Saturday, June 20, 2009

Good Ol' Home Cookin'

I was up rather early this morning - before 6:00AM - and for a Saturday without kids - that's very early! (actually, these days, anything before noon could be considered early -LOL!) I started coffee and checked my email - as though I would be swamped with an in pouring of notes!
Went to get my coffee and that's when I smelled a wonderful aroma of what smelled like green beans with a slab of ham in them, being cooked! The tasty smelling aroma was wafting in my window, calling to my fondest memories of my mom's home cooked meals. Of course, I obliged and let my thoughts go back to the days when my mom made some of the simplest, but most yummy foods. For some of you, these meals would be considered meager, but for me - well, they were wonderful. Let me just tell you of a few meals that were my personal favorites: Top of the list - Navy bean soup with homemade cornbread. I could eat this stuff til I burst! Don't know how she did it - beans ALWAYS tender, and the brothy part wasn't "goopy" (for lack of better description). The corn bread was baked in an iron skillet - crispy on the bottom and crumbly inside! She always sliced onions to go with it. Following closely behind- green beans with ham in them. Yep - good ol' ham - right on the bone! Watch out you cholesterol gurus! We usually had beef with them - and - you guessed it - corn bread! It felt to me, she cooked this meal the better part of the day - and the smell starved me. On Friday nights we would have homemade hamburgers and the toppings. Oh - I can't forget her potato soup - oh my word, I have tried and tried to reproduce this. It was the best (in my opinion). Somehow she managed to cut the potatoes into tiny (I mean less than 1/2") cubes - perfectly. It wasn't a "traditional" potato soup - the broth was very thin & buttery, with a milk base and seasoned just right, not thick and creamy like most potato soups. These meals were big meals in comparison to the way we usually ate - but we ate well. It seems like an oxymoron - My mom died of a massive heart attack at 44 as a result of high cholesterol - but when I think of how she prepared her food - it seems ironic. She fried chicken and burgers, but the fat was drained off onto paper towels before we ate. Her ground beef was well drained before it went into other dishes, and she always skinned her chicken before cooking. Never, until I was married and on my own, was the beef fixed any other way, than in boiling water with potatoes. Never had I seen someone eat chicken with the skin on it! ! ! (thought that was horrid!)
Was this a "southern" way of cooking, or just the way it was done out of necessity? Don't know, don't care - just know that I really, really liked it. I don't do navy bean soup - because I can't capture the essence of it - the taste, the way it made me feel, the simplicity. I don't do green beans the old fashioned way, or her potato soup - for the same reasons. And of course - my roast beef is baked. Rarely do I do "old fashioned" burgers, and they usually aren't pan fried - the grill has taken the skillet's place.
I tell myself I am eating "healthier" now, than then. But. . . . is that really so? Whatever fat was in that food was burned off in a matter of minutes, because, along with good ol' home cookin', came good ol' outdoor runnin'! ! !
Progress is good - but sometimes - the old way seems better.

1 comment:

  1. As always, I enjoy reading your thoughts, Barb.It's almost as though there is a picture being painted as I read your words..Today, I almost smelled those home cooked meals too! Also, did not realize your mom was SO young when she passed away.... I may soon settle into a routine & decide waht to write on my blog :-)


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i'm a wife, a mom, a mom-mom, a sister, an aunt, a cousin, a friend...i'm a child of God.... i love to read, scrap, and sew (all when time permits!)... i like trying new things, going to different places, even if only in my mind....i like simple, but life is complicated....i like spring days, snow storms, thunderstorms, and big puffy clouds you can make things out of....i like coffee, tea and iced chocolate milk you can sip thru a straw..........