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Friday, February 22, 2013

Mama Made Bread


This week Lisa-Jo has been inviting friends to recount the lasting memories of their mamas. I cheated and wrote my memory ahead of time and in a little more than five minutes. I’ve thought of this often since Monday.  What would I say, what wouldn’t I say?


My momma (the word we use) worked hard!  She was a machine operator in a sewing factory that made women’s underwear.  The din and fiber dust wore at her daily, but she did it to provide for us along with our daddy.  We weren’t latchkey kids, our granny (her mother-in-law) moved in with us around my 3rd birthday.  So while my granny stayed at home, my momma went to work every day on the first shift.

Each day around 3:30 she’d come in and sit on the sofa to catch her breath and release the noise as The Guiding Light spun its tales.  Some days we’d head off to the grocery store or she’d go alone and we’d help unload.  These Mondays to Fridays were like clockwork, generally the same routine.   Then, the question of the day: what are we going to have for dinner?

Fast food or carryout wasn’t an option.  Eating out was reserved for the weekends and normally meant Western Steer after church with other families, if we didn’t head over to my other granny’s house for dinner.  We ate simple country food, a lot of it from our own garden. The rest came from the Piggly Wiggly or A&P.  We were Cracker Barrel before Cracker Barrel was a thing.

Whatever the meal, excluding spaghetti or tacos and the like, we had bread.  I’m not talking about yeasty bread that had risen, been kneaded and turning golden brown in a pan.  We had biscuits or cornbread.  Momma never measured.  She used the same bowl and knew what it should look like in that bowl.  I got to help, but never new how to do it on my own.  Any biscuit I ever ate was compared to my momma’s.  Any piece of cornbread had to meet that same bar.  Heaven forbid cornbread had sugar in it!  How could you eat that stuff crumbled in a cup with cold buttermilk poured on top?

I measure my biscuits by hers, I come close now.  Cornbread has been a different story.  I finally thought to ask again a few months ago what she does different and got her secret – flour.  I’m not there yet, but I have a high standard to meet.  My iron skillet glistens black from the shortening that coats it with each new attempt.

So many other things my momma did: chicken & dumplings, snow cream, badminton, sewing for us… but one of her bests and my first thought is that…

Momma made bread!

What will my son remember about me?  What Memory comes to mind of your own Momma?

28 comments:

  1. I'm getting hungry reading about the foods your mama made. And homemade bread? Wow how I love the smell. I enjoyed reading your FMF post. So glad you stopped by Heart Choices so I could easily link back and read yours too.

    Blessings and love,
    Debbie

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    1. Thanks so much. the trouble with writing about food is that it makes you want food - especially your momma's! So glad you came by.

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  2. Lovely, I too judge my cooking by hers.
    Banner day for me was one evening when she asked me for a quiche recipe.

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    1. Wow! That is a banner day. Thank you so much for stopping in for a read.

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  3. I just know you'll master the cornbread,too! Love that you will be passing this "soul"full food onto yet another generation. In our family it is mastering Mom's dressing!

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    1. Thanks! I've already got my little sous chef his own apron. Good luck on the dressing! :)

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  4. I love that you cheated;) and what I have seen it looks like you can whip up a pretty good batch of bread yourself. Love this!!

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    1. Thanks! My first biscuits you could have built a house with they were so hard. Come on over and we'll break bread together! (Wouldn't that be nice?)

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  5. this was SO beautiful friend! Felt like I was right there in your home!

    My mom never measured... I, on the other hand, did not receive that gift haha!

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    1. I think the only time my mom ever uses recipes is for desserts or baking cakes. I got some of the "throw it together", but I'm a big measurer, follow the recipe gal. I'd love to have you right here in my home. :)

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  6. Amy! I LOVE this! "We were Cracker Barrel before Cracker Barrel was a thing." Love it! I am Southern girl who came up the same way. Oh and the cornbread, no sugar, amen! I think we will have plenty of stories to weave together when I make it up to Damascus.

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    1. I have a feeling it would be just like home. Hard to beat soup beans and cornbread, isn't it? As a matter of fact, I think I'll do that tonight. Now I just need to pick up some buttermilk. Y'all come on up. :)

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  7. LOVED reading this, Amy! I feel like I got to know you better through your sharing about your momma...such sweet and beautiful memories you have! (and now I know why you chose the country breakfast ;) --so glad we were finally able to get together and can't wait to do it again!) =)

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    1. Thanks. I see no need to wait until April. It's so nice to really get to know others. It's those little details that make up a friendship.

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  8. Is there anything more comforting than homemade bread? Love this post, friend! :)

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    1. Hmm.. not much. Maybe hugs over coffee? :) Miss you!

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  9. What a great memories....Your mom sounds like an amazing woman. My grandma made the best biscuits and cornbread. Such a great memory for me. Have a wonderful weekend :)

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    1. Thanks for stopping by. It's hard to beat your own family's cooking, isn't it?

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  10. What a great memory. I'll come be your taste tester anytime!!! It sounds like your mom was a really hard worker who loved you dearly. You are blessed my friend. Plus, you ROCK!

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    1. Yes, I am! You are welcome to be a taste tester any day of the week!! You ROCK as well!! :)

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  11. Amy, you were seriously making me hungry as I read your post...what treasured memories of your mom...Thanks for sharing :)

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    1. Sorry about that Dolly. It's a hazard that comes with reading about food. :) So glad you came by for a visit. Maybe one day a visit will be inrl & there will be actual goodies to eat!

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    2. Sounds like a delicious and delightful idea, Amy :)

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  13. "We were Cracker Barrel before it was a thing"--yes! And we had a Piggy Wiggly close by as well. Lovely memories, and I always envy ladies that can bake without measuring ;)

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  15. It took me many years to master my Mama's cornbread recipe (self-rising corn meal mix, Crisco, and buttermilk. That's all.)I'm guessing you must be a Southern girl like me, based on your love of bread and your disdain for sweet cornbread. What wonderful memories!

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  16. Amy, Thanks for stopping by on Five Minute Friday. I hopped over to check out your post ... and now I'm hungry for bread! Good luck as you strive to duplicate your momma's recipes.

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