Hungry Mother (and other women)
Yes, there were cocktails: Cindi chose an insanely good vodka martini with thyme, rosemary and red pepper flakes, and she very kindly and generously allowed me to take her last olive, which had been soaking in a house-made lemon marinade. Melinda had a Manhattan-esque concoction that featured sorghum syrup and amaretto, garnished with a boiled peanut.
But that really has nothing to do with the quality of these photos.
Linda just moves very very fast.
Melinda always looks this blurry.
And Cindi's cocktail really was almost as big as she was.
So we talked about gardening and crazy neighbors and kids and rock 'n' roll and food.
And we ate: the amazingly tender and deeply flavored beef tongue canapés; the soft boiled peanuts sprinkled with gray salt; the crunchily battered fried oysters with tabasco sauce; the catfish pâté with sweet fig jam and sharp pickled ramps; the feather-light gnocchi with delicate mushroom broth; the roast chick'um with hot jalapeno spoonbread; the light and flaky catfish (possibly cooked to perfection, depending on your own personal concept of what "perfection" means); the single juicy fried green tomato; the rich and creamy grits topped with ham and cheese.
And somehow there was room for dessert. But just to share, you understand; just a spoonful to say we'd tried. Really. So we gamely dismantled a lovely buttermilk pie, light and fluffy and lemon-scented, and did our brave best with a dense, deliciously dark chocolate pot de crème infused with cardamom.
It looks as though Hungry Mother is still doing well, though I felt a twinge of apprehension at our waitress's hope that we notify our friends about the place: "Tell everyone when you go to work tomorrow! Tell them you had a good time!" Are they just pushing word of mouth, or do they really feel under-promoted? Time will tell, though as long as they're cooking at the current standard, they should be quite safe.
So, ladies: where next?