By Sally Perkins
There is a record amount of meat consumption projected for 2018 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture – 222.2 pounds per person. This exceeds the previous record set back in 2004. Needless to say, Americans love their meat, and Texans are no exception. The southern states are synonymous with barbequed meats, smoked meats, pulled meats, absolutely anything meat. So what do you do when you are cooking for both the traditional and new age family and friends? How can you possibly make everyone happy?
Keep It Old School
The familiar is comforting, and it’s comforting because we know what to expect, we know exactly what that Whataburger burger is going to taste like when we pick it up with both hands and chomp into it. So don’t serve Aunt Kathy your famous fermented kimchi quinoa savory cakes when she is hoping for brisket. And you aren’t going to win any points serving that brisket to your sister’s vegetarian yogi friend that has just moved here from Portland. Thankfully there are many happy mediums and a few acceptable compromises in between.
Fried green tomatoes are a wonderful and traditional option, accompanied with a red pepper aioli and your Aunt Kathy will be rehashing stories of her childhood to anyone who will listen. There are many other Southern style sides to serve as happy little saviours like cornbread, sweet potato fritters, mac and cheese, grits, collard greens, biscuits, and more.
Managing The Mains
If you think the Texans at the table might be a little adventurous you can play a little more with the main dish. Traditional dishes like BBQ beef brisket, Southern chili, chile rellenos, and any number of casseroles can all be made with great substitutions like tofu, beans, or jackfruit. If you want to keep the peace, these recipes are also easily doubled and split, so you can make both a meat version and a vegetarian version. It is all going to depend on how adventurous your family and friends are.
Rounding Out The Meal
Make everyone happy with a well-known dessert like a peach cobbler, sweet potato pie, or a simple pound cake. Top it off with a Southern cocktail, perhaps an Old Fashioned or Sazerac, and you will have everyone smiling and joking around.