Before today’s light-hearted discussion, please – for your own health – go read “Soybean Oil Causes Genetic Changes In The Brain.” You’ll know what to do…
Sometimes, in fact most of the time I daresay, prepping is more about “What’s between the ears” than anything else.
Sure, it’s nice to have 6-million pounds of freeze-dried foods and tons of vegetable seeds, along with land, water collection, solar, first aid, masks for the nukes, and all that…and guns, and ammo, and 55-gallon drums of Hoppe’s #9…
Often, though, it’s more useful (and did I mention cheaper?) to sit back and look at the (short) history you’ve observed over your lifetime and put on your “diagnostics” hat. Try to figure out where things are going wrong, so we can do something about it. Fix the future and you can prep a lot less.
A Real-Life Example
I happened to pick up a book recently, published by the Texas Folklore Society.. There was no question but that “Tales of Texas Cooking: Stories and Recipes from the Trans Pecos to the Piney Woods and High Plains to the Gulf Prairies ” would land on my Kindle for at least three reasons. First, it was a cookbook. Elaine and I both love to cook and this is a treasure trove of that. (Vinegar cobbler? Hmmm…) Second, it mentioned the Piney Woods district of The Republic and also the Blackland Prairie parts of Texas.
I’d venture most people in Texas have no idea that the Blackland Prairie runs from up along the Red River (effectively, our DMZ with Oklahoma) down generally to the southwest ending around the Eagle-Ford and San Antonio. Maybe on to the Mexico DMZ (which is more MZ than D…). But, it’s the next ecological zone west of the lovely Piney Woods.
The third (and really first) reason for scooping up the book is because it offers a fine assortment of Texasism’s along with a pain-free way to absorb Texas cultural heritage. Through the belly.
Mostly, Texans don’t care what color you are, or where you’re from, we all eat and , breaking bread together is exquisitely bonding. There’s no better place to “talk things out.” Provided splitting the check is decided beforehand.
Which Gets Us to Slang Jang
The arduous research of the Folklore Society includes a Jim-Dandy recipe and backgrounder on how to make “Slang Jang.”
Story hereabouts is that “Slang Jang” may have had something to do with a certain Mr. D. Crockett’s exploits in this region of Texas. He was involved (if I followed it right) in founding Honey Grove, Texas (being named for some honey trees). Which put Honey Grove on the map. Wikipedia relates events this way:
David Crockett discovered the area of Honey Grove when he camped there on his way to join the Texas Army at San Antonio in 1836. Crockett sent many letters back to Tennessee, telling of an area with an abundance of honey-filled trees, hence the town’s name. In 1837, Samuel Erwin became the first settler of the place. B. S. Walcott contributed much to the town’s development, by planning the city’s landscape and later on by selling building lots. In 1873 Honey Grove was officially established.
Samuel Erwin and Davy Crockett, old friends from Kentucky, were instrumental in the founding of Honey Grove. Samuel Augustus Erwin has a large gravestone marker in Honey Grove, stating: “Virginia-born Samuel Erwin was married in 1819 in Tennessee to Sally Rodgers Crisp (1795–1860), in a ceremony performed by local magistrate David Crockett. First settler in the Honey Grove area, Erwin arrived here in 1837 and surveyed land grants for other pioneers. A surveyor by profession, he platted the town site for his friend B.S. Wolcott in 1848. He was the town’s first postmaster and one of Fannin County’s earliest Justices of the Peace.”
What exactly, is “slang jang” and where does it fit in?
Depends who you ask. According to the Honey Grove Preservation League (over yonder) it’s tomatoes, and spices, and oysters, with some ice to keep it cold with variants that include tossing in a can (or two) of canned salmon (yum) and/or some Vienna sausage.
One of my Coonass chums from Loosely-anna might cast slang jang as a cross between a ceviche (spiced pickled fish) and a gumbo; hot seafood chowder with lots of veggies and some rice and local sausage and what-not. On the contrary a few Tex–a-centric Texans might suggest that the lesser gumbo tribes of Louisianna and Peruvian Ceviche purveyors have simply “gone local” and perverted the Texas slang-jang tradition.
Notwithstanding, our “fact-checkers” are siding with Louisianan’s on this citing the Wiki entry on point:
“Gumbo is typically divided into two varieties. Combinations traditionally common in New Orleans and southeastern Louisiana are known as “Creole” after the Louisiana Creole people, descendants of French and Spanish settlers, and enslaved African people, who lived in those areas. “Cajun” combinations were common in southwestern Louisiana, which was populated primarily by Cajuns, descendants of the French-speaking settlers expelled from Acadia (located within the modern-day Canadian provinces of Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island) in the mid-18th century”.
An out of state anthropologist might also remark on the lack of oyster beds so far from coastal estuaries. But, of course, Texas is the Land Of Bigly and our oysters are known for being “free-range” oysters.
It’s a more-or-less established fact that after the (not so) Civil War, Black Prairie Land cattle were shooed up the Chisholm Trail to the railheads around Kansas City. From there, the cattle sometimes made it as far as Chicago, in time and in sufficient numbers to give Upton Sinclair something to write about later on.
Lesser known, are the massive Texas free-range oyster drives from Fannin County to the Pacific Northwest to the beachheads at Quilcene, and other Washington State backwaters, where they established minuature oyster herds.
It’s an alleged fact that many of the free-range ovsters didn’t make it across the difficult mountains between Texas and Washington State; thousands were lost north and west of Denver. You’ve no doubt heard of these renegade Rocky Mountain oysters who were looking to rejoin the cattle herds in Kansas City. ( You can undoubtedly tell, I’m a real history buff…).
“So How Does This Foodie Rant Relate to Losing Our Future?”
Well, we’re just getting ’round-tuit.:” (Being out of stock of square-tuits.)
What makes Texans “Texans” is the art of being able to trace things back to sources in historical Texas times. A lot of this is oral tradition passed down at big family gatherings..
One reason that the South continues to have a vibrant food tradition is that people here tend to spend more family time than in other parts of the country – just going from what we’ve seen first-hand. Even Palestine, Texas, half a days hike from us, has it’s annual Hot Pepper Festival. in October. (Older residents remember it as the Hot Chili Pepper Festival, which is what it once upon a was…)
In the North, people seem focused on working 24-7. yeah,. yeah – tech is addictive. Been there. A good part of the South is still in post-tech reconstruction.
More recently, we’ve been in Texas for 17-years now, and I continue speed-talking ahead of my local peers. To my two cups of Northern high-octane, burned-tasting, (and over-priced) BigBucks coffee, a true Texas may be quenched with a mix of half “sweet tea” and half plain.
Yet when there’s work’s to be done, they do as much, or more, than anyone and usually better or faster. This is much to the consternation of the Coffee Bandits which still roam the American West, holding up mainly sleepy people.
More Coffee is Not Our Future. Young People Are.
Again, experientially, a lot of Northern industrial tech centers seem to run on “rented everything, and totally scheduled lives.” South of America’s midriff, maybe it’s the climate (which isn’t changing, maybe for a lack of hysteria and a dose of skepticism in our area) families often still spend Sunday’s at least several times a month getting together. The Grandma makes up dinner, Dad has a branch water (or 5), the Eldest Son keeps Bud Light in business, while the oldest children seek counseling and guidance due to what they’re hearing and learning along the way.
The North was like that, once upon a….
Right there! That’s the point: ONCE UPON A….
Tradition matters. Families matter. If we are to have a future as a country, we need to focus more on having better – and more – family time. Break bread, not homes. Cut taxes, not coke.
On the Study Finds website, here’s a number to chew on: “American Families Spend Just 37 Minutes Of Quality Time Together Per Day, Survey Finds.”
Still skeptical? The US Department of labor reported (2018) that the average parents (*in other words both of ’em) spent – on average – how much time daily reading to children under age 6? 0.07 hours per day.
Help with the math? 4.2-minutes per day. ISYN. Damn-straight wish they judged extended family dinners, because I’m certain that as those diminish, so does community cohesion. Ever stop to think that’s why immigrating families advance faster than existent ones in many SMSA’s?
The answer is simple: Immigrant families stick together. They kick ideas around and the stupid ones are tossed, having failed the “dinner-table test.” Non-immigrant families have been here so long, everyone thinks they know everything, already, and they head for the door to land up failures on the street.
One of America’s (left-most) politicians was noted for constantly saying “It takes a village to raise a child.” Don’t buy it – it’s another socialist lie. Designed to “take down” families.
Just as the Chinese are programmed to believe “the government has a place at the family table as the Friendly Uncle” so too, the socialists want to write themselves into you family’s dinner table script. They claim province over “the village.”
And, they can get stuffed.
Like the oft-told lie by a certain former president who sold the gullible on the idea that “You didn’t Build Your Own Business” there’s no level below which a street cornder rabble-rouser or socilist thug won’t stoop to seize power.
Our simplistic thinking comes down to this: You don’t need a village. Not even a web.
What you do need a family. Because the school boards of today are too busy trying to program gender nonsense into children and empire-build to the left. Instead of teaching centrist history (found in cookbooks) so youngsters know what slang jang is. (Even if maybe the oyster drives are pushing things a bit, lol.)
Rather than making up a new “soft industries” of climatism genderism, isn’t it more likely the kids will be better-off spending some time listening to the old people ? Listening to the grown-ups, as many of us did, at the Sunday dinner table? :
Leaning family traditions and the towering history of America at the family level, unblemished by political agendas, if the well of free thinking. We ignore it at our peril.
Which is, dear reader, why local cookbooks from historical and folklore groups are a useful substitute diet for the young with value-deprived souls. Take away their carrots and granola, and feed ’em a pot roast with gravy.
But first, a little slang jang.
Write when you get rich,
P.S. Oh, yeah, we got the crackers…