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Olivia's Southern Kitchen

Eli said it was gonna be hard to write a blog about myself. LOL. WRONG! THE SOUTH HAS SOMETHIN TO SAY! (self-love? Anyone?...) Meet me! Olivia! I was born and raised in the great state of Tennessee! Though I am based in London for the time being, Tennessee will always be home <3 On the second episode of This Food Bangz, I’m taking you across the pond and down south with me for Sunday dinner in the country.

I made you my grandmother Butler’s country fried chicken recipe as well as my take on Nashville Hot Chicken and all the fixins you’d expect at a Sunday lunch/dinner in the South—green beans, fried okra, fried corn, mac and cheese, squash casserole, and buttermilk biscuits. And we’re washing it all down with none other than sweet tea of course! Save some room for dessert! I cut you a slice of my sweet potato pie.

This is a typical Sunday meal I have with my family at my grandmother’s home. She is the matriarch of our little family. She is an amazing southern cook, an expert gardener and canner, and well, I just love her to bits! And she is the reason I know my way around a southern kitchen. So, here’s to you, Mimi!

In the video and podcast, I talk you through how I make a lot of the dishes, but I’m leaving you with the recipe for my take on Nashville Hot Chicken! Find it on our recipe section, here:

On this episode, Eli and I spoke about a range of topics from food and food history and the importance of family meals, to culture, religion, politics, and race in the South. Sadly, only a fraction of our conversation made the cut for youtube! There were some funny questions he posed and some wild accusations I was confronted with, e.g., ‘I thought white people don’t use seasoning.’ Let me clear up some confusion. Some white people can cook. Some white people use seasoning. And I personally love mayonnaise. Jokez. But really, if there is anything we should know by now it is that any group of ‘people’ are not a monolith—even Southerners.

I can only speak about my experiences (in and out of the kitchen). My South looks different from the next persons. We could have talked for much longer. And, upon reflection, there is so much more I want to say about the place I call home—about my coming of age there, about the humbling nature of small town USA, and about the personal growth I feel I’ve only been able to experience leaving the South (for a while that is). But, in some ways, I think our episode gives you a taste of that. I’d like to think it is worth a watch or maybe even a like and a comment?

P.S. turns out, although there were a wave of confederate monuments erected across the South in the 1920s/30s/40s, the bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest, that until recently sat in the Tennessee State Capitol building, was commissioned in the 1970s! This says it all...

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