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County native lectures on southern food

If you have ever wondered why chitlins, grits and greens show up so often on southern menus, Butler County native Annie Crenshaw – artist, genealogist and food historian – will be solving such southern mysteries through her lecture, Mama's in the Kitchen: Southern Traditions in Food .

Crenshaw will be presenting her talk in Gulf Shores at the Snow Bridge Club this Friday. She hopes to have many more opportunities to share her knowledge and love of southern food lore during 2005, officially designated &uot;The year of Alabama Food&uot; by the Alabama Department of Travel and Tourism.

Crenshaw, an active member of the Butler County Historical and Genealogical Society, promises to provide an entertaining look at food, history and culture as she explores why Southerners eat what they do.

From her unique perspective of having raised hogs and chickens, grown heirloom fruits and vegetables, preserved produce, cooked on a wooden stove, and absorbed several hundred years of family history (and a little book learning) here in Butler County, Crenshaw discusses how the Southern environment, culture, and people have combined to create our wonderful food traditions.

&uot;I also presents some popular misconceptions about Southern food. Were chitlins REALLY the leftovers fed to slaves? Of course not! It's all in the eye of the beholder, or rather, the culture of the consumer,&uot; says Crenshaw.

&uot;Southern food is the result of who we are, where we came from, where our ancestors lived, and what they had to work with in a particular place and time,&uot; she adds.

Crenshaw can be contacted at anniecrenshaw@bellsouth.net.