Thursday, October 23, 2008

Charleston Cuisine: Six People, Two Veal Chops

Six people, two veal chops. That wasn't the plan, but then Stella came over, and then Juliet. So there were six of us and the two little oven-roasted veal chops. And yet somehow, we ended up with leftovers.

Here's how: 

1. I made cornbread. Louis Osteen's recipe in Charleston Cuisine is the roughest, grainiest cornbread I have ever tasted. No flour or sweetener to soften the effect. It was the kind of austere cornbread you imagine some poor guy in overalls taking in his lunch pail to eat in the cotton field with a chunk of salt pork. It was the kind of cornbread you wrap in a bandana and carry for sustenance as you escape to the North. 

2. I brought out the honey. You know, cornbread and honey.  Stella was so enraptured that she did not want her pathetic scrap of meat, though I gave it to her anyway.

3. Juliet doesn't eat baby animals. Actually, she has two rules: no baby animals, and no liver. 

4. The veal chops just weren't that great. 

What was definitely great was the green bean and potato salad, an Alice Watersy dish, the leftovers of which I am looking forward to having for lunch.

Sadly, the Pawley's Island Pie -- chocolate chips, walnuts, eggs, butter and sugar all baked in a crust -- was kind of mediocre. How could this be? We had high hopes, but it turned out soupy and too sweet, though, like the cornbread, it went over big with kids, who ate giant bowls of it.

So, in the end, I only needed two veal chops. In fact, I could have made do with one.


  1. As a native of the south, I'm enjoying reading about the Charleston cuisine.

  2. The wonder of it all was how the Tipsy Baker, who has a full time job, made and serve four new dishes, two appetizers from the night before, fresh amazing warm bread made for the week, all the while having people come and go, at one point leaving three children to work on the pie while she ran off pick Juliet up, and when the meal was done, had the kitchen looking like nothing had happened there---all nice and clean. An impressive performance.

  3. I made cornbread! all you did was put in the cornmeal and pour it in the skillet. I also made the pie filling and i thought it was good even though it was soupy.

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  5. This all sounds and looks delicious. I would really like to see some baby-animal livers featured in the next menu, please. Re.cornbread, here's Sarah Vowell describing (in The Partly Cloudy Patriot)her mother's views on the subject: "As an Okie, my mom only uses white cornmeal processed by the Shawnee Company in Muskogee. She does not even consider my cornbread to be cornbread at all because I use yellow cornmeal, and, heresy, sugar. 'You don't make cornbread,' she told me in the same deflated voice she uses to describe my hair. 'You make johnny cake.' "

    I think the cornbread tent is a big one: I use yellow cornmeal just for looks, and I like a little sugar in there for flavor enhancement.