Negating Southern Deliciousness

I think Southern food has lots of delicious contradictions.  And with all of the lard, pork, fried, cheese - its a balancing act for sure.  Memories from my childhood include my grandmother's breakfast.  Biscuits made with lard.  Eggs fried in bacon grease and plenty of cheese on the table.  Don't forget the jams and jellies. Yes.  We had fruit.  It was cooked down in sugar for our biscuits!

Okay, so that is all true, but it isn't how we eat every day or even often at our house.  To be honest, I don't know that I've had a biscuit made with lard since about 1990.  If you have never had one, I hate to be the bearer of bad news.  But, it will be the best thing you might ever eat.  Just don't eat a pan full.

I really do try to balance out delicious southern recipes with a simple salad or fruit.  I think this is the easiest way for me to have a clean conscious and enjoy both.

There is little better in summer than a slice of tomato pie with a side of fresh blackberries and Chilton County peaches.  It is summer on a plate!  And, that is just what we had for dinner several times this summer.
Tomato pie start to finish!

Southern Living had a tomato pie recipe last summer that is the epitome of Southern summers.  It starts with a homemade crust of butter, sour cream and bacon pieces.  Tomatoes are sliced and laid out on paper towels to soak up extra liquid.  The pie is constructed by layering tomatoes between a mixture of cheese, mayonnaise, eggs, dill and onion.  It is just what to do with a ton of tomatoes and you've had 25 tomato sandwiches this week!  And who wouldn't love this?  If you are vegetarian and are raising your hand, skip the bacon and all is well with your world too!

With that rich tomato pie, fresh fruit is just what you need.  I like to slice up peaches, mix in some blackberries and finish with a couple of teaspoons of honey.  Chill while your pie cooks, and dinner will be awesome.

Fruit salad with honey
finish off the plate.
We may not be afraid of the swine, cheese, butter or fried food in the south, but serving it all up with a side of fruit makes it all worth it.  And its like having dinner and dessert all on one plate.

What other meals are lightened with something simple and fresh?  How about fried chicken or even fried fish?  And, no, I'm not suggesting that anyone eat this way on a regular basis.  But, when you do, negate your choices with a lighter side (or one less meal that day!)

I'm raising a little boy that is proving to be Southern to the core.  He likes nothing better than sweet potatoes, greens and cornbread.  But, I always look for ways to sneak in fresh fruit.  He loves it.  I've got to balance things for him too.

If you pass a fruit stand this summer, stock up on peaches, tomatoes and blackberries.  Even better, pick your own.  These are staples in our house this time of year.  We eat peaches morning, noon and night. They go with everything and really do make everything a little more delicious!