Photograph - Photograph
SOUTHERN DELIGHTS is a photograph by Carla Parris showing a roadside stand selling boiled peanuts, tupelo honey, mayhaw syrup, and other regional delicacies.
Boiled peanuts are loved by Southerners, and apparently their fame has spread across the pond. English friends of ours who were visiting us in northwest Florida had heard of them, and were anxious to try them. After sampling them, our friend Ron commented that they tasted like boiled socks. I guess it is an acquired taste!
Mayhaw syrup, made by boiling the fruit of the mayhaw tree, is used to make a particularly delicious jelly which has a beautiful warm rose color. Mayhaws grow on trees which like wet feet, so are often in swampy conditions. On my one and only mayhaw gathering adventure, the plan was to lay sheets on the ground under the trees to collect the cranberry-size berries which drop when the tree branches are shaken. The friend who had invited me to her south Georgia home to collect berries was experienced in this, and apparently this is how it is done. However, we never got around to that. As we rounded the bend and approached the stand of trees, we came, suddenly and unexpectedly upon, and VERY uncomfortably close to, a HUGE rattlesnake, in a coiled position, head up, tail rattling, threatening to strike, under the first tree. We hightailed it out of there and never got our mayhaws. However, my friend did send me home with some frozen syrup, from an earlier year's gathering, out of her amply stocked freezer, and it made beautiful, delicious jelly.
I don't have any great stories about Tupelo honey. I just enjoy it. It results from bees buzzing around Tupelo trees, and has the distinction of being the only honey which won't sugar when left on the shelf. (My only caveat is: Just make sure those same bees haven't also gotten into gallberries!!) I can recommend enjoying rich golden Tupelo honey on a hot buttered, homemade biscuit (or two!) That is also the preferred way to enjoy the aforementioned mayhaw jelly!
Is your mouth watering yet??
This image was photographed around Crawfordville, Florida, on a road I travel frequently from Tallahassee, Florida to our glorious Gulf beaches! I am not saying for sure, but I may have stopped a time or two en route...!
January 1st, 2012
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