June 24, 2008

Chad, Thad, Jeremy and a Slammin Screen Door

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Chad and Thad were my next door neighbors in North Carolina. I was mostly in love with Thad and a little in love with Chad. They were twins. We went to school together. And in my head, I knew I was going to marry Thad. I was 7.

Maybe it's because I am just romantic in nature, but more likely it's because I started watching movies like Gone With The Wind and An Affair To Remember when I was still in a crib, that I wrote a love note to Chad and Thad when we moved. It went something along the lines of: "This paper is wet from the tears I am crying because I will never see you again." I'm not kidding - can you believe a 7 year old would spew such sap?

Chad and Thad were my first loves. Oh wait. I forgot about Jeremy. Jeremy went to church with me. I used to go over to his house to play and I remember one Sunday, we were sitting under the trampoline and we decided to see what it was like to kiss. So we did. I think I remember it being fun. I was sad to leave him, too, when we moved.

But it wasn't all about the boys. I had another love when I lived in North Carolina. Yes, the first food I really fell in love with was Southern food. The Pig Pickins we went to with the roasting pig, the potato salad, the black eyed peas, the fried chicken, the lemonade. Mmm. It was all so good. And I learned to cook from the Southern Living Magazine cookbooks that my mom had. All of my good recipes come from something that I learned in those books.

And even though I'm not technically a Southerner, I sometimes still find myself slipping into a little accent when I'm around people that are from there.

Planning an evening with my friend Ansley, who is from South Carolina, I thought it would be a great night to hit up Screen Door, Portland's headquarters for Southern cooking, while we were waiting for a show at the Doug Fir. I needed to give this place another try after having not such a great experience a couple of years ago.

We had to wait a while - maybe 45 minutes, which is really not that bad. And the staff was really friendly. The atmosphere just pulled conversation out of us and before we knew it, we were being seated. Our waiter bonded with Ansley over South Carolina and chatted with us for a minute while we were deciding on our food. I had Roasted Beet Salad, Collard Greens, Crispy Fried Pork Chop and a piece of corn bread. Ansley ordered Low-Country Grits and Crispy Fried Catfish.

It was all perfect - the Southern Hospitality, the perfectly cooked and flavored greens and the pork chop was seriously crispy and had tons of flavor. Ansley was pleased with her food, too - it didn't disappoint the true Southerner among us, so I knew we had done good.

It makes me think of this prayer we used to say in school in NC: God is great, God is good. Let us thank Him for this [amazing, glorious, homey] food. Amen.

And thus ends my love note to Screen Door.

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Amy said...

Great post. I love Screen Door too.

Hey, It's Ansley said...

This was delicious and just the little bit of home I needed. And our waiter was SOOOO cute. We have had a few cute waiters lately, so lucky.

Hey, It's Ansley said...

When we are roommates, we should practice Southern accents.

Chelsea said...

Chad and Thad.I haven't heard about them in ages. I like this post and it makes me want to give Screen Door a shot.