Recently, my family and friends threw a baby shower for me and the little Proper Southern Woman to be. It was so fun to be around the folks I seldom see, but who have greatly influenced my life. My aunt made one of my new favorite things for the shower. They are called Lemon Blossoms, and they are heaven. It is a Paula Deen recipe and not a family original. My aunt and momma can both make some good desserts. My aunt is known far and wide for her coconut cake. She fears that when she passes, she will only be remembered for that cake. Yes, the coconut cake is that good. However, these lemon blossoms make for a nice shower food. I could eat hundreds. They are tart and sweet and light and cute as can be...or cute as a bug (I usually reserve that saying for small children and not food, as food and bugs are best kept apart). I don't think it is my pregnancy craving for lemon-flavored anything; I watched my husband clean out a Tupperware container in record time. Go to Paula Deen's website immediately and get this recipe.
I guess I’m thinking about Southern phrases a lot, because my feet are swollen from carrying a big ol’ baby and I can’t seem to do much else. Being pregnant has brought the phrase “burnin’ slap up” to my lips many a time. If you did not know, there are degrees of warmth. When I visit Buffalo to see my beloved husband’s family around Christmas, it is “cold as all get out.” There are other “cold as” expressions, but they are a bit more colorful than I prefer to be. It does get a little chilly down here now and then. If it is still cold but has warmed up a bit, you might get to “plumb cold.” “Plumb cold” still requires a jacket, but you might not need your boggin’ (knit hat for my friends in other parts of the country). Anyway, as it warms up for the first time in the spring, you will hear the phrase blackberry winter. Everyone will tell you its coming. Don’t be scared. It cools off a little again as the blackberries bloom, and you make it through it. When it gets to be about 90 degrees, we like to say that it is “a little warm.” We either understate or overstate. Otherwise, it’s no fun. I think the step right before “burnin’ slap up” is “smotherin.’” As in, I’m smotherin’. I say that a lot as well, especially in high humidity. Some people claim to use phrases like “hotter than a billy goat in a pepper patch.” That seems like too much of a bother to remember and use properly. I just find myself burnin’ slap up the majority of the time these days. I hope you don’t mind if I pray for blackberry winter with a little Easter snow.
“Do What?” may or may not be completely Southern. Whether it is or is not is of no matter. It is still one of my favorite phrases. I walked in on someone in a public bathroom using their cell phone (I am totally against talking on the phone in a bathroom, but that is not today’s topic). My noise upon entering required her to say “Do what?” to the person on the other end of the line. For my readers in New York, she basically said “Some lady walked in and made some noise, so please repeat what you just said.” I do not say it as much as I would like. I find myself saying “What was that?” I feel as though I am somehow denying my Southern roots. Let’s make a pact this week. Please at some point during a conversation, say “Do what?” to the other person and let me know how it goes. After that, I may address why people in middle Tennessee use the phrase “hose pipe” for water hose. I just really don’t get that one.