Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wednesday’s Word(s) of the Day: Dressed Up!

We’ve got two words today, because Louisianans love to play dress-up…with their food, that is.

Our words are “dressed” and “dressing”.

The first refers to sandwiches.  If you order a sandwich in Louisiana, your server is going to ask, “you want that dressed?”  No, he/she does not mean this:




Rather, it refers to what you want ON your sandwich.  A dressed sandwich has lettuce, tomato & mayo on it.  Order it undressed, and you’ll just get meat…maybe cheese if you ask for it. 

Simple enough, right? Suuuuuure…. Took me a while when I first moved here.  I got a lot of really bald sandwiches.


(dressed up & ready to hit the town!  Err…I mean…get in your belly.)


Moving on to: DRESSING.

I grew up in the Midwest, and as much as we try our hardest to proclaim our independence from the rest of the Yankees (“We were an independent territory!  My ancestors had farms & slaves!  I’m probably related to Jesse James! I love catfish & fried food!!!”), in some ways, we are very Yank-ified.  I grew up with “stuffing”. 


(“Stuffing.  Stove Top Stuffing.  Shaken, not stirred.”)


Whether it was cooked in the bird or outside the bird, it was still STUFFING… I mean… it’s ON THE BOX.  “Stuffing Mix”.


But south of the Mason-Dixon line, “stuffing” is considered an unpleasant word, too harsh for genteel southern ears.  So, like they dress their sandwiches, they dressed their turkeys as well. 


And boy-howdy-keeyau, did they dress them.  While Midwesterners like me were raised with good ol’ Uncle Stove Top at every holiday meal, during my time in Louisiana I learned that not all side-dishes come from a box.  I know…shocker, right?

Oyster dressing, cornbread dressing, shrimp & crab dressing, jalapeno dressing, chicken dressing, turkey dressing, sausage dressing, boudin dressing… All of it, fantastic.  Because, hey, while stuffing/dressing isn’t potatoes, it’s still my second favorite sidedish.



Now—I have a confession.  I have never MADE dressing myself, from scratch (alternately, I’ve made enough Stove Top to choke about 5 cows over the period of my lifetime)….this is because my cousin Manda once watched/helped our Nana make stuffing from scratch, and she then told me it was the most disgusting process she’d ever experienced.  (We were teenagers at the time…she may have had worse life experiences since then.)  But since I LOVE stuffing, the idea of being disgusted by it scared the crap out of me.  SOOOO….I never made it.


Maybe one day…. one day….

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