God Bless Southern Delicacies

Mayhaw season is almost upon us!

The fruit ripens and must be harvested in a three week period between late April and mid May.

The trees are usually found in low lying swamps and wetlands, although they're now being cultivated to grow in orchards.

So what do you do with a mayhaw? You make the finest jelly on the planet. And if you aren't into making your own jelly you can always buy some.

Why is it called a mayhaw? Because the fruit ripens in May and the trees are relatives of the Hawthorn tree.

Mayhaw jelly tastes best on a big ol' cathead biscuit, but it's also great on English muffins or bagels.

And if you don't like mint jelly on your lamb you'd probably love mayhaw jelly, instead.

After mayhaw season, here in the South, the next big thing we get excited about is Sourwood honey, which comes in in late June and early July.

Beekeepers remove all the honey from the hives in mid June just as the Sourwood trees are blooming (and pretty much nothing else, so the honey is strictly from Sourwood pollen) and then harvest it once the blooms have played out.

If you've never had Sourwood honey you need to put it on your bucket list. It's so good it'll make you wanna slap your mama for never giving you any.

Make ya another batch of cathead biscuits when the Sourwood honey comes in and you'll be thanking the good Lord that he gave you taste buds.

I had to research all 3 of these since before your post they were unknown to me.

The Mayhaw seems like a very interesting fruit and I wonder if it is related in some way to the cranberry.

Just looking at how the jelly is made, it must be rather tart since a lot of sugar is added.

It was interesting to see both it and the Sourwood honey are sold on Amazon--the prices clearly suggest it is a premium product.

I will try the cathead biscuits--they look easy enough to make and I like items baked with buttermilk.

Cathead biscuits are just big ol' biscuits, the size of a cat's head, and they're dropped instead of rolled and cut. Buttermilk is optional but is certainly preferred.

Your best bet for mayhaw jelly and sourwood honey would be someplace like Etsy, where you could get homemade instead of factory made.

We had a nice Champagne Easter Brunch in our gazebo, this morning. Southwestern quiche (with green chilies, pimentos, black olives, green onions, and several kinds of cheese), sausage links, fresh fruit-- and a Southern delicacy that somehow didn't make it into the picture.

Streak o Lean. (Pronounced more like "strickolean".)

It's definitely not healthy, but it sure is good and is a wonderful once-in-awhile treat.

Think "slightly less healthy version of bacon". Yum!

Okay-- here's the plate of streak o lean.

I just cook it in the oven but a lot of people flour and deep fry it.

That's too much for even me, though.

Serve with a side of Lipitor.

***And I might add: make sure that your life insurance policy(s) is up to date.:slight_smile:

I was intrigued and looked up the nutritional values and they were not as bad as I had expected. As you, as a once-in-a-while treat, it probably is fine. The alternative approach is to deprive oneself in order to live longer to enjoy the pleasure of even greater amounts of deprivation.

The traditional full Irish Breakfast (which really was only for tourists, primarily because of its cost) seems worse.

As a side note, the entire belief over the last 50 years on the role of dietary cholesterol in contributing to recorded values has come under very serious scrutiny. That is not to dimish concerns about absolute levels but rather to wonder whether the dietary component has not been seriously overestimated. Determining totals is easy, figuring out what the share of each factor is certainly is not easy if even possible.

In my opinion, science has really failed when it comes to dietary advice. Pragmatically speaking, scientific inquiry, by the nature of it's iterative methods, is biased against understanding very complex systems. Miss a small piece of the puzzle, and you can come to the wrong conclusion.

An analogy might be, imagine I am trying to fake a painting by a master and that there are 1000 steps to create the fake. Each step I am accurate to 99% and after completing each step I declare that the difference is not significant. But at the end of the 1000 steps, I end up with something entirely different.

My "hunch" is that the problems are just too complex to make it possible to sort out implications in a specific case.

Take the tool below:


If you use the simple version and put in the parameters it will give a very precise number of calories to consume each day to achieve any specified weight goal. On the other hand, if you switch to expert mode you will see that really there is a distribution involved and the variance is really large. So the tool is not really saying anything about what will happen to a given individual.

For years I used to think a calorie is a calorie is a calorie. In terms of weight management, I am now convinced that is not true. Carbs, really seem to impact weight management, positively or negatively depending on intake, more so than other variables.

JTSR71 wrote: "In my opinion, science has really failed when it comes to dietary advice."

Oldbooks1 wrote: " My "hunch" is that the problems are just too complex to make it possible to sort out implications in a specific case."

My two cents: Probably the most important cause of medical science's flip-flopping and inability to provide us with sufficient knowledge about diet, cholesterol, triglycerides, and other important health information, is the result of poor science or poor scientific studies, which, in turn, is the result of the large amounts of money and long spans of time that are needed for proper studies. We know how to do rigorous studies but lack the funds and the patience to accomplish them.

Over the years much of the advice concerning medical issues has been educated guesses from leaders in the various medical fields and not from properly designed scientific studies: in other words, educated assumptions were taken as fact. A recent example was the ADA, who said it knew that dental flossing was absolutely necessary,according to dental science, for good dental health. But there was never a study done that actually verified said practice. Also,there were recent guidelines put in place in the US for who should take statins. Some mathematicians from Oxford using the same study and methodology that these guidelines were derived from discovered that taking a handful of nuts everyday or eating an apple everyday instead of taking statins would produce the same medical benefits, though this activity would cost more but would not have as many adverse side effects.Thus why have X number of people taking stains when we already knew that a handful of nuts per day would bring about the same results. Poor science?

A proper study--- a few years ago the VA began a long term supposedly rigorous volunteer study of the DNA of 1 million military veterans, which I happened to volunteer for. To date they have about 500,000 DNA samples with 500,000 to go. This study will take decades but will probably yield new and important information that could not be obtained without access to so many people for so many years. In medical science, large studies of this kind are rare, but are a must if we want to stop the guessing about what is or is not healthy. Hopefully it will not get the budget ax.

One other thought. To me, the biological sciences are immature, or perhaps even different in kind, compared to the "hard" sciences, and are unable, for various reasons, to achieve the same levels of reproducible and "certain" knowledge as a hard science such as electrical engineering, for example. So it could well be that medical science has innate limitations that we must live with.


I'll bet you guys are fun at parties.

Not really.

"Not really."

I think that is exactly what Chelle was implying.:lol:


Give me enough mayhaw, sourwood honey, cathead biscuits and moonshine, and I'm a riot at parties.

From a nutritional perspective, you might find it optimal to limit intake to moonshine alone.

Its properties are exceptionally healthful.

Yeah. And if you imbibe enough moonshine, you won't have a nutritional perspective at all.

Just when I thought that I finally really understood the difference between biscuits and rolls (and even made something that was a combo version) the NYT resurrects a column from 2011 that says:

We’re resurfacing this classic Eat column from Sam Sifton for Smarter Living so you never have to eat a dry, tasteless biscuit again

Apparently, Yankees and Southerners have a very different take on this issue.

For Yankees, "the principal biscuit issue is flour." On the other hand, "Southern biscuits (as proper Southerners will tell you) are made with soft red winter wheat flour, low in protein and gluten — traditionally White Lily brand or Southern Biscuit brand."

These varieties are apparently not commonly available and never at low prices in the Northern and Western parts of the country.

In any event, according to a leading expert, the real secret is the following:“Most of biscuit success is in how gently you handle the dough, and that’s just practice.”

This apparently holds true regardless of location.

I don't know any Southerners who would agree with that. I've never heard of those kinds of flour.

Never trust an article written by a Yankee who purports to know Southern secrets.

As for handling the flour-- that is key. If you overwork it, whatever you're making will turn out tough.

Maybe we need to go to the International Biscuit Festival on May 20 in Knoxville to find the truth.