You have not eaten until you have eaten in Mississippi. Honest to God, for the amount of deliciousness per square foot, Oxford, MS cannot be outdone. Ajax's jalapeno cornbread, Philip's best-of-america cheeseburger, sweet potato fries on every corner, the portable crawfish boiler parked in the gas station parking lot, BBB's homemade raspberry jam and bacon - CURED IN HOUSE.
I don't think I'd quite qualify for the "foodie" label, but over the last few years I have come to appreciate food in new ways. When I lived in Atlanta, I could eat food from over a dozen countries within 3 blocks from my house. When I moved to Illinois and became responsible for cooking and feeding a house full of people, I realized how HARD it is to make things taste good. I also read Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma in Illinois, and became convinced that industrial food was making me a) fatter, b) dumber, and c) less human.
I appreciate authenticity, in life and in food. I want to be fed by the things that grow from the earth, that are planted or cared for by people, people who are invested in their work and in their produce. I want to eat a meal knowing that the people who created it took pride in their ability to do so. When I bless a meal, I want to be able to remember all the hands who helped the dishes come to my table, and be properly grateful for them.
Lord, bless the hands that share with us
and bless the hearts that care for us.
Now hear this simple prayer from us,
Amen. Amen. Amen.