It wasn't Medart that we went to today. It was Metcalfe.
Medart/Metcalfe- what's the difference?
Oh yeah. One is a fishing community down by the coast in Florida and the other is up in Georgia with a huge logging and lumber processing plant.
Whatever. Liz Sparks had taken me there before and she always finds the very best places to visit. The places no one else knows. The places in the woods, the rivers, the highways and the dirt roads. Our destination in Metcalfe, as it was before, was Mary's Kitchen and this time Jessie and August and Melissa came with us and I wish everyone in the world could sit down at one of Mary's tables in her tiny restaurant or on the porch where we ate with the logging operation and train yard on one side
See it back there? You really can't grasp the size of it from a picture.
and this little jewelbox of a southern home on the other:
Here was today's menu before the vegetable selection got changed.
Please click on that and read it. Now THAT is what a menu should look like. And check out the price for lunch. And note that this includes tea or lemonade AND dessert.
Grilled pork chop, mashed potatoes with gravy, fried okra and black-eyed peas.
Texas toast, buttered to perfection came with.
This ain't all healthy and shit food, y'all.
Nah. This is pure southern joy-in-your-mouth food.
Soul food in that it does your soul so good to eat it.
Moaning was involved.
Mary came out and talked to us. I wanted so badly to take her picture and the picture of our server but I was too shy. They were so nice. We told them that we were celebrating Melissa who had just gotten her Master's degree and our server said, "Praise Jesus!" and congratulated her and asked where we were from and of course, they both commented on August and his beautiful eyes. Mary asked Jessie if she stayed home with August or if he was in daycare. Jessie told her that she was home with him, every minute of the day and night.
"Mmm-hmmm. I can tell," said Mary.
It was so good, every bite of it and sip of it, every moment of it.
August sat in his high chair and had some mashed potatoes and squished up black-eyed peas. He loved it all as much as we did.
We were given our dessert choices which were either ice cream or sweet potato bread.
Sweet potato bread?
Oh yes. Please.
What came out was a custard-like serving of sweet potato heaven with butter and cinnamon and probably eggs and who-knows-what? Good Lord but it was good. We scraped our bowls and August even got a tiny taste of that.
Boy is being raised RIGHT!
All of that for $6.50.
We drove back to Lloyd in a food-stupor. Melissa went on home and Jessie changed August and took him home and Liz laid down on the love couch in the library and took a little nap and I laid down on my bed and took my own little nap.
When I got up, Liz was gone but I found this.
And oh my god. I almost forgot to show you these which she brought me.
Four small (about 4 inches by 6 inches) tiny, perfect works of art. I have no idea what they were meant for but the stitches are microscopic and I would give my pinkie toe to know who made them and why. They are exquisite. And they sort of sum up my life.
Somewhere, at some time, some woman made these, having no idea that another woman would some day own them and be amazed and delighted with them, feeling a sort of bond with the artist (there is no other word), absolutely stunned at the embroidery and applique, the detail, the hand-finished edges, the subject matter, the delicacy of the needlework.
I will cherish them for the rest of my life.
As I cherish friends who are part of my life and enrich it so. As I cherish the culture of the place where I live.
OMG, I LOVE the gift Liz gave you. They are so me too. I love tiny stitched things like that and would keep them forever! What a fun day you had. I have never tasted back-eyed peas, do they taste like regular peas? Texas toast sounds divine. I would have had chocolate ice cream. Yum. I am vicariously tasting these tastes.ReplyDelete
Oh wait, and the handwritten menu with the quote and all that food for $6.50. That's more like the tip! I'm plotzing!ReplyDelete
Joanne- Send me your address darling. The thank you not I sent to you a few months ago got returned. I will send you some black-eyed peas with cooking instructions.ReplyDelete
Yes. The bill came to $26 dollars and we tipped eleven. So worth it. I can't wait to go back.
Holy cow! You can't even come close to getting anything like that here. I would kill for it.ReplyDelete
I wish you could have taken the menu - that sweet little thing is frameable. That's what life is all about.
Can I go with you the next time you go there? Please.
What a fantastic post and day! I love the new header -- swooned at that embroidery, too! And the food, oh, the food. I miss that kind of food.ReplyDelete
I read your blog and it is almost enough to make me get in the RV and drive to Florida.ReplyDelete
That sounds like the perfect southern outing! I'm so jealous! Mary's looks terrific and I love that little house across the street. And your gift -- they are exquisite. I wonder who spent so much time on them and why.ReplyDelete
praise Jesus my ass. praise Melissa who did all the work!ReplyDelete
Well, you know I'm over the moon about those stitcheries. And this post. Perfection.ReplyDelete
Days like this are the absolute best. They leave such peace in the soul.ReplyDelete
Fantastic! Now I'm wishing for fried okra and sweet tea. What a wonderful day! XoReplyDelete
Best day ever indeed. I envy you it.ReplyDelete