Good “Old Timey” Food

Pearl Harris

Why is food so much better when someone else cooks it? As I was eating lunch I began to remember all the good food my Mama cooked. She didn’t go by recipes – I wish she had – so maybe I could cook some of her special things. I thought about the big “pone” of Hot Water Bread! It was as large as a small loaf of bread that we buy today. She put it in a black “Hoecake” pan and baked it. We ate it with all the good vegetables – but my best memory was slicing off a piece of it and putting a slab of real “cow” butter on it. Better than any cake.

It seems that the food was better when the weather got cooler. Remember the good old syrupy baked sweet potatoes baked in a wood stove over. That syrup was so sticky on them. Put a slab of butter on that and you are just about in “Food Heaven”. Teacakes – oh my – makes me hungry. No recipe – just a bunch of flour in the dough tray and the other ingredients are worked together with hands. Now we have cookie dough – but no comparison. I baked a peach cobbler last week – but no comparison. Mama used just plain old biscuit dough and baked it in a “blue granite” pan – a big pan – to feed 6 people – some for seconds. My Mom cooked cabbage, collards and turnips for at least 3 or 4 hours. You could smell them for a mile – but they were good – but I bet all the vitamins went up in steam. Turnip greens were spiced with a big hunk of “fat back” bacon cooked in them.

It’s a little too warm for all that good food – we eat lighter food in the summertime. But thank goodness fall is just around the corner and I can get in that kitchen and cook some of those “fall” foods. But they won’t taste like they did when I was growing up.

Well, I hope I’ve made you as hungry as I am, but it is too hot to cook today. It is great to have memories of our childhood and how our Mothers cooked and took care of us. Hope you who read this and recall some of the best memories from your childhood and appreciate what our parents did for us. We can never repay them, but we hope we have made some “good memories” for our children to recall as they get older.


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