1)Food log: Recently in the cafeteria there were crab legs!!! I’m sorry, no one truly understands how excited my family gets over crab legs unless you sit down with us and witness the amazement for yourself. Let me create a picture for you: 1) crabs are not just boiled in water in my families’ homes, they are boiled with water and a can or two of Budweiser for added flavor (because we probably couldn’t afford Emeril’s wine), 2) we just know deep down buffet owners are complaining when my family takes all the crab legs, 3) if you don’t know how to crack a crab, you don’t have a chance…my family will show you how to crack it once and if you can’t keep the pace after…you’re lost (we don’t use those “fancy” crab crackers by the way…it’s all by hand). Eating the crab I reminisced eating crabs with my mom and aunty. I was always in charge of melting the butter and adding the tobacco sauce to make a great crab dip (this was not an honor but a way to get me busy while they cracked and merrily ate). But, anyway, sitting in the café I thought of how I had a Jarrett/Jordan family culture repertoire about how crab is prepared and it’s not a crab feast without the butter and hot sauce. How my family and I understand crab is with butter and hot sauce so I had to text my family and tell them all about it. And the first thing my mom ask was, “at your school”, then “was it good” and after telling her about how I used our sauce she surprisingly said “next time add garlic”…Something new to add on to the repertoire.
2) “Foolitcal” (Food-Political): In 2011, there was a feud between the cooks, Paula Deen and Anthony Bourdain. Bourdain has scolded Deen for “telling an already obese nation that it’s O.K. to eat food that is killing us.” (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/25/opinion/bruni-unsavory-culinary-elitism.html).Paula Deen already has a bad reputation for her fatty Southern recipes LOADED with butter and her “hiding” her diabetes and still presenting her food. This discretion is controversial because it is as if she lied to her audience. But is she obligated to tell her personal situations, after all, our professors don’t have to tell us all of their “business”. However, because diabetes, at least appears, to be directly related to Deen’s unhealthy recipes, her audience may have felt betrayed.
Despite this deception, Deen is known for her relatedness to her audience as she is seen cooking “real” food for the “average” working class person who cannot afford “to pay $58 for prime rib or $650 for a bottle of wine“, as she tells New York Times. Yet, it is this working class portray that is another bad reputation for Deen. Deen presents “working class efficient foods” as limited to the fats. She sends a message that fats are easy and butter is a “working class” food. Personally, I understand why: fat and butter is an easily thought of and common answer to flavor. (And I know that good Southern cooking contains fat and extra good Southern cooking made by a television cook must be extra buttery). But, as my professor says, butter is not the only answer to flavor problems [and neither is salt] like curry, parsley, tabasco, and healthy oils. Oh my Biscuits and Molasses! The truth hurts! My family comes from the South and for the longest time our vegetables seemed to always marinate in meat fats…and then douse it with Texas Pete. This is just southern culture repertoire—a long lived custom that is inhibits our thinking and, as my professor says, “limits the things we imagine doing”. We are not used to using resources and tools that are not our traditional handlings and we “don’t know what to do with it [or] how to prepare it”. But is it Deen’s fault for not living outside of her traditional southern culture repertoire if that’s all she knows? Is it the consumer’s fault for over eating something that was “meant” (maybe) for an occasional meal?
My solution is that we let Paula Deen cook what she does, but tag a disclaimer on it. I’m all for the healthy foods and I am all for the fatty foods too! My taste buds know Biscuits and Molasses and there’s no turning away from that. Might as give Deen a break and add a disclaimer so that if obesity continues to rise, the consumer is deemed responsible.