It’s Trotter Time

January 23, 2010 by  
Filed under Its Trotter Time

“Each person has an equal opportunity, not to become equal, but to become different. To realize whatever unique potential of body, mind and spirit he or she possesses. Celebrate that fact!”

with Columnist Dicky Trotter

“I cook therefore I am.” I saw this on a bumper sticker once and fell in love with the quote. I have been cooking since I was a teenager and loved watching my Grandmother cook our family Christmas tradition brunch, Quail smothered in gravy.  Now some in the South say cooking is women’s work and men don’t know how to nor have the knack to cook well, but I disagree. I am about as big of a bubba as you will want to meet, a sophisticated bubba I admit, but bubba or bubber still the same. It’s kind of like saying men don’t eat quiche. Well hell, I do, and I don’t know many men that don’t.

I grew up hunting and fishing, and was taught that you never took anything from nature unless you intended to use it, so we ate a lot of wild game and fish. During my twenties and thirties which I jokingly call my retirement years, I would go hunting every Thursday afternoon with three old men. To tell the truth I hunted and fished almost every day, but Thursdays where special. They taught me everything I know and appreciate about nature and the out-of-doors.

These three old maids, as I referred to them, also taught me about the camaraderie of being with men, a lot about humor and how to be a sportsman. Every Thursday night we would cook and invite everyone around our farm for ten miles to come enjoy and take part in our bounty. This was my first experience in learning how to cook. Two of these men where excellent cooks. Bright Stevenson who owned three restaurants taught me a sort of gourmet style, while Billy Tolar the local game warden, taught me more of the traditional cooking-on-the-bank-of-the-creek style. The third one, Ducky, who owned the hardware store always did his part in cleaning the game and he taught me how to eat everything. From those years I wrote and published a cookbook called the “Art of Wildlife Cooking” that I marketed when I used to own the Southeastern Wildlife Expo. It was full of wild game, seafood and southern recipes. It also told many funny stories about my experiences with those three great friends.

In my thirties I got a wild hair and believed I needed to open a restaurant. By the way, Tybee has a number of good ones, but my father advised me from his experience to never do this type of venture. Well, I never took most of my father’s warnings very seriously, so I decided to work for a friend that owned a catering company first. I worked there for over a year, long enough to know I never wanted to work that hard in my life again. However I had the opportunity to work under a great C.I.A. chef who taught me what I called “sophisticated cookin.” Here is where I graduated to a whole other level, learning the five main sauces, European style cooking and cutting up veggies into little animals and flowers. Whoopie!

I never opened the restaurant and I know my father is smiling from up there glad at I listened to him one time, but I still cook as a hobby and love to have friends over – we have a dinner club that meets every month  – I trade recipes and cook with my chef buddies. Tybee’s a good place to explore this hobby with such great fresh seafood, local produce and friends to enjoy it with. Can’t think of any better way to share a bit of myself, and Tybee, but to give you a recipe.

Dicky’s Tomato Pie:
Great with anything, especially Shrimp and Grits

INGREDIENTS:
– 10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
– 2 Tomatoes,  (real mater sandwich tomatoes)
– 1 prebaked 9-inch deep dish pie crust
– 1 cup grated Kraft Four Cheeses
– 1 cup grated Kraft Sharp cheddar cheese
– 3 table spoons of fresh grated Parmesan Cheese
– 1 cup mayonnaise; salt and pepper to taste

Directions: (Preheat oven to 350 degrees)
Bake your pie crust. Place the tomatoes in a colander in the sink in 1 layer. Sprinkle with salt and allow to drain for 10 minutes or longer, if you don’t the pie will fall apart. Layer the tomato slices. Season with salt and pepper.  Put a piece of fresh basil on top of each tomato slice.  Combine the grated Sharp Cheddar and four cheeses and mayonnaise together. Sprinkle the Parmesan Cheese on top. Spread mixture on top of the tomatoes and bake for 30 minutes until lightly browned. To serve: cut into slices and serve warm.

There are many variations to this recipe. You can crumble bacon on top of the tomato slices, add onion, or cooked squash. Go wild and try something with your own taste buds.

J, Dicky

Dicky Trotter is a professional marketing consultant who owns Trotter Promotions. Contact him at 912-665-4488. Visit him on the web at: trotterpromotions.com, or email him at dickyt1954@yahoo.com.

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