Good Things In Small Packages: The Anti-theme

Posted at January 17, 2012 by 1 Comment

a barrel of cheese balls

This month’s theme is ‘good things in small packages’, and with so many excellent blogs about the many wee, delicious bits and bobs, I was stuck coming up with inspiration for my own contribution. After all, I was in the land of ‘bigger is better’. My time in the south over the holidays reminded me of several things that I think are good and bad about this motto: 1. Bigger IS better. 2. Bigger portions often = better value. 3. Do we really need to actually eat ‘all we can eat?’ and finally 4. Do we really need plastic barrels full of cheese balls?

These are the things that were plaguing my mind as I met a friend for lunch one warm (yes, warm) afternoon after Christmas. We needed to kill a bit of time so we went to one of the chain stores that dot the landscape. To be fair, we went to a place where people go to buy a lot of stuff cheaply, but still, a vat of mayo?

Hash browns, dehydrated and ready to fry

I wish I had picked up the barrel of cheese balls. Just to show how it was roughly the same size as my torso and the bag of sugar, well, that is like carrying around a small child! Oh, the sizes! The wide-open spaces, the buckets of baked beans and already melted cheese dip. I’ve seen it all before, after all, I’m an Alabamian, but the one thing that threw me (and worried me slightly) was the size of the scallops. Where on earth do you get them that big? And why aren’t the ones I buy here in Scotland even 1/3 of the size?

Mutantly large scallops







In America, we really do believe that you should ‘go big or go home’, or is it ‘buy big and take it home’?

pre-melted and ready to eat!

And what do you do with it once you get it home? One of the things about southern families is our need to feed people. I have only seen this sort of feeding culture really take hold in Greek households. But I am not complaining. Far from it. The fact that my dad smoked 2 whole and 1 turkey breast for 8 hours overnight on Christmas Eve/Christmas day just to feed 12 people means that I can eat one of my favourite foods every meal for the next week solid!

We typically honey roast ham and smoked turkey and dressing with gravy as the star of the show. To accompany we have sweet potato casserole (with the pecan and brown sugar topping, not the marshmallow), broccoli, rice and cheese casserole, deviled eggs, macaroni and cheese, potato salad, fruit gelatin salad, green been casserole with a fried onion topping, collar greens, squash, steamed green beans, cranberry sauce, pickles, olives and maybe pimento cheese sandwiches, and rolls! A true feast that has been known to feed 30 people for several meals.

Into the smoker!

After 8 hours smokin'

Baked beans, industrial size!

And then the desserts. I’ve already written about the love of pecan pies. But for a holiday our family generally has, 2 pecan pies, 2 buttermilk pies, a caramel or red velvet cake (sometimes both), egg custard, brownies or Rice Krispie treats, candy dotted about and at least 4 types of homemade cookies.

So, I guess when making this much food, those massive portions from the shop come in handy…as do the large Tupperware containers that swallow up the rest.

And for those big wipe-ups











Category : Geekery,Themed
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About MJ

I'm originally from Alabama, USA, and have been in the UK for a bit over 5 years. I'm currently finishing up my PhD in poetry writing at the University of Edinburgh. I teach English Lit tutorials at the uni, work part time at Edinburgh Books, do some freelance copy writing, am a partner in a publishing company based in the States, am the Managing Editor and founding partner of The Istanbul Review, founding member and write for Lunchquest Edinburgh, and I am very attached to showing American Quarter Horses and find that somehow, most things come back to horses, Italy, and getting a book published. I geek out over: Baking bread, Italian cooking, food of the American South Twitter: @Mj801 Blog: Lunch Quest Edinburgh

One Response to “Good Things In Small Packages: The Anti-theme”

  1. BKR says:

    Extremely enjoyable “bad things in big packages” post, Dr MJ :-)


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