Breakfast was my favorite meal when visiting my grandma and grandpa’s farm. When I awoke in the mornings it was to the smell of bacon. Gathering at the table, we were met with quite the spread. She made biscuits and gravy (most of the time from bacon drippings), bacon, eggs, sometimes ham, and freshly sliced tomatoes, and made from scratch oatmeal. When I grow moody and anxious over some new stressor in my life, my husband brings me home biscuits and gravy from Cracker Barrel restaurant because they are the closest thing to hers (although hers were better) and it is comfort food to me.
She was an incredible cook and knew all of her recipes by heart and without the aid of measuring cups or spoons. This was a particularly bad thing for our family, because when we asked her to show us how she made something so that we could duplicate it, there were no recipes to share. Sadly much of her cooking went with her when she passed.
My Aunt Rosemary is quite an accomplished cook too. She has done her best to set a few recipes of Grandma’s to paper. When I undertook writing Good Ground I knew that adding details about the southern cuisine would be an integral part of the book, because it was such an integral part of their way of life. The reason Grandma was so good at cooking is because she was a nurturer and because it was an expression of her love for her husband and family. I wanted Clairey to have that same beautiful trait about her. Some of my foodie friends admitted that they enjoyed the references to her cooking as much as they took pleasure in the love story itself.
The following is a recipe for her corn bread as best my Aunt Rosemary can recall. Hope you enjoy it as I did when I was a child. Share it with someone you love!
1 cup Self rising flour
1 cup white corn meal
¼ cup shortening
Mix flour, meal, and shortening together until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add enough milk to make the batter the consistency of cake batter. Put a tablespoon of oil in bottom of pan and put it in 350 degree oven until pan is hot and oil spreads all over skillet. (Iron skillets are very nice with this recipe.) Remove pan and add batter. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until top is browned.
Author: Tracy Winegar
Genre: Historical Romance
Publication Date: July 30, 2013 by Omnific Publishing
Cover Reveal Organized By: Literati Author Services, Inc.
My mother was born and raised in Indiana. My father came from Tennessee. I like to tell people that I am half Hoosier and half Hillbilly. Perhaps this is something I shouldn’t be proud of, but I am. I remember my summers fondly, as they were spent on my grandparents’ farm in the tiniest of places, Pall Mall, Tennessee.
It was very much like stepping back in time. The people there dressed in fashions that were popular two decades before. My grandparents lived in a remote place, their own little mountain, where my grandfather planted tobacco and was paid to let cattle graze on his property. It was very primitive compared to the modern conveniences and close location to shopping and dining that I was use to back home in Indiana.
The old home that my grandfather helped build did have indoor plumbing, but it was not very functional. Often, when our family visited, the toilets would clog and the hot water was sparse. We ended up using the outhouse much of the time. When I was younger my grandmother had a washing machine that she plugged in on the back porch. It was an old time washer, without a lid, that you could look into and watch it agitate. When the wash was finished, she cranked the laundry through the ringer and then hung the clothes out to dry. When I got older she was able to get herself a proper machine.
She taught us how to quilt by hand, using newspaper as pattern pieces. Grandma was excellent at sewing and made most of her own clothing. She was also very good at cooking. Breakfasts were more like a four course meal. There was ham and bacon, biscuits and gravy, eggs, freshly sliced tomatoes, and oatmeal. I wish that I could cook like she did, but her cooking was more instinctual than formulaic and so there were no recipes to follow, just a little of this and a pinch of that.
She was an excellent story teller and an avid reader, two things that I admired, and pursued as my own hobbies when I grew older. She was a very soft spoken and kind person. Anyone that ever spoke of her said only good things. She and Grandpa had quite the love story, which she liked to share with us when we begged for a story. How scandalous, they eloped. It is fitting to me that their romance, their passion and frivolity was always grounded in reality. There was always work, there was always the struggle of making ends meet, there were always hard times to be overcome, but there was also love and laughter and music and joy. Even after being married for so many years my grandparents really loved each other.
|Samuel Douglas Beaty and Ruby Beaty shortly before his death.|