A Pinch of Big Mama

by Fern

We all have, had, or have known a "Big Mama" once upon a time in our lives. From her year round flannel gown and wool slippers, to the humming of her old spiritual hymns, Big Mama is an icon, an anchor; the backbone of the family. Up early Sunday morning even before Devotional Services, you can hear the sound of an old oven door opening or the unique alignment of pots and pans. This was the start of every Sunday morning as some of the most mouth watering dishes and deserts were being prepared.

Although being educationally and finically challenged, tradition has played a tremendous part of Big Mama's overall learning and experience in the kitchen. As the sweat of long felt down trotter, rolls down her brow, to simply be caught by an old weltered rag she referred to as a hanky. Big Mama continued until every dish had a pinch or two of her in it. During these times, racially inflicted conditions and daily challenges were apart of day-to-day of living in a small town such as this one, and made it extremely difficult to go into town. So hogs, cows and chickens, were not the most bit uncommon seen roaming though the yard. Helping Big Mama chase chickens for dinner was quite an event especially for a little fellow my age. Being in the kitchen as the fetcher (go get this) I began to develop an unyielding love the art of Southern Home Style Cooking. I later learned that through the simple but yet quite complex art of cooking, that families can be brought together or united through prayer, good food and a Pinch of Big Mama.

Even though experience plays a big role in how many dishes are prepared, here are some traditional recipes for beginners or chief extradinoires that will surely bring family and friends closer together. Like Smothered Pork Chops:

2 lbs fried pork chops
½ cup flour
1 cup water
¼ cup grease or lard
1 small onion (diced)
½ bell pepper (diced)
1 stalk of celery
Salt/Pepper (to taste)

First, heat your grease, and add your flower. Brown them together until the desired color is reached. Next, add vegetables to be sautéed. Finally add your pork chops with water, cover and lower the fire.

For one of the most Heavenly made sweet potato pies you must start with three or four boiled and peeled medium sweet potatoes. Then add one egg, one stick of butter, 1-1/2 cups of sugar, one sip of vanilla, and one pinch of nutmeg. Whip until smooth then poor into pie shells and bake at 350 for 30 to 40 min or until done. Let cool and be prepared to share this Pinch of Big Mama with your family and friends, and stay tuned for more simple but yet quite complex dishes and recipes by FERN.

A Pinch of Big Mama by Fern

© Copyright 2004. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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