Sunday, June 24, 2012
A Regular While
Southern expressions are quaint and sometimes puzzling; especially if you haven't lived here for long. I'm a Southerner born and bred, so I am used to it. I use these expressions myself without even thinking about it.
My talkative, older neighbor came by the house this afternoon to drop off some squash and zucchini from his garden and we discussed plants and recipes and canning for awhile.
He was explaining to me how he goes about canning stewed tomatoes.
"I bring them to a bol (with a southern accent, 'boil' is just one consinant, pronounced without the 'i') and I turn down the heat an let em cook down for a regular while, then I hot pack the jars and can'nem."
A Regular While basically means "an appropriate amount of time", varying according to whatever it is you're doing, or where you might be going.
For stewing tomatoes for canning, A Regular While of simmering is about 20 minutes.
For driving distances, A Regular While is open to interpritation.
If you're from someplace else, but have been living in the South for A Regular While, you might be considered an honorary Southerner, like my husband, who has been living in the South for 12 years.
The neighbor and I shot the breeze about getting the deer out of his tomato patch, methods of cooking okra, how I like my brand of canner, Kevin's work schedule, hay field yields for the first cutting, and of course, canning stewed tomatoes. Before I knew it, an hour had passed.
Or, I should say, A Regular While.