A RECENT pastime of mine during this Covid lockdown which prevents me from attending the symphony or live theater is watching a daily online cooking class given by a woman in Alabama. On Facebook it’s called “Cooking With Brenda Gantt.” She is completely adorable, and her down-home conversation mixed with a refreshing dollop of good old-fashioned religion offers me a glimpse into a positive lifestyle I have never personally known, having been born and raised in New York and living for 30 years in Washington, D.C.
The only down side is that Brenda makes food that could kill you. Or me, since I had a heart attack in 2017 and am now counted among those with heart disease. Alabama has the sixth highest rate of obesity in the nation. That means out of 50 states, there are only five with fatter folks. So I guess that means they like to eat, and I’m not talking carrot and celery sticks.
One recipe Brenda made sounded promising: Cabbage Casserole. I was excited because I love cabbage, and it actually sounded healthy. I was wrong. It starts with cabbage and onions, and that’s the last we hear of anything that won’t have you calling 911. Added to those lovely vegetables were the following: one can of condensed cream of chicken soup, one and a half sticks of melted butter, one cup of mayonnaise, one cup of grated cheddar cheese and a full stack of crushed Ritz crackers. (Just writing these ingredients is making me slightly ill.) Brenda suggested serving this casserole along with a nice ham and some fried potatoes.
So watch Brenda’s videos for her sparkling personality, charming southern accent, valuable cooking tips and look at a simple life untainted by politics and the pandemic. She’s a real up! Just don’t eat her food.
Andrea Rouda blogs at The Daily Droid.