Saturday, July 5, 2008

Home Made

I love Southern cooking. It is not health food by any stretch of the imagination so I can only enjoy it infrequently. Yet it brings back special memories, as do so many things I love.

My mother's parents owned a farm. They were simple people with a great deal of love to share with their grandchildren. My Mammaw was an amazing cook and she passed her talents on to both her daughters. She cooked all their meals and used what was available on the farm. Her love for her family and friends came through in her cooking and talents in the kitchen were well known in her community.

Mammaw made creamy chicken and dumplings, crispy fried chicken, beans of every sort - green, white, and pinto, yummy buttered new potatoes, sweet fried corn, small fluffy biscuits cut out with a jelly jar, cornbread in an iron skillet, iced tea, sweet berry cobblers, and the best fresh coconut cake you have ever tasted. The table was always full of food, so much so that you could barely fit your plate on the table.

When we would arrive at her house from some other state or country, Mammaw hugged me with her whole body and would whisper in my ear "I made you some fried chicken livers". I know, sounds gross, but they were amazing and I loved them. She did it because I loved them and she loved me. It was her way of showing us how much she loved us.

These days, I try to carry on that tradition, striving to make the dishes Mammaw made, just like she made them to show my family how much I love them. When my family comes to visit, I make chicken and dumplings. fried chicken, biscuits, and cornbread because I can come close to getting them to taste like Mammaw's. I use an iron skillet but I cut my biscuits out with the top from a can of Pam. I can't duplicate her cobbler or coconut cake. I keep trying. The blackberries in the photo are destined for a cobbler. We will see.

In the meantime, I love the memories. My kids, my siblings, my nieces and nephews and I have our own good memories to share that have nothing to do with food, farms, or chicken livers. But my memories of Mammaw and my attempts to recreate the taste of her food serve a purpose. Part of her and part of my childhood is passed on to another generation, keeping her alive in the minds of children that never knew her.


Ruth D~ said...

What a nice tribute to your Mammaw and her cooking-- her love, really. How special that you pass her love, through you, and your cooking, to your family. Loved this post.

Wanda said...

Oh you make me hungry....I love these stories of your mamma and her cooking....and you are carrying on the tradition.

I still use a jelly jar or glass to cut out biscuits!!