Breaking the Belle Curve




I am a born and bred Southerner.  I lived outside the South — waaaaaay outside on another continent entirely — for four years, but despite the temptation of Wiener Schnitzel and apple strudel, my Southern soul still yearned for fried chicken and peach cobbler.  I even gave “fried chicken lessons” to several of my Yankee neighbors and tried to explain to another exactly what black eyed peas were.

Southern women have certain “things” that just are.  Things like courtesy, being able to correctly use the word “y’all,” the ability to tell someone to go to hell and make them look forward to the trip and knowing when to bless someone’s heart.

We call our elders Miss So-and-So, and despite being mumblesixty-ishmumble years old and being called Miss Marilyn myself, I still call my elderly neighbors Miss Vera, Miss Margie and Miss Lois.

I have a deviled egg plate, something NO respectable Southern woman is without. However I do not have a silver pattern.  It’s just too expensive and I’d rather travel than eat with Grand Baroque or Francis I.

Another thing a Southern woman does is make good chicken salad.  Recipes vary but the basic ingredients are the same.  I use cooked chicken, finely chopped pickles (I like the tart bread and butter ones), chopped hard-cooked egg, some salt and pepper and mayo to bind it together.

I made a batch last night and I am ashamed to say that I broke the belle curve.  I did something you simply are not supposed to do and still be able to hold your Southern head high.  I used some dark meat.  *gasp*

I can hear the outrage now.  I didn’t want to break the rules.  I just ran out of white meat.  There’s only a little dark meat in there and unless you look real hard you can’t see it.

But my sense of truth, justice and the American way insists I must confess my transgression.

So… fellow Southern Belles, do you follow the Belle rules?  Tell me your favorite.  Or your most recent transgression is you like.  I promise I won’t drum you out of Belle-dom.