Mama's Home Remedy

Good evening, and come on in for a visit. Have some coke (cola) with me for we are going to have a late dinner (lunch) today and a light one for we have supper at the church on Wednesday nights. I have some pound cake if you want some.

My brother Sam and his wife, Cindy headed back to Texas this morning and why you would want to go back to the barren lands of Arlington, TX is beyond me. There are not many trees out there unless you count mesquite bushes as trees. However, he played cowboy all his life so I guess this if fulfilling his dream although he doesn't wear cowboy duds since he is an engineer. That just wouldn't look right would it?

They do have good food out there. I have eaten some of the best barbecue brisket in Texas that you have ever put in your mouth. There is an eating place in Houston which was once an old farmhouse that has delicious barbecue and country fried steak that hangs over the sides of the dinner plate, they are so big. The first time we tried to eat one, we carried enough home to feed us for lunch the next day. You have to be able to eat a whole roast to eat that good thing. The helpings are huge for everything and their fried okra and cornbread are wonderful.

My neice brought along her fiancee several years ago and we went to this place and he ordered country fried steak, fried okra and some other good food. I advised him not to get all those side orders for those steaks are huge but Greg has already learned not to pay attention to Aunt Frances and just did it anyway. When she sat that plate with that huge steak on it in front of him, I watched his eyes grow big and maybe a doubt began to creep in about the size of his stomach. Needless to say, even though he is a big boy, a little while later he gave up and we carried some home, I think. He had given a heroic effort, but that thing was big enough for 2 or 3. Besides that he had to eat all that fried okra and it is a toss up for me which would come first. Okra or steak? A close call to make.

But you know something? That experience still didn't teach him that the "Matriarch" is always right. In fact he's not the only one for I don't think any of my neices and nephews have fully absorbed and acknowledged this basic fact. You see, when Mama died, it passed to me and they really need to realize I am the Queen Bee, ya'll heah me now! After all they treated mama like a queen and now it's me. I realize I can't cook like mama so maybe that's the problem.

On Greg's first visit to Camden, AL to visit mama and daddy and most of the rest of the family, he had a really bad cough and the cough syrup was just not touching it. He coughed and coughed and felt plumb miserable. Mama, bless her heart, took it as long as she could and knew she had to mix up her famous cough syrup for this poor Texas boy.

Now this elixir has to have whiskey and since mama only had her homemade wine, she sent 3 of the grandboys to the liquor store for a little bottle of whiskey. You have to remember that daddy was an eternal deacon and mama was the famous "Miss Tootsie" who wouln't touch whiskey only her homemade wine and that was for medicinal purposes and to cook dear meat. These 3 young men took off to the liquor store with the warnings ringing in their ears not to tell anybody who they belonged to. They all lived away from Camden so that should not be too hard to remember, right?

Wrong! I know they remembered, but chose to forget or so they say. When they got back home, they told mama they had to tell them they were getting it for Miss Tootsie and Mr. Ott, their grandparents, before they would sell it to them. Mama almost went into the vapors and passed out, but she hung in there. They just kept on telling the tale about now everyone would know she sent the grandchildren to buy whiskey. They kept mama going for a few hours before they acknowledged they were "foolin" her and I thought she was going to ring their necks. These cousins thought it was hilarious and never grew tired of teasing mama about it.

Now mama took this whiskey and mixed it with honey and lemon juice with instructions for Greg to take a spoonful when he started coughing. It doesn't taste great, but not like medicine and he didn't dare disobey mama so he took it as directed. Now the secret to this potent potable is that after several spoonfuls it doesn't taste too bad and you just start drinking it and soon you are not coughing. If you do cough, you surely don't care and you ask for another fruit jar full. After all, that bad ole cough is still hanging in there.

My sweet father-in-law just couldn't understand why you wanted to mess up the good whiskey with honey and lemon juice. His recipe for coughing was to drink the whiskey and you wouldn't give a happy if you coughed. He was very wise and helped us understand what were the important lessons of life.

We are just so glad mama's home remedies didn't scare Greg away from our family and he is now my other nephew and the daddy of 3 of the prettiest little girls you most ever saw. Thank you Greg. Can you eat that whole steak now? They surely have big cows in Texas but they keep reminding me everything is bigger in Texas, braggarts!

Nuff said,

The Georgia Peach

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