I’ve been thinking quite a bit about my mom lately, especially in the car, which usually leads to driving through the tears. I truly miss all those phone calls, hugs, and visits since she passed away in May. She is happy. I will be fine. But I do miss her.
Which is not the main focus of my thoughts. For some reason, perhaps the upcoming season of feasts and gatherings, my inner foodie is on high alert. Mama was an excellent cook. Sure my dad usually had smart comments about biscuits being hard like hockey pucks or gravy being thick enough to plaster walls, but that was just dad. He loved to tease. That was how he showed love.
I know mama worked hard to keep us fed. She also worked as cheaply as possible, cutting costs, stretching meals, and making most meals from scratch. Even without much in the pantry, Mama was so creative, we still had filling meals. She might have been short on stature, but she was a giant in love and resourcefulness.
Not every meal did I LOVE. I avoided fried grit pancakes with syrup if possible and cornbread milk toast. Eggplant, no matter how much she battered and fried it, did not agree with my taste buds. But she was famous for so many of my favorite foods. I’m going to do a quick brainstorm list and see how many I can remember. Just consider that each dish was made from scratch…
Grits and eggs
Sausage gravy and homemade biscuits
Hash browns and gravy
Tortillas and refried beans
Homemade bread, butter, and jam
Spaghetti (my go-to birthday request favorite meal)
The Gasser (her noteworthy casserole, aptly named, which included beans, onions, green chilies, corn, hash browns, corn tortillas, and enchilada sauce)
Chicken and dumplings
Fried bologna and cheese sandwiches
Sliced hotdogs baked with ketchup
Fresh corn (either frozen or on the ear)
Macaroni and milk, the first meal after stomach flu
Mama was always purchasing, harvesting, preserving, and storing food. I still remember the 50-pound bags of dried pinto beans, onions, and corn on the cob. We had goats, cows, chickens, and ducks. Eggs were plentiful and the milk was sold for extra cash. Nobody can drink that much milk! I was not a fan of the bits of cream lingering in the whole milk, regardless of how much we carefully skimmed it off the top. Unpasteurized to boot! It’s amazing that we survived.
How about you? Did you have favorite home-cooked meals? If you know my family, do you remember any other special foods my mama made?