I truly may have to change my profession and become a food critic. We are not really the go out and eat kind of family, we do dine out on occasion, but as a rule I cook and we eat home cooked meals. Sometimes those meals consist of a really good ham, turkey and cheese sandwich but it just makes sense, healthy sense and dollar sense to eat at home, especially for our family of five!
I didn’t have to cook last night thanks to our friends Larry and Gayle, and tonight I have been doubly blessed in that my dear sweet Momma and little Mamaw have prepared dinner for us. Two nights in a row and I am already becoming spoiled. I do so appreciate the time and effort involved with home cooked meals.
Tonight’s menu is made from scratch meatloaf, different recipe than Momma usually makes, but delicious just the same. I’ve pondered and can’t think of a single thing Momma has ever made that I really didn’t like. She even has me eating her coconut cake although I do not have a penchant for coconut.
Our sides tonight are my little Mamaw’s famous corn and beans. Every holiday meal, summertime cook out, birthday dinner, church social and without exception the annual Williams’ Family Reunion she makes her famous corn and beans. Let me explain, it isn’t one dish of corn and beans, it is two totally separate dishes that just sort of go together like peas in a pod or peanut butter and jelly.
Creamed corn that was cut off the cob by hand, (something I wasn’t allowed to do as I might cut too close to the cob, there is a technique) cooked with constant string as to not scorch, (which was usually a good job for me) and frozen; and green beans that were strung, broken (both of which I was good at helping with) and canned in boiling water in a pressure canner.
Because my grandparents, Mamaw and Papaw, were raised on the left and right forks of Beech Creek growing vegetable gardens from the time they were knee-high to a grasshopper that is what they have always done. Without fail they knew when it was time to prepare the soil, plant and tend it and when it was time for the garden to come in. Year after year sometimes more than one garden, and sometimes in more than one city; the most famous and abundant vegetables they grew were their corn and beans.
Harvesting time was always a busy hullabaloo with all the pickin’ (picking) and shuckin’ (shucking) and puttin’ up (canning). Because of this there was always a plethora of corn and beans from previous canning seasons. Mamaw and Papaw accumulated more ‘corn and beans’ than you could imagine thus it was always what she cooked. One deep freezer turned into two or three for storing the corn and one hand-built can house turned into two can houses for the reserve of Ball glass jars filled to the top with beans and other vegetables that were put up and stockpiled for the winter.
I am not talking about a century ago, this yearly process was happening until the last few years so to have Mamaw’s corn and beans tonight with Momma’s meatloaf and peach pie was a treasure! Thank you both for your love!