Monday, March 26, 2012

A Memorable Beginning

My interest in food comes from Mama and Grandma.  I remember as a small child coming to the kitchen just to watch food being prepared.  When times were good, food was plentiful and many dishes would be made and filled the table.  More often than not, the cupboard was nearly bare.  That simple fact did not stop Mama from putting something on the table to enjoy as well as to keep us from starving.  I remember hearing it said of Mama, "Your mother can make dinner from nothing!"  It truly seemed that she could.  I remember having beans and biscuits a lot.  Beans went on the stove in the morning and that would be lunch and supper.  The only meat was a hunk of fat back thrown into the pot of beans as it was cheap and seasoned well.  If there was self-rising flour, lard and buttermilk we would have biscuits with the beans.
I remember the landlord saying to Mama that she could have tomatoes from his garden.  When she started to picking the tomatoes they were green and we had fried green tomatoes.  Once they were ripe we had sliced tomatoes in a sandwich of either sliced white bread or biscuits, and occasionally a piece of fried fat back.  Then she would make fried ripe tomatoes or tomato gravy or maybe a tomato salad.
I also remember that winter we had just potatoes to eat.  Then it was baked potatoes, boiled potatoes, mashed potatoes or potatoes roasted in the coals of the fireplace.  Mama got creative so it did not seem like we were eating the same thing over and over.
When I went to stay at Grandma's house, she showed me how to make biscuits.  One day I decided I wanted to make biscuits all by myself, after all I had watched so much I figured I knew how.  So Grandma was willing to give me the chance.  I made the biscuits and Grandma stayed right there with me, but she did not say a word.  The biscuits tasted really  good, but Grandma said the were 'too short', meaning I put too much lard in them. Grandpa seemed to enjoy them.
I make biscuits today and still think about that experience so long ago.  Grandma made biscuits at every meal, but I only make them on occasion.  My family prefers scrambled eggs and sausage gravy with the biscuits, but I go back to my childhood and eat them with jelly (preferably pepper jelly) or honey mixed with butter or -my favorite-Grandma's Molasses stirred into butter.  Since this does not fit with a real healthy diet, it only happens about once a month.
Cooking is a passion for me and I am still learning about new foods and new techniques.  The Food channel is about all the TV for me.  I subscribe to several cooking blogs and research new recipes online.
Cooking is not my only passion.  God keeps me busy.  Once I asked for a challenge and He has been challenging me ever since.

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