Last night Nancy waxed eloquent about Sunday dinners her mother used to make. For any Yankees out there, "dinner" is not the evening meal, but a late lunch, especially if it is large and company is expected. Momma's Sunday dinners featured a slicing roast, ham, and fried chicken, plus any number of vegetables, cornbread, biscuits, and on special occasions, chocolate pie.
A friend of ours, Lane, was struck by the marvel of a meal featuring three different meats and said she'd like to eat a "multi-species meal" herself some day. It was no use pointing out that if she'd ever had a bacon cheeseburger, she'd eaten a multi-species meal already, nor would she admit on at least one Thanksgiving to having both turkey and ham.
I think what she really wants is to be at a table where there aren't quite enough chairs to go around, and at least one full-grown adult is sitting on a stool with a phone-book on it, so he'll be more than eye-level to the table. She wants field peas and snaps with little onions cut up in them. She wants turnip greens with a jar of pepper sauce handy. She wants boiled red potatoes and rutabagas. She wants sliced fresh tomatoes and sliced Vidalia onions. She wants white rice, stirred in the pot until it is a mushy white slab. She wants steamed cabbage and yellow squash. She wants sweet tea. She wants cornbread, biscuits, and white bread all at one table. She wants there to be sorghum for the biscuits and buttermilk for the cornbread; she probably doesn't eat sorghum or buttermilk herself, but it is imperative they be there and that at least one person is enjoying them. Two chocolate pies should be waiting on the counter. If at all possible, she would like there to be a box-fan in the window, and sheets drying on a line outside. And there should be at least three meats: a slicing roast, ham, and fried chicken.
And all of this should be served up by someone who has never heard of goat cheese or balsamic vinegar or edamame, and who would think shrimp and grits is "weird," and who, before anyone can touch a fork, will make someone say grace, and after the "amen" will say - as always when offering such a feast - "I just hope it's fit to eat."
What Lane really wants is the multi-species meal Momma used to make. I don't blame her.