in obsessiveness with food, and WEIGHT GAIN for many.

It’s important to enjoy food and it is hard to do that when we are surrounded by so many messages of do’s and do not’s.

Pay attention while you eat.  Chew your food.  Know that you can have this delectable food item again tomorrow if you want it.  Only eat of it what you are truly hungry for today.

Set one, active, healthy eating goal, and feel proud of yourself when you check that off each day…no matter what else you ate or did that day!  For example:  I will eat one serving of a vegetable with each of my three meals.  Do that and be proud!

Change takes time, and new habits are formed when we set small goals.

If you are wondering about the rest of our Southern Supper, here’s the run down:

Corn, off the cobb… for my Mid-Western husband’s soul

Kielbasa… because, well yum, and Polish dinner doesn’t like to be left out

Butter… it’s real, and it tastes good

Bacon… to add to anything that requires more salt…or fat, or just because it’s BACON!

Green beans… I don’t know, not my thing, but hey…

Sliced tomatoes…wouldn’t be summer in the south without them on the table!

Lady peas/Field peas…amazing, and I just ate more for my lunch…WITH my lunch

Okra…oh yeah

Bacon tomato tartlet… because, bacon, and tomato…

Strawberries… it just seemed like a good idea

 

There you have it folks, this is an old school poor man’s supper, and it does not get much better!  Life is good.