I believe we all know the rules. Moderation in all things, which means that denial is, generally, not prudent. Well, except in the matter of highly addictive things like meth, nicotine, and cinnamon buns. OK, go-go boys too.
We had a quick lunch yesterday, and the chosen target of our culinary attention was Smithfield's BBQ. The que here is decent. It won't kill you. It won't even make you wish it had. However, you must remember that Smithfield's is a chain, one that serves fast food BBQ, and while that serves a definite purpose, it also comes with a definite reality.
BBQ, slaw, and tater salad with a cup of water. Yes, it should have been sweet iced tea to be complete, but that's just too much decadence for the Examplar of Purity that is me. Besides, the pound-o-sugar messes me up, and I'm cutting back on the caffeination so I don't have to hear about it on my next trip to the clinic.
This being an Old Fart does have it's down side.
The real problem with Smithfield's is not that it's all about fast food BBQ; it's this.
Fresh, fried, homemade pork skins. Sometimes even with a bit of hair left intact. Yes, I could eat the entire bag.
Every culture on this planet has known hard times, some more recently than others, and the people of the American South, regardless of culture, are no exception. There was a time when nothing of an animal went to waste, right down to the hair. My daddy used to swear by a Tom Thumb, pork sausage stuffed into the pig's stomach. I remember eating pickled pigs' feet as a boy, and calling it good. My brother was speaking just the other day of coming home late in the evening to see Mama sitting at the table eating a pig's foot. I have a miserable uncle, one I can hardly bear, and his favorite part of a chicken is the neck. My grandfather always sought the back in the plate of deep fried chicken. My grandmother could make brains and eggs from which you would define the perfect breakfast if you were ever so lucky as to have it.
We don't much have to eat like that any more. However, we choose to eat like that now and again because it makes us warm inside, not so much from the indigestion as from the clear link to that from which we sprang, those humble beginnings that cast us upon a rocky shore to live or die, and live we did.