Hillbilly and Country fare

Used to be a person could go into just about any local restaurant and have a “home cooked” meal. Now days, a home cooked meal is as likely to be a hamburger or hot dog with a bag of chips and a soda.

My meals of preference are the ones I grew up with, and in the days of the 1940s and 1950s when women were not forced by economic need and greed to leave the home and go to work in factories and offices, two meals each day were always prepared and on weekends when the hubby was home, there was sometime three kitchen sessions each day for the wife. On the three-a-days, extra was usually prepared for dinner (lunch) and was once more placed on the supper (dinner) table, along with fresh biscuits or cornbread and maybe a desert; sweets were hardly ever eaten after dinner. Most of the time we drank water with the meal, but on occasion there was a soda, tea, or Kool-Aid. Rarely, but often enough to make it a looked-forward-to special occasion, Mom (grandma) would dig sassafras roots and make tea (root beer) from them. Being the only kid in the house, I jealousy guarded the big gallon jar of sassafras tea from the grownups, except for Mom.

The food was simple and mostly things that could be grown on an acre or two of land, including vegetables from a large garden, fruit trees, wild berries from the fence rows, poultry, and one or two hogs. If there was enough land and a barn or shed was available, a milk cow or a heifer for beef would be kept. Or small place didn’t allow for milk cow or beef, but there was always a hog to be killed in cold autumn. Mom always kept a couple of gooseberry bushes for pie making and to my great distress, she picked the berries just before they got good and sweet, leaving me without the tasty, ripened fruit. My only recourse was to beat her to the berries and gorge myself on the few purplish sweet ones before she got to them.

To be continued … the real food …

Published on February 25, 2012 at 12:41 pm  Comments (2)  

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  1. I reminds me a bit my family house. We lived ( me and my grandparents) in the suburbs. There were fruit trees and bushes in our garden. They have a few hens, and they purchased a half of killed hog when Christmas holiday was coming. My grandma’s smoked ham and sausages were the best in the world.
    Thanks for your description, Ken. Please write more, more… It’s interesting. πŸ™‚

    • It was good that you and grandparents had access to fresh fruit, vegetables, and pork. We never smoked the hog meat but we salt cured it and then later on we sugar cured it; I prefer salt cured. Mom used to can sausage which made it available for most of the year. It is surprising how long a family can make a hog’s worth of meat last.
      I will be writing more; I will try to detail that country meal you asked about.
      Thanks, Jola. πŸ™‚

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