Saturday, July 28, 2007

Some People (and Uncle Zeke) Get Things Backward

Here's a bit of silliness from our favorite scribe, Uncle Zeke from Buzzardtown, aka P. N. Blake of Posey Run. For more on Uncle Zeke see the October 27, '06 entry Uncle Zeke From Buzzard Town

submitted by David Parmer

Some People (and Uncle Zeke) Get Things Backward

I like the springtime in the fall
And the summer’s wintry breeze.
I like to hear the apples fall
From off the hickory tree.

I like to gather in the hens
The speckled eggs doth lay.
I like to sleep on a feather bed
Made out of fodder hay.

I like to sit and read my pipe
And smoke the daily news.
I like to sit by a cold hot stove
And shiver in my shoes.

I like to eat those beanless bugs,
And taters mashed up whole.
I like to eat limburger cheese.
Cooked with possum jole.

I like to lay wake and sleep
And in my slumber talk,
And tell some things I never heard
‘Twould make some people squawk.
Uncle Zeke, March 1931 . . . . . . .

comment 1 Donna Gloff
For city folk (such as myself) I looked up bean bugs and jole.
To the right is a bean bug, photographed by Keith Power, Toowoomba.

Took a bit to find out what Uncle Zeke was talking about: "Cooked with possum jole." "Jole" (rhymes with "whole" "roll") is smoked hog jowl. Making jole with little possum jowls seems to be an unworthy effort. However, from my research I learned that the hog's jaws, smoked up with whatever else you smoke when you've butcher your hog, become jole, and it is a delicacy.
For more on hog butchering, see the Jan '07 entry Hog Butchering
The internet yielded up the following recipe that looks like a takeoff of cornbread & bacon. It has a lot of ingredients that were available around Oil Creek in its hey days: jole, cornmeal, maple syrup, butter, cream & eggs. Chances are, if they'd thought up a concoction like this they would have made it with buttermilk and maybe lard, rather than the cream, yogurt and butter. Maybe molasses would have found its way into the recipe instead of the brown sugar or the maple syrup. (Please comment or correct me on this, if you have other ideas.)

1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1/2 cup of coarse cornmeal
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
3/4 cup half and half
1/4 plain yogurt
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup of finely grated mild cheddar
1/2 cup pork jowl, "jole," 1/4″ dice
confectioners sugar
maple syrup

Preheat oven to 400 F. Cook the smoked pork jowl in a heavy skillet over a medium flame. When it’s crispy but still chewy remove it from the pan and drain on a paper towel.
Sift the flour, corn meal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Add the sugar to the butter and stir to dissolve. Add the egg, half and half, yogurt, and cheddar to the butter mixture. Stir to combine. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Add the pork jowl and mix lightly. Don’t over mix.
Spoon into muffin cups and bake for about 12 to 15 minutes or until a knife inserted into a muffin comes out clean.
Mix up a glaze with confectioners sugar and maple syrup and once the muffins are warm but not hot drizzle them with the glaze.

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