Saturday, July 9, 2011

Family Reunion

Today I attended our family reunion and had a good time. Delicious food, good conversation, catching up on family news, thinking about those who didn't make it this year and those we lost since last year.

I got up early and put my ham in the oven to bake. I cooked collards and cornbread to go with it. I had intended to bake rolls but didn't take them out of the freezer in time to thaw. So much for a short cut I took the other day. They'll be there for the next time I need some. I didn't make any dessert but there was plenty without a banana pudding or peach cobbler. Tonight I will have my most favorite comfort food ever. Cornbread and milk. I crumble up some cornbread in a cereal bowl and pour some 1% milk over it then spoon full by spoon full I taste pure sweet memories of going to town on the mule and wagon to have the corn we planted, hoed out the weeds, fertilized, harvested from the stalks and put in piles. Then my Dad would come along with the mule and sled and we would fill it up and keep picking the corn off the stalks and piling it up for his next trip. It was taken to the corn crib and piled on one side of the wall dividing the corn crib into two spaces. After the corn was all harvested and stored for the winter we would shuck and shell what we needed as we needed it. For the chickens we would usually shell it right off the cob and scatter it about the chicken yard. For the hogs we would shell it and then soak it for them to eat for a treat. most of the time they ate it without soaking. The cows took care of the stalks left in the field for their winter grazing. When it came to food for us, we would load up shelled corn on the wagon. Yellow corn was for cornbread and white corn was for grits. Off we would go to town around to Mr. Box's Grist mill. It was so fascinating to watch those two wheels grind that corn into little specks. When it was all ground Pa and Mr. Box would come to an agreement as to Mr. Box's share of meal and grits for grinding the corn for us. Off we would go in the mule and wagon headed back home. But on occasion we would stop off and Mr. Howland's store, which was more like a shack back then, and we were given a nickle to get some candy, an ice cream cone, or a candy bar. Yes that is all that stuff cost way back then. Part of the ride home was mostly silent with each of us intent on what we were eating. We didn't care that automobiles were speeding around us, we'd just throw up our free hand and wave. Not realizing that we were way behind the times in the mid to late 1950's it never crossed our minds that they were making fun of us and that was what all their laughter and shouts was about. We would make it home in time to do the evening chores while Pa put the corn meal and grits in their containers. Fresh ground corn meal was made into cornbread for our supper and what a supper we would have. Southern women know how to cook like no other when it comes to hospitality cooking. At least two meats and sometimes three. Several vegetables like green beans, butter beans, peas, greens, squash or even okra. Always cornbread and sometimes biscuits. My goodness what a feast we would have when company came. And we had company that evening. We liked to have company as the adults would sit around and talk and we children would get to play after supper and the dishes were done and put away.

Pardon me but it is 6:35 and I am off to have my cornbread and milk. So til next time I leave you with Just This...Alice

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