Good morning to all of you and I hope you are bright-eyed and bushy tailed and ready to enjoy the day. Come on over for some coffee and cheese toast made with my raisin bread I made Saturday. It sure is good and it is amazing how many frustrations you can work out kneading bread.
As you can tell, I like to cook. Mama was a great cook and began to teach me before I could reach the counter top. She always wore an apron, so I had to have one too, then up on the little stool I would climb. She began teaching me to cook with cornbread which we had most every day. It was either cornbread or biscuits for dinner and supper.
It was a standard cornbread recipe except she added about a 1/2 cup of flour in it and was plain meal, so I had to learn to measure and add salt and baking powder. We most always cooked it in a large, black, cast iron skillet. Mama would put about 1/4 cup of bacon grease in the bottom of the skillet, put it in the oven to heat while I mixed the cornbread. Then when it was hot, she would take it out, pour the hot bacon grease in the mixture, I would stir it in and then she would pour it in the skillet, into the oven and then in our stomachs. We like cornbread a lot, if it's good. Some people can flat out ruin cornbread by making it too dry. Shame to ruin a good thing.
When it was ready, we cut it in wedges and I would proudly place it on the table. After the blessing and passing everything around, we would cut the bread open and put hot butter between the pieces and enter the heaven of good food. I still like good, hot cornbread. After dinner or supper, we would take a piece, cut it open, butter it and pour syrup over it for dessert. Good as cake to me and my brothers.
Sometimes we would make crackling cornbread and that was a special treat. I liked to hunt the cracklings and pick them out before I ate the bread. This was extra good with syrup and also good for snacks between meals.
After teaching me how to make cornbread, we moved up the ladder with biscuits, cookies and all the other goodies mama made so well. You see, the kitchen was our gathering place because that's where we usually found mama. Our brother Sam would sit on the counter while mama cooked and tasted most everything she made. We all liked raw cookie and cake dough, but he would even eat raw biscuit dough. That was yucky and we told him so. but as usual, he just ignored us. He's always been able to do that.
One day he was sitting on the counter by a window watching mama cook. He had gotten a little tool set for Christmas with a little hammer in it. While he watched mama, he was waving that little hammer around and hit the window pane behind him, cracking it. I don't remember what happened after that, but I'm sure he didn't get a spanking for he was "the baby." That pane is till there and still cracked - one of our historical monuments to Sam.
Those hours in the kitchen with each other and mama are some of my favorite memories of home. I thank mama and Miss Leacy, my home ec teacher for teaching me how to cook and enjoy it. They did good for I still like to start from scratch and I had rather cook than eat out, most of the time. It is comforting to cook good food and enjoy eating it with those we love.
So, ya'll come on over and I will make some good, hot cornbread and we can sit down for a treat. I even have some homemade syrup and cracklings.
The Georgia Peach