Hey y’all (no, I do not use this greeting on a regular basis, in fact I only use it when I am back home) ~
I would first like to say, as my sister can confirm for you, I am incapable of articulating myself quickly and efficiently. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “Rach…what’s the point?” after a long drawn out attempt at explaining something. I won’t name names, but it’s someone whose name starts with the letter J, and ends with a Y, and is good at faking her enthusiasm for football! What can I say, I guess it’s a Southern thing. And so, I hope you like to listen! That’s the great thing about blogging: I get to tell a story, and it can meander in any direction. And the great thing about this blog is that my stories can all be centered around something I love – food.
So, what do cantaloupes and Gone with the Wind have to do with one another?
Two weeks ago, my boyfriend and I decided ride a Harley through the mountains to enjoy the three-day weekend. Colorado is a bit of a Mecca for bikers (which he likes to consider himself in training to be) and September is a great time to ride. We began our trip in Leadville, where we stayed at the flying-fishing cabin of the man I call my “Colorado Dad.”
Ham, my Colorado Dad, is from Atlanta and so out here in Colorado, where everyone seems to be a transplant from somewhere other than the South, I find him refreshing. And he just has the neatest stories. For instance, he tells a story about his great-grandfather that is quite close to his heart (because his dad only told it to him when he was dying). Ham’s great grandfather (like his father) was a prominent attorney in Atlanta. For those of you who don’t know, Gone with the Wind is an American classic that is set in and around Atlanta and tells the story of a young woman’s life during the Civil War (the time period during which Ham’s great-grandfather was a practicing attorney). Ham tells me that most of the characters in Gone with the Wind are based on real people with fictional names for fear of libel, save one Belle Watling who shares the same name as the real person. Because Belle was considered a bastard child, she had no rights to sue Margaret Mitchell (the author) who, in turn, did not feel the need to conceal Belle’s identity. As Ham likes to say, Belle was in the business of “horizontal refreshments” and accordingly she posted a sign outside her business establishment that said one thing: $3. This enraged the town and so the issue went to court. Ham’s great-grandfather represented Belle and ultimately she won! As a gesture of appreciation, Belle Watling gave Ham’s great grandfather a gold pocket-watch that was enscribed “To (I forgot his name!) from Belle Watling” and the date. That watch has been passed from Ham’s great grandfather, to Ham’s father, and now to Ham who carries it around every day. I mean, how cool is that! I won’t begin to speculate about the relationship between Ham’s great grandfather and Belle…
So here’s where the cantaloupes come in. Between fly-fishing nad Harley-riding, Ham served us Rocky Ford cantaloupes for breakfast. Apparently Rocky Ford cantaloupes are in season now, and considered highly desirable. I can attest to this! Ham served them just like his mom and dad served them: with fresh lime juice and fresh ground salt and pepper. Delicious. I immediately bought three cantaloupes for us, and then three more, and we (and by we I really mean I) have not been able to stop eating them since.
This particular combo of cantaloupe with lime juice and s & p reminds me of a time when I was in Mexico on the beach and this local approached me with a mango, lime juice, and hot sauce all for a dollar! What an interesting and simple combo. These are the types foods, and stories in my life that draw my attention; things that are simple with an interesting twist. Thanks Ham for sharing your stories, and thanks for sharing your cantaloupes.
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