"If you could send one meal through a time warp
to the people of the year AD 4022 -
one meal to tell them who we were and what mattered to us -
tell me that meal should not be pulled pork with vinegar sauce. "
Craig Kenneth Bryant
For no reason other than dawdling like a kid whose bedtime has come and gone, I found myself in the magazine aisle of Publix this evening. I stood there waiting for something to catch my eye or whisper, "pssst, pick me." I try not to acknowledge whispering magazines or two for one packages of Oreos, or the whole Blue Bell Ice Cream freezer for that matter, but after first looking around to see if anyone else could hear the "psst" my eyes fell on a magazine I have not yet made the acquaintance of.
Like the Southern Living I spoke of in my prior post, the cover of this one was decorated with mouth-watering food - a life sized pulled pork sandwich dripping in slaw, sitting on a red and white checkered tablecloth. (Note to self: don't shop for magazines on an empty stomach.) It billed itself as "the SOUL of the SOUTH." I have to ask you the same question my Sweetie couldn't answer. If you were going to publish a magazine that encompasses what you consider to be the "Soul of the South" and other titles such as Southern Living had already been taken, what would you name you magazine? (Insert Jeopardy theme song - da da da da ....)
The Soul of the South, perhaps? Or Hi Ya'll? Or The Moonshine Gazette? All of these are good guesses, but my friends, the magazine that portrays the very essence of southern living is none other than Garden & Gun (with the ampersand as dressed up as a Southern belle's hat on Derby day.
Garden & Gun????? I had to do more than a double take. Then I actually picked this baby up and rifled through a few pages. Sho' nuf, there's a little bit of garden and a few pictures of camo dressed men shouldering either a rifle or a fishing pole. There are stories of banjo pickers and Southern hot spots known mostly to locals. If you're eating BBQ at Petunia's Silver Jalapeno, or the Hickory Pig, or Aretha Frankensteins, there is little doubt you'd be somewhere south of the Mason Dickson line.
I know you're wondering if I bought it or not. My answer, sounding sweet as Scarlet O'Hara in the midst of southern gentlemen, "Oh fiddledy dee, it's just a little ole magazine, and I bought it for the articles." I considered asking for a plain brown wrapper because I really didn't want anyone to see me walking out of the grocery store with a gun magazine. But as it turns out, this magazine is way more about living the good life in the Land of Cotton than redneck cracker boys who need suspenders to keep their britches up when they crawl onto a deer stand to wait for Bambi. Garden & Gun has ads for Rolex watches, Mercedes Benz CLSs, and the United States Polo Association. What I thought might be something the likes of Paula Deen shootin' and skinnin' her own possum, and cookin' it with herbs from her own garden is more like Paula Deen sittin' in the Garden & Gun Club dining room being served possum under glass on Lennox china by a man wearing a tuxedo.
The moral of this story is clear. Don't judge a magazine by its title.
Today I'm grateful for completed projects, rain, and photographs of people I love.
Wishing for you a tall glass of your favorite beverage, a delicious magazine and time to wander through the pages.
* A Southern Food Fight, by Sid Evans, Garden & Gun, June/Jul 2011, pg. 8
[Ed. Note: The more I looked through this magazine, the more I realized that it is not completely new to me. I remember reading a copy in my dentist's office and may have written this exact blog post a few years ago. I tried to find it but got lost in my blog archives. The person at blogspot whose job it is to keep track of how many posts we bloggers blog, has me up to over 800. Can this possible be true? One day I may have to sit down and read it all!]