Fish, chicken, pork, burgers, fries, veggies – Mimi’s Sauce is the condiment of choice for my kinsmen and me. It is simultaneously basic and brilliant and can be the foundation for many a saucier sauce or simply delightful in and of itself. Spread on a turkey sandwich or as a dip for Cajun steamed shrimp, I am sure you’ll find a favorite use for Mimi’s Sauce.
Many fried chicken establishments across The South have their own “Special Sauce.” This dipping sauce ranges and varies among the different spots, carefully guarded and some establishments even charge a quarter for an extra sauce. A quarter – that’s big money! And you know what? We pay it, because one little pack is not enough for our chicken and fries!
Mimi’s sauce to me is like cream cheese – it is simply a block upon which to build. If you’re garden has a bounty of basil, then shred some into the sauce. If some minced Vidalia’s would thrill your taste buds, then mince away and add them. If some Creole heat is what you crave, then douse the sauce with some Tony’s – the list goes on and on and Mimi’s Sauce can handle the cause.
We’ve always eaten it and sometimes one must ask “why” things are the way things are. So I did. I asked Mimi why she made her special sauce and she simply replied, “I just do.” She has always made it and I love that my Mama and her siblings grew up eating it and that Mimi has served it since she and Granddaddy were married fifty-seven years ago.
|not pictured -Worcestershire sauce|
- 1 heaping cup of mayo
- 2/3 cup of ketchup
- Splash of Worcestershire sauce
- Squeeze of a lemon wedge
- ½ teaspoon of salt and pepper, respectively
- ½ teaspoon of garlic salt
- ½ teaspoon of Nature’s Seasoning or Durkee’s (these seasonings rank with mayo in Southern households – you’ll use what your mama used and it is either Hellman’s or Duke’s, Nature’s Seasoning or Durkee’s)
photography by Sarah Barry Spooner