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Robert St. John

Restaurateur, author, enthusiastic traveler, & world-class eater.

North vs South Weddings

July 30, 2008

North vs South Weddings

While reading the July 27th edition of the New York Times I came across this wedding announcement:

“Coleen Mary Jennings and Bethany Ann Mills affirmed their partnership on Wednesday night at Full Moon, a resort in Big Indian, N.Y. Tim Hughes, a friend from San Francisco, and Randy Schwartz, a friend from Manhattan, led the commitment ceremony, which included a neo-pagan ritual called handfasting, where the couple’s hands were bound together with ribbons.”
Today’s column is not about Coleen and Bethany. I wish them all of the best things in life. It’s also not about a commitment ceremony presided over by Randy from Manhattan. It’s not even about a neo-pagan ritual.

This column is about the difference between the North and the South. I keep hearing reports of the homogenization of our country and how “alike” we are all becoming. “There’s not a dime’s bit of difference between the North and the South,” they’ll say.

Let’s contrast the Northern commitment ceremony with a recent Georgia wedding as reported in the Gwinnett Daily Post on July, 5th. The headline read: “Couple Marries at Waffle House.”

The Post stated, “The lucky couple, George “Bubba” Mathis and Pamela Christian – both 23 and employees at the Dacula diner (Waffle House) located at the Ga. Highway 316/U.S. Highway 29 interchange… For years, the couple tried to marry on their Independence Day anniversary. But the bride was always scheduled to work. Instead of waiting any longer – she got the day off at the last minute; Mathis had to report for the morning shift – the couple of nine years decided to seal the deal at work.”

The Post continued, “The result was what a NASCAR tailgate might be like if Hank Jr. himself stopped by with all his rowdy friends: Loud and proud – country music, storytelling and plenty of Dale Earnhardt paraphernalia”

A Waffle House wedding makes one long for a neo-pagan ritual of handfasting.
I happened upon the Waffle House news story on the Internet the same morning I was reading the New York Times. There was no formal announcement in the Georgia newspaper, but had there been one, I imagine it would have read something like this:

George “Bubba” Mathis and Pamela Christian were married at the Waffle House on Highway 29 in Dacula, Georgia between the breakfast and lunch shifts last Saturday. The couple exchanged their vows on the asphalt just beside the handicapped parking spot near the new entrance. The bride wore a flowing white gown which she had just changed into in the ladies room after working the graveyard shift. The groom wore his standard-issue Waffle House uniform, resplendent with black apron, non-slip shoes, and paper cap, as he was scheduled to man the flat-top griddle during the reception.

Guests were entertained by the Waffle House jukebox while waiting for the bride to walk down the aisle (sidewalk). The processional, Honky Tonk Badonkadonk, by Trace Adkins, played loudly over cries of, “Patty melt plate on two, scattered, covered, and diced,” and “Someone needs to clean the coffee spoons,” coming from inside the diner.

The bridesmaids were all sisters of the bride who also served waffles and patty sausages at the reception. The groomsmen were fellow employees who were busy covering the groom’s shift inside the diner while the couple exchanged vows.

A quick reception was held at booths six, seven, and three as Bubba finished his scheduled shift. The couple then drove to Gatlinburg with their three children for the honeymoon.

In the end, I guess it’s all about love. Whether one is having their hands wrapped in ribbon, or saying “I do” while eating a scrambled egg sandwich. Just don’t ever let anyone tell you that there’s no difference between the North and South.

Of course, this is all coming from a guy who was re-married by an Elvis impersonator at the Graceland Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas the day after his church wedding. Love knows no bounds (of taste, that is).

Breakfast Casserole Number 1

1 lb Spicy breakfast sausage
3 /4 cup Onion, diced
1 /4 cup Green bell pepper, sliced
1 /4 cup Red bell pepper, sliced
1 tsp Garlic
1 tsp Creole Seasoning (recipe page xxx)
1 tsp Cayenne pepper
10 Eggs, beaten
1 cup Half and Half
1 tsp Dry mustard
6 pieces White bread, crusts removed
6 pieces Wheat bread, crusts removed
1 /4 cup Soft butter
1 cup Sharp cheddar, shredded
1 cup Monterey jack cheese, shredded
1 tsp. Hot Sauce

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Brown sausage in a large skillet and drain most of the fat. Add vegetables, garlic and seasoning and cook five minutes. Set aside.

Mix together eggs, half and half, and dry mustard in a mixing bowl. Using the softened butter, butter both sides of each slice of bread. Cut the bread into small cubes. Fold the bread, cheeses and sausage mixture into the eggs. Mix well and place in a buttered two-quart baking dish.

Bake for 40-50 minutes. Allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving. Yield: eight servings

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