Sunday, September 5, 2010
Always Twice as Nice with the Rice
Touring the Southern United States has been a revelation. I have never really spent much time here nor with the people of the South. However, the very first time was in 1974 traveling on a Greyhound "Ameri-Pass". It was a bus pass valid for 3 Summer months, any bus, any direction at anytime. To me that little paper ticket represented three months of unlimited, unfettered freedom, something I wasn't overly familiar with as a newly graduated high school student. I held that paper pass in my hand and felt I could go anywhere. So I bolted South and those tales of seeking America's music (Blues, Jazz and Dixieland) & general catawallowin' good times, I'll leave for another time.
Now moving to the present, today's journey is a different experience altogether. Traveling in a Toyota Rav4 vehicle stacked with camping gear, road atlas and a GPS device we call Ms. Garmin (Pss, Ms. Garmin could use a different voice, anything other than insistent grade school teacher would be an improvement, thank you). Put that one irritant aside, this trip has been exhilarating.
Having gathered a few tomes to accompany and enlighten us along the way, we were fortunate to have packed The Carolina Rice Kitchen. Being one of our destinations is Charleston South Carolina this historical treatment has been timely and insightful. Tracing rice from the Far East all the way to The Carolinas is a great feat, but the manner in which it is done by Karen Hess is light and clever. Reading this admittedly will have one sure outcome. I'll be looking forward to Carolina Gullah Rice dishes once we arrive in that great city. Rice as sustenance, rice as culture and rice as a connection to the ancient past, all in one book. No other author has been so thorough.