Monday, June 1, 2009

A Mayberry Holiday

We New Yorkers can sure be sarcastic sometimes. That's what I've recently been told anyway. It happened on my return trip from Idaho. The plane was full. Passengers were shoulder to shoulder and quite frankly, I was in a "Mayberry" state of mind. My day started at 3AM with a shuttle to Salt Lake City. Did you know it takes more than 3 hours to get from Blackfoot Idaho to Salt Lake City, Utah by shuttle? I'm one of those people who can't sleep in moving vehicles; cars, planes, boats or shuttles. Listening to others snore just happened to be the distraction I needed to remind me of how fortunate I am to have a wonderful daughter and son-in-law and two blessed grand children. Yes, dear visitors, I had a memorable stay!

I never think of myself as being a smart aleck. Nor do I consider myself to be "saucy." However, I am quite capable of being ornery especially when I haven't gotten enough sleep and I'm already missing the kids. As I said, the plane was full and I was boarding as a "C" passenger on Southwest. Southwest has what they call "first come first serve seating" or "open seating" which is kind of confusing since they also have A, B and C boarding lines. Needless to say, I wound up in between two nestled in travelers returning from Hawaii. The choice was completely mine. Once I realized I wasn't going to get the seat of my choosing, I decided I was going to sit in the front of the plane. "I may as well be able to get off the plane more comfortably," I thought to myself. "Well, at least you're not 300 pounds," the Hawaiian tourist said as I gracefully tried to center myself. Obviously, the words I thought I had spoken under my breath, weren't. I grinned, shoved my carry on under the seat, crossed my arms, took in some air and sat. It was 9AM and I didn't have to change planes until we landed in Chicago at 1PM. I can do this, I thought, quietly. The Southwest hostesses went through their safety routine and prepared for their last check.
"You can't keep that luggage under the seat" one commanded at me.
"It must go in the over head bin" she reaffirmed.
I really hadn't thought about it since it wasn't actually luggage. Just a canvas bag with some reading material. A few gardening magazines, hastily bought at the airport news-stand. I thanked her and handed her the bag. I figured it was easier than me standing up in the front of the man who had just "congratulated" me for not being what he must have considered "over-weight."
"You must be from New York" were the next words out of his mouth.
"As a matter of fact I am" I answered, a bit surprised.
"I knew it" he said slapping his knee. "I just knew it!" "You can always spot a New Yorker" he continued.
"How's that," I asked inquisitively.
"It's all in the attitude" he went on. He continued to spew about his trip to Hawaii. It seems the other half of the "sandwich" by the window, was his son and they had been snorkeling on Maui. They were from Boise, Idaho. However, they were musicians and their next "gig" was in Buffalo, New York. "I'm ready for you New Yorkers" he said. "I've been warned about that sarcasm."
Had I been in a "sarcastic" state of mind, I would have advised him of how to choke on a buffalo wing at the Anchor Bar. Instead, I found myself telling him about the history of Buffalo Wings and suggested he visit the Anchor Bar if he had the opportunity. Always the blogger I suppose:)

Chock Full of Hospitality

Andy Griffith was born on June 1, 1926. Since today is his birthday, I thought it might be fun to share a few recipes from Aunt Bee's Mayberry Cookbook (1991) by Ken Beck and Jim Clark. I guess I would prefer to stay in a "Mayberry" state of mind. You see, Blackfoot is really an amicable place to visit. Not only are the people friendly, they are awfully polite and hospitable. Sure, they poked fun at my New York accent but that's not unusual. If people aren't prodding about my accent, they are usually teasing me about my Betty Boop like voice. I'm use to it. Actually, Betty Boop was an alias of mine at one time. Although, personally, I do believe my voice is a few octaves lower:)
Okay, so finding a decent cup of coffee was not an easy task. No "Aunt Bee" brewing a hot cup of coffee on the Mayberry kitchen stove in Blackfoot, Idaho. However, the bakers who contributed their masterpieces for the mother and daughter church tea offered some stirring memories. Tabi adored the tiny petits fours:) And, the homemade chocolate chip cookies at Noah's preschool graduation ceremony, did not suffer with the blue juice drink provided. Sure, I would have preferred milk but it was a blistering day in Idaho that afternoon. Sure, Aunt Bee may have won blue ribbons at the county fair for her rhubarb pie, but I must tell you, the peanut butter frosted chocolate cupcakes my daughter Michele made for her "momma" from scratch, while the kids and I watched Singing in the Rain the one and only rainy afternoon, were pure delight!!! I wish I would have taken a picture. Boy oh boy were they good!!! I do believe Michele brought a bit of Pennsylvania to Idaho with her. How thoughtful, she remembered how much I enjoyed them in PA.
"Any month of the year may be good for a pig pickin' in North Carolina," not so in Blackfoot. Lots of cows and horses. I must say, I had a mighty fine bowl of Buffalo Stew at the Fort Hall Indian Reservation Cafe too. Accompanied with a "hunk" of Native American Fry Bread, it was warmly served. Yum!
Rodney Darling's Blackened Pig
1 medium to large pig
1 medium-size house
Sauce (optional)
Run the pig into the house. Shut all the doors. Set the house afire. Return in three days with oven mitts. Search and serve. Serve with sauce if desired. Serves the entire Darling family. (Mayberry cast member Rodney Dillard)
Are you a Mayberry fan? Try this quiz from Aunt Bee's Mayberry Cookbook. Leave your answers in the comment section and I'll let you know how you did later this week:)
1. Who in Mayberry (besides Aunt Bee) makes intoxicating preserves?
2. In what two cities does Andy have the opportunity to eat escargots?
3. What flavor was Aunt Bee's ice cream that inspired Cousin Bradford J. Taylor?
4. Who in Mayberry has the nickname "cream puff"?
5. According to Goober, where can you get the best mashed potatoes in Mayberry?

Mayberry Recipes

Mayberry may be a fictional place to those who now view the reruns of the Andy Griffith Show. However, to my mind's eye, the Mayberry of 1960 was indubitably real. I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels that way. As a matter of fact, Andy Griffith's hometown of Mount Airy, North Carolina will be holding their annual Mayberry Days festival from September 24-27, in 2009. Gee, I sure would like to visit.
The menu for Aunt Bee's Birthday Bash includes a recipe for Hope for More Chocolate Cake or Andy's Chocolate-filled Angel Food Cake, which I'm sure Andy found, "outstandin"!

Andy's Chocolate-filled Angel Food Cake
6 tablespoons cocoa
6 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 pints whipping cream
1 large angel food cake
1 cup blanched almonds, slivered & toasted
Combine the cocoa, sugar, salt, and cream. Chill for 1 hour. Whipp the chilled mixture. Cut a 1-inch layer from the top of the angel food cake. Cut out the middle of the cake, leaving walls and bottom about 1-inch thick. Fill the cavity with one-third of the cream mixture and one-third of the almonds. Replace the top of the cake. Frost with the remaining cream mixture and sprinkle the remaining almonds over the top and sides. Chill for 2 to 3 hours before serving. Serves 6. (contributed by John Faulkner, Greenboro, NC)
1. Charlie Lee's Chicken Chow Mein Casserole (Aunt Bee's Mayberry Cookbook online recipe)
2. Tea Time Petit Fours (Diane's Desserts website)


  1. We didn't get Andy Griffith over here. However, I do like a recipe that shows a sense of humour.

    I too have to travel to see relatives, and I bloody hate it. I hate flying, not because I'm phobic, but because they seem to do everything on a plane to make you miserable and uncomfortable, and I've always had to travel with small children.

    Anwyay, that's my moan for the day. I'm so glad you had such a nice time with your grandkids!

    Hey, the word verification is "packboxi".

  2. Hi Dulce, thanks for dropping by. Yes, I had a wonderful trip and I do agree, I sometimes think the airlines could be a wee bit more considerate.

    NO Andy Griffith!!! Quite a treasure that show was. I should have tried to find an episode on You Tube. I'm popping over by you right now!!!

  3. Welcome back to the East coast, Louise! As they say, "there's no place like home!" Your travel tales remind me that I have to get on a plane this week. It is always the same ... :-( My brother gave me the Aunt Bee cookbook for my birthday - I still have to get my act together and try a few recipes.

  4. You were much nicer than I would have been and I am not a New Yorker ;).

  5. I've heard that the only people with more attitude than New Yorkers are the Viennese.

    It's certainly worth a trip to try to prove that we can top them. :)

  6. That was a humorous post! I loved the pig recipe, and even more excited for the angel food cake. Thanks Louise!

  7. Thank you, Mommy for the wonderful compliment about the cupcakes. I am forwarding you the recipe for both the yummy cupcakes and delicious frosting. We miss you too!!!!

  8. Hi T.W. Thank you. It sure is good to be back. I'm sure a seasoned travel such as yourself would have handled the situation in a much more diplomatic way. I'm going to check but I think Aunt Bee's birthday is next month. Dig out that Mayberry book just in case!!!

  9. I was having a day of the mubblefuddles Pam or ELSE!!!

    I'm in foodvox!

    Hi Kasha, the pig recipe is awfully funny isn't it? Please let me know if you try the cake.

    Oh Pumpkin, I miss you guys so so much. Bring on the recipe!!!

  10. Welcome back! I think I flew over you in Idaho. Looking down its seems like a part of the world I would like to explore more with the mountains.

  11. Would the Angel Food cake taste different if I add in milk? I wanted to try this recipe but my sister and I are having a fight over this.
    conversational hypnosis

  12. Do you want to use milk instead of whipping cream, Leslie? I wouldn't suggest it but you can sure give it a try!!!

  13. Keep on working, great job!

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Through this wide opened gate,
none came too early,
none returned too late.

Thanks for dropping in...Louise