I was talking to a co-worker at lunchtime and by the end of it all, I was positively drooling. First he shared his recipe for Lo Mein, which is basically cooked wheat pasta with stir-fried chicken breast and assorted vegetables in sesame oil with appropriate seasonings. Then he talked about Jamaican Jerk Pork.
Since he was so into cooking, I shared an old "Cracker" recipe.
Crackers are true, deep-south Florida natives. They're pretty rare these days, as most of them have died out and those of us who are natives in this area usually have parents who were northerners or were influenced by yankees as we were growing up. An old-fashioned Cracker talks with a deep drawl and usually grew up with no air conditioning in the middle of scrub palmettos, rattlesnakes, and pine trees.
Years ago, my ex-husband worked with an old Cracker. He shared a recipe with us that we absolutely love. It's something his mother and her mother before her used to make. They used "Swamp Cabbage" (which is the heart of the palmetto tree) but now we use regular cabbage.
Take a pound of smoked bacon, and chop it up. Fry it until it's crispy, draining the fat regularly into a mug or bowl. Make sure you wipe the side of the pan whenever you drain it, as the fat will drip on the burner and smoke.
Remove the cooked bacon and drain it on paper towels. Pour enough bacon grease back into the frying pan to cover it. Take at least half a head of cabbage, chopped, and put it into the frying pan along with generous amounts of salt and pepper. Keep stirring it until the cabbage has been reduced and is translucent. Add more cabbage, grease and seasonings as desired.
When all the cabbage is cooked down, stir the bacon back into the mix and serve with baking powder drop biscuits on the side.
Voila! Heart attack on a plate ... and it's sinfully good.
Needless to say, we eat this only once a year.