My wife’s family are Virginians, with that famous unreproducible Virginia accent, farming the Tidelands along the James River Southeast of Richmond. They raised vegetables (thats: veja – tubbles) for sale at the Richmond farmers market.( faw-ma’s mah-ket). Early, very early, nearly every day they were up working. While one of the boys hauled the harvest into town, usually by mule drawn wagon, the others were up “hoeing the row”. Hard work, self denial and frugality were the rule— except for at mealtime. The women were all incredible cooks, and dinner, the mid-day meal, was a feast. I’ll never forget their corn pudding! (That’s: Cawn puddin’). The table was filled with bowls and platters of meats, vegetables, and salads. One of my favorite dishes was southern fried squash. My own mother grew up in the Midwest, where they boiled squash, and I never was fond of it, but I fell in love with the Taylor’s southern fried squash.
It’s really simple to make, and only includes five ingredients. In a large cast iron skillet, heat up bacon grease (or olive oil) to moderately high temp, then chop up a yellow onion, and a couple of fresh young yellow straightneck squash into the skillet (they look like gold coins!). Sprinkle with salt and lots of black pepper and turn it frequently with a spatula or wooden spoon. When the squash is brown, and the onion caramelized, it’s ready. It’s done when it looks almost burnt.
Now that southern, honey!