Monday, October 7, 2013

pass the chicken

A cold rainy Sunday is a good time to work on projects, like the family recipe book. The idea for this book started out as a collection of favorite family recipes gathered from some great cooks who are gone but not forgotten, with additions to the collection by the younger generations too.

But when talking to the Tidwells and asking for recipes, you get a whole lot more, the family stories that go along with them. Good food is a common thread (possibly starting with a Thanksgiving Day 1937 wedding?) and where there is good food there is a gathering of family and friends and always a good story to go along with it.

It was a simpler time, when flour came in fabric sacks which were then washed and used to make clothes or quilts. When eggs were brown and fresh and milk separated with the cream on top, churns to make butter and buttermilk. A time of using what you had or could grow. A time of fat back and lard, of making things from scratch. A time when we could eat raw dough or cake batter. A time of aprons and sewing and patterns. A time when the grocery store had live chickens walking around in the store window in sawdust. When the platter of fried chicken on Sunday included a pulley bone - the most popular piece of white meat chicken that folks would fight over. 

The deeper I get into this project, the more I want to include not just recipes - our heritage consists of people and places, structures and values and photos and quilts and heirlooms and memories and stories, the people who came before us and were examples and helped raise us and taught us many things including cooking.

Gathering family recipes and stories together is like piecing together a patchwork quilt, one made of flour sacks.

Thanks to all the cooks that came before us, thanks for the good food and good times and great stories and cherished heirlooms, we are smiling just thinking about you!

Working with all these good recipes makes me hungry, I may just have to test some. Does anyone make lemon meringue pie anymore? And what ever happened to the pulley bone?


Carrie said...

Who is in the black & white photo ?

Gypsy Quilter said...

Yes, I have made lemon meringue pie. Sadly, it did not come out as well as my mom's. I give up, what's a pulley bone?

Paula, the quilter said...

I think your pulley bone is my wishbone? Maybe? I am interested in your project because I have been contemplating the same thing; but unlike you, I have no one to talk to about the recipes. I did gather a lot of stories and information from my auntie before she died so that will have to do.