If you give a Belle an eggplant
She’ll probably look at you funny.
But she’ll take it just the same because a Belle hates to be rude.
She’ll turn it around and admire it’s color and shape…until you tell her it is a vegetable.
Once she realizes it is a vegetable..she’ll ooh and ahh…
Then, she’s gonna want to fry it.
She’ll ask you for some oil and a skillet
You’ll get vegetable oil and your best cast iron…Seeing the cast iron will remind her of fried green tomatoes.
Thinking of fried green tomatoes will make her want to bread the eggplant just like them
She’s gonna need some corn meal
And a little salt and pepper.
Once she has those, she’ll put them in a bowl and give them a good stir. Stirring them up will remind her of cooking with her grandmother when she was a girl and how her grandmother used to love a glass of cold buttermilk….
She’ll probably ask you for some.
Once you get her the buttermilk, she’ll pour some in a bowl
And carefully slice the eggplant…now it doesn’t look so strange to her anymore.
Slicing the eggplant will make her think of eating, thinking of eating will make her think of being thirsty.
She’s gonna want some sweet tea. ….
You’ll go to look for tea bags but discover that you’re out. You’ll have to go to the store. She’ll wanna to go with you.
At the store, She’ll smile and wave at everyone who glances your way. Being this sociable will make her lots of friends. She’ll start to worry that her new friends are hungry and invite them to eat with you.
One of the new friends will be from up north – that will make the Belle think of all they are missing out on. You’ll have to buy some Moon Pies, Pioneer Brand, Milo’s Tea, and pork skins so she can make them welcome baskets.
Once you get home, She’ll ask you to put the tea on while she gets back to cooking for everyone…
She’ll need to pour some oil in the skillet to heat.
Heating the skillet will make her think of summers in Alabama and fields full of blooming cotton.
She’ll get homesick and want you to sing Dixie.
Singing Dixie will take too long because she knows all the verses…the oil will start to smoke.
You’ll have to rush back to the kitchen. Rushing will make you hungrier and tummies will start to growl.
The Belle will remember her eggplant and go back to cooking.
She’ll dip each slice in buttermilk
and then in the cornmeal mixture.
And place them in the oil.
While they are browning, she’ll remember that she hasn’t shown you the Alabama state flag.
She’ll ask for a red marker and a piece of white paper.
She’ll take the paper and draw a big red x on it and hand it to you with a little smile,
being done in time to turn the eggplant slices before they burn.
One they are browned on both sides, she’ll remove them to a paper towel lined plate.
Seeing the paper towels will remind the belle of how far we have all come and how fortunate we are to have such modern luxuries. She’ll want to sit down and give thanks before eating.
Once you are done eating, she’ll want to take the scraps outside to feed the critters, you’ll have to take her to the back yard.
While walking outside, she’ll pass your garden bursting forth with vegetables. Her eyes will get big as dollars and she’ll want to pick them.
you’ll get her a basket and tell her to help herself.
She’ll pick tomatoes first, then cucumbers, working her way down to zucchini…eventually, she’ll get to eggplants.
You’ll pick the biggest one and hand it to her with pride.
And chances are, if you give a Belle an eggplant,…
She’s gonna want to fry it.