I made it back to Buffalo, shuffling. Hope that doesn’t mean a delivery of a racially stereotyped baby to my door. A Catskills-style song and dance routine with elves would be nice, though.
The long flight was made bearable by bearable Southern food in ATL. With all my complaints about greens, I have to confess that I could sit around and eat Southern-style collards all day long, every day. The ones I make at home, long simmered with ham hock and dressed with a knob of butter and vinegar, are never as good as the ones I’ve had made by bona fide Southerners. The reason is clear: I don’t have even a hint of the South in me. Even my ancestors are northerly. I even felt helplessly trapped under the Mason-Dixon line when we lived in Baltimore; that’s how North I am.
So, eating at the undoubtedly mediocre buffet at Pascal’s in the Atlanta airport, I was in heaven to tuck into a huge pile of collards, the star of a plate containing mushy long-cooked green beans (yes, another vice of mine), and what I thought would be a smothered pork chop but what turned out to be a Salisbury steak. It was the best TV dinner I had ever had. I followed it with a praline chaser from what is most likely a famous Georgian candy shop, whose name I can’t recall but had something to do with Savannah.
Among all of these delicious delights, the star was a simple preparation of tabasco peppers steeped in vinegar, available as a condiment for the greens. I was too stumped by the moniker “green pepper sauce” when I examined the clear liquid, so I didn’t catch the brand name. My friends tell me there are many different possibilities; the internet agrees. I know it wasn’t Texas Pete’s. The bottles were small and glass, the size of a Tabasco bottle. What, WHAT, was the name of that delicious sauce?