Southern Celebrity Sightings


I live in a small town in Oklahoma and we’ve had our share of celebrity sightings the past couple of years. There have been two movies filmed here. Ben Affleck  and Jennifer Garner were spotted in Wal-Mart. Julia Roberts and the twins were feeding the ducks at a small city park. George Clooney even  had a facial by the aesthetician at my hair salon (giggle, I made my hubby an appointment the next day to see if she could make him look like George but he said it’s girly). The celebrities said this is a great place to film because it’s safe and friendly. They also said the local people don’t stalk them or impose on their personal lives.

boo boos momI think I had a sighting of my own this week. I was in the grocery store and I think Honey Boo Boo‘s momma was shopping right beside me in the produce aisle. She looked just like her only she hadn’t plucked her chin and lip whiskers in a month. She was dressed like her and most of all she sounded like her. There was an oversized child of undetermined gender sitting in the middle of her shopping cart (Yankee speak for buggy). This child was bossing Honey Boo Boo’s momma and Momma Boo Boo was yelling threats that were embellished with swear words. This woman was scary! She threatened to take away the Moon Pies if the child said another word.

I slowly moved away and she hollered after me. “Hey! Do your youngins do this?” I lied as I was running away, “No, I don’t have kids, they frighten me!” She let out a loud belly laugh and by belly, I mean a big, dimpley, smiling navel, belly. Half of it was exposed, hanging out from under her wife beater t-shirt.  Calling after me, she actually said, “See “you ins” (Oklahoma speak for y’all)  later.” woman and cart

I knew then, I would never darken the door of that store again. But, for a fleeting moment, I did consider going back to snap a photo of her for this blog. You know, seeing is believing.

Temptation has never been stronger but when I doubled back to hide in the potatoes to get her picture, I heard her shouting at the child, “That’s it! No Honey Boo Boo for you tonight!”

Enough said, I left.

If you suspect you have a southern celebrity sighting, please snap a quick shot with your phone. I promise I will post it, you can have your name in the credits or remain anonymous. Be careful, it’s a dangerous pursuit. If you need a therapist after the encounter, call me; I have the name of one in Hollywood.





The Great Chili Debate


photo (4)What is the first meal you make when the temperature dips below 60 degrees? If you are like most southerners, you make a big ole pot of homemade chili. I’ve moved a lot and I learned quickly “the south” is extremely diverse when it comes to foods, traditions, and culture. There is a huge debate about chili.  What area of the south you live in, will determine what kind of chili you will make on a cold night.

In Texas, I understand (from transplanted Texans who are now Okies) they like their chili hot, with lots of meat (sometimes coarse ground beef or venison or both), thick sauce, lots of flavor, and NO beans.

In Oklahoma, we like it thick, made with lots of ground beef, a tomato type base, and beans. It is usually mild to medium.  As a former Tennessean, I am okay with both.

In Tennessee, the chili is like the Oklahoma version but a little more brothy and not so thick. Most of the time they pass the hot sauce to add a little heat. In my family the chili side dish was  always plain saltines.

When I was living in North Carolina, I was totally confused. In the Tarheel state, they put chili on hotdogs and hamburgers, both usually come with mustard, coleslaw and onions. This kind of Carolina chili is minus the beans, it is not saucy or hot, it is a sort of ground beef finely mashed with chili powder and spice flavoring.  If you want a burger or dog without chili you better tell them when you order. Chili is an unwritten code there, you order a hamburger or hotdog, it will come with chili. If you ask them to leave it off, I promise you, they will ask, “Are you sure?” Then, they will call all the cooks and kitchen help to your table so they can look at you, laugh, and ask you where you’re from.  They also serve chili in a bowl but that chili has beans and that dish is called “chili beans.” It is made like the Oklahoma kind.

In Alabama, they really threw me a curve. If you order a chili dog there, they will bring you a dog on a bun, some finely chopped ground beef on the dog, and they will hand you a bottle of Louisiana Hot Sauce or Texas Pete so youphoto (5) can turn ground beef into Alabama poor man’s version of chili. They also call chili with beans, “chili beans” and you eat it out of a bowl.

We lived in Florida for a total of ten years. I don’t think the temperature dropped below 60 degrees long enough for me to cook a pot of chili, maybe they eat it in the Florida panhandle but definitely not below the frost line.

What’s your chili preference? Send me you chili story, then we can all participate in the great chili debate.