I’m from southern Alabama. Some people like to call it “lower Alabama,” or LA for short. Call it what you will, it was home for me growing up. The older I get, the more attractive it becomes as a place to live, but it hasn’t always been that way.
You see, when you grow up living in LA, you tend to sort of take it for granted. The people, the lifestyle, the land, the food; by the time you are eighteen years old, you have had enough of the “simple life” and Atlanta, Georgia (or “anywhere else” in the USA) seems to beat the heck out of Ozark, Alabama.
The problem is, when you get to college in Atlanta and you’ve spent your first seventeen years in Ozark, you generally don’t have a clue about fine dining. There weren’t exactly a bunch of French, Italian, Greek, Japanese, or Thai restaurants in LA, and where I come from, Sushi is what we call fish bait. We could, however, fix you up with some deluxe fried chicken, country fried cube steak, fresh vegetables, biscuits & gravy, and we did a mean sirloin steak on the grill (charcoal, not gas…thank you very much.)
Fine dining just takes awhile to learn, and the one thing I learned very quickly was that throwing money at the problem definitely did not guarantee results. There was nothing more disappointing in 1979 than having the opportunity to dine with a member of the fairer sex, throwing $40 of hard earned summer job cash at food and wine, and going home hungry and disappointed (about the food, we’re not discussing women here, guys—get your minds out of the gutter.)
Fortunately, over the past twenty-five years I have learned a thing or two about fine dining and how to use raw fish as something other than fish bait. I’ve had the opportunity to dine in many of the well known restaurants in the major cities of the US. The Redneck Gourmet is not a restaurant review blog, however.
The Redneck Gourmet is about good home cooking, but not necessarily grits and cubed steak. Just like finding that throwing money at dining out doesn’t guarantee results, I have found that having just any old recipe for a given dish doesn’t ensure your home cooking efforts will yield the desired results—a perfect home cooked meal with authentic seasoning and flavors.
To this end, I’d like to share my interest and ability in cooking high quality food in my own kitchen, and telling you, my (soon to be) devoted reader, how to do the same. I realize that the internet is loaded with good cooking sites, places like Food Network, Epicurious, and others that I have to compete with, but competition is not my intention. I just love to cook and I love to write and The Redneck Gourmet allows me to combine both of these passions into one exercise…and on Blogger.com, it’s free.
I really hope that you enjoy my efforts.
Virgil R. Rogers, III