I braced myself (three glasses of wine in one hour) for the worst after my Dad forewarning me that he hammed it up for the cameras, and seeing previews rife with Southern clichés the week before. I thought for sure Tony would use his wit and sarcasm to rip South Carolina a new hole in between praising Southern food. Actually, he always seems very gracious and thankful to his hosts on camera, and my Dad wholeheartedly proclaimed Tony and his entire crew the nicest bunch of people ever. It’s just Tony’s bread and butter snark that can sting if you take everything he says to heart. You shouldn’t. And I shouldn’t have expected the worst.
Tony starts off in
I can’t get Tony’s comments about Rachel Ray dining on $40 a day out of my head, though. At $40 a day, Rachel's a cheap ho... uh, cheap-0.
Next up, is a stroll through the side alleys and church yards of
What you should brace yourself for while in
While at the party, the Lee’s discuss Southern foods offered in their catalog – boiled peanuts, green tomato pickles, and
Oh, oh. There’s my Dad on the screen. My Dad ran down the way to cook barbecue, the wood used, the difference between barbecue and grilling, the four types of barbecue sauce, and the history of barbecue, all the while creating great soundbites in an enthusiastic Southern Accent. His secret: emphasize two words in every sentence – it doesn’t matter which two. I’m glad to say that I laughed, not cringed, through the entire segment. Fittingly, my Dad is a ham.
Then it’s off to the Civil War re-enactment camp, where Tony couldn’t have summed up better how I think of these wool-clad history enthusiasts – somewhere on the nerd continuum between stamp collectors and trekkies.
Then to visit and learn about the Gullah people of the Low Country and their culture. I think they found the easiest to understand Gullah people ever. It can be hard to understand their language, and I even grew up with my Momma reading me stories written in the Gullah dialect.
At Jestine’s Kitchen, Tony tries to order the entire menu in an effort to get all the classics in before retreating North. But before they eat, Tim Driggers, a local food writer, irreverently prays and offers up some Ramones and The Stooges albums. Yep, we's crazy, fun, kind people.
Now, I missed who that woman was sitting at the table in Jestin’s, but she mentions chocolate cake with mayonnaise dressing on top? I’ve heard of chocolate cake made with mayonnaise acting like an oil, but on top? Can I get some of what she’s smoking? And a slice of that cake?
Hey, it’s the Lee brother’s again! This time they’re shuckin’ oysters at an outside oyster roast. I swear, no matter where Tony goes he’s always sucking on oysters – and pig.
The show concludes with Tony proclaiming himself a true believer in Southern hospitality, but confused about why the ubiquitous pineapple represents hospitality. I don’t know why either. Without looking it up, I’d say a pineapple is a very nice gift, and you’re a very nice person to give someone a pineapple, and a very nice person if you get a pineapple
So, here’s a pineapple for you, Tony, for not ripping us a new hole and being so very nice to my Dad.