Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Is my southern showing?

   So why is my blog named Boston Sweet Tea Party?  Well, I'm a girl from Virginia living in Boston.  And while I by no means consider myself a southern belle, I do let my southern upbringing affect the way I live my life a lot.  I've been told that you can tell that I'm not from here because I'm "nice."  I will go ahead and de-bunk the myth that people in the northeast aren't nice.  It's just not true...mostly.  I also get a lot of questions about why I don't have a southern accent.  Sorry to disappoint, but good to know the stereotypes go both ways.  For the record, most people here don't have a Boston accent.  

So what exactly did I bring with me from Virginia to the city of Boston?

1) Shrimp and grits--recipe below
2) Sweet tea-- try my spiked version here!
3) Love for my college--this isn't just a southern thing, but I have found that school spirit is
    on another level in the south than it is here.  I think it's a football thing.  Obviously  a lot of 
    the city schools here don't have football teams.  It's also because we lack professional 
    sports of any kind in Virginia.

4) Love for my high school sweetheart--not to say that this is only a southern thing, but I 
    know maybe ten couples from my high school that are now married or about to be 
    married.  People here in Boston seem to be utterly shocked by this fact.  I think it's 
    because people here on average get married older than they do in the south.
5) Love of entertaining--I feel like one of those old southern ladies that always makes way
    too much food and forces people to eat way too much!
6) Love of warm weather--no brainer.  The winter here is really cold.

What have I embraced since living here?

1) Lobster anything--yes please!
2) Fall--the fall here is so amazing!  The colors are so beautiful and the crisp air lasts
    longer than it does in the south. 
3) Driving in the snow--never thought I'd be able to do this.  I proved myself wrong last year 
    when I drove home from work in a blizzard with near white-out conditions.
4) Local beers--I never liked beer until I got here.  Sam and Harpoon are staples in this house.

5) Being able to walk everywhere--city living at its best!
6) The knowledge that the tinier the restaurant, the better the food tends to be--not always
    true, but it's nothing like the south where chain restaurants rule the land.

Want to add a little southern to your life today?  You should make shrimp and grits right now.  No really, it takes like 10 minutes.  I'll wait right here for your comment about how I was totally right.  A tip from this lazy girl: I use frozen shrimp, so I throw those babies in a little cool water bath while I prepare the other ingredients.  Recipe below.

Easy Shrimp and Grits
1 cup water
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup quick cooking grits
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 medium onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
dash of red pepper flakes, to taste
black pepper, to taste 
2 slices thick cut bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Scallions, sliced to garnish

In a medium saucepan, bring water and milk to a boil. Stir in grits and reduce heat to low and simmer for 7-10 minutes, until thickened and popping. Remove from heat and stir in butter and cheese.

While grits are cooking, heat bacon on medium-high heat in medium skillet and cook until crispy. Remove bacon and let rest on paper towel. Reserve the bacon grease from the bottom of the pan.

Cook onions in bacon grease until almost clear.  Season the shrimp with the black pepper, paprika, cayenne, and red pepper flakes. Add shrimp to the skillet and cook until the shrimp turn pink, about 1 minute per side. Lower the heat to medium and add the garlic and lemon juice. Cook for another 1-2 minutes until the garlic is softened.  Garnish with bacon and scallions. Enjoy!

 *Please excuse my blatant generalizations of the north and south here-- I for one don't think they're as different as most people make them out to be.  These are just some of my observations :)

*Linking up with Northeast Bloggers Network, Ashley and Jessica



  1. I LOVEEEE shrimp and grits and since you named this as "easy" I'm gonna have to try it! Found you from the link up :)

  2. As a southerner that has just been relocated to Michigan, I can definitely agree with some of your sentiments. Turns out the people here are very nice and much friendlier than what you hear. They don't tell strangers their life story at Walmart or anything, but they are extremely polite. And while some people have accents, not everyone has a strong one, and people are surprised I don't "sound like a Southerner." The truth is that I'm from south Louisiana where pretty much no one has a southern drawl.
    I've also found that it is much more common in the south to marry a high school sweetheart. I did, and so have many other friends of mine. I agree that it is probably because it is more common to marry young. Also, in Louisiana, very few people leave the state for college because we have a program that allows all high school graduates free tuition so long as they meet course and GPA requirements. As a result, college doesn't separate as many couples here as in other areas, I would assume.
    Very much enjoyed reading your post!

  3. I went to an SEC school and its definitely a totally different world up here. I miss the college spirit! :)

  4. The only issue I had as a Northern girl living in Florida for 5 years was that I talk too fast for the folks down there, but once I acknowledged this and could specifically slow myself down in business situations all was well.

  5. OMG, lobster rolls! I'm so glad they've made their way down to NYC. There's even a couple of trucks that sell them. That's one thing I missed out on during my previous trips to Boston--next time, I'll be sure to have lots of lobster.

  6. Maybe one day you will bring your northern ways back to the South like I did many years ago. I must say that I am going to try the shrimps and grits recipe.

    The Mom

  7. Confession - I have never had shrimp and grits and I'm from (and still live in) the south!! This recipe makes me want to!! Definitely going on my to-make list! Thanks for linking up!


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