Our first stop was Atlanta to visit our friends and former neighbors, who also happen to be Jewish. During the course of the visit, I commented that my brother wanted me to make a big batch of chopped liver and teach him to make it when we were there. He was hankering for some and couldn't get it locally. (The state of Mississippi has a small Jewish population, which doesn't reside in or around Tupelo.") Jennifer was amazed and bewildered that a Mississippian was requesting the traditional Jewish staple.
Dinner the first night in Tupelo was a spicy Crawfish and Shrimp boil with potatoes, corn, and very hot sausage. Someone trucks it up for the southern part of the state, then boils it up in some parking lot, and dishes it out by the bag full to a long line of customers. Steve and I asked for shrimp.
I ate one crawfish, which Dennis peeled for me. It tasted good, but was far too spicy and far too difficult to eat. They looked like little lobsters individually, but a plateful of them looked daunting to me.
Sunday centered an afternoon meal at an Italian restaurant in Saltillo, which we had reserved for the afternoon. Going to dinner with five kids under the age of four, it seemed wise to take over the whole place. The Dickey Band brought their instruments, and we entertained ourselves and the staff.
The final day we BBQ'd on Dennis' front porch, a thirty-minute drive outside Tupelo. (I have no clue what direction.) In addition to Southern BBQ staples, we had the chopped liver. Everyone tried it, piling it on their plates alongside the traditional BBQ fare. Dennis kept the leftovers.
I received this email from Dennis a couple of days ago.
"Just a small dab remains.
Sunny loves liver, but was not totally up on the stuff.
I used bread crumbs, an egg, etc. and made “salmon patties” with some of it.
Then fried them in safflower oil at around 375.
Totally delicious. She was trying to talk me out of one of mine.
Gonna eat the dab I reserved on crackers for lunch.
Like Dad used to say, “I wonder what the rich folks are eating tonight?”
Having a pseudo-Jewish sister is not half-bad.
Will make a batch with Habaneros in a week or two.
She will probably inhale it."
Chopped Liver Meets Redneck. Need I say more.