My husband was sweating profusely, as he usually does after a strenuous workout. “Strange things out there,” he said between gulps as he hydrated. “Up and then down – hills, I think they’re called.” We are in his native Georgia, visiting with his family, and while the historic town of Covington is not close to the North Georgia mountains, there are definitely hills.
We’ve lucked out on weather though; cloudy yesterday, but the rain held off until night time and we delayed my morning walk/his morning run until the sky lightened and patches of blue started to peek through. Our departure scheduled for tomorrow will be ahead of the cold front that is about to sweep in although the car may have a coating of frost as we load luggage. It’s been a short visit, one that we usually make at Thanksgiving, and the only tradition we’ve missed (well, other than the Thanksgiving feast), is to have catfish at Henderson’s. The local catfish place that has been in business for decades is not open on Mondays and we had plans for the other two evenings. For those who understand, properly prepared catfish means corneal coated, crisply fried at the correct temperature , served with hush puppies, French fries, and coleslaw. Plenty of catsup and don’t bother to bring tartar sauce around. Henderson’s happens to use a family recipe of vinegar-dressed coleslaw and that’s my preference to a mayonnaise-based dressing. They also don’t serve alcohol, but technically speaking, ice tea is the appropriate beverage for cat fish. This doesn’t mean that you cannot have catfish cooked in another manner – merely that if you say, “Let’s go have catfish”, you know this is the sort of meal you will have. On the other hand, we are taking back four quarts of frozen Brunswick stew, so it hasn’t been a regional culinary bust.
A number of things have changed in Covington over the years as more people have moved in with businesses around the town square either relocating to the shopping centers or giving way to boutique entities, and traffic congestion is driving new construction at virtually every road in and out of town. Hollywood has left its mark too, from when the long-running television show, “In the Heat of the Night”, was filmed here to the current filming of “Vampire Diaries”.
Like most communities, the housing market boomed and the bubble burst, and signs of recovery are finally beginning to emerge. We will wave good-bye tomorrow and head back to the flat topography of South Florida with palm trees instead of hardwoods, hibiscus instead of magnolias. And next year I’ll try to make sure we keep to the timeframe that will include Henderson’s.