Monday, November 1, 2010

Delicious Memories

Looking at Mama's churn, I go back to another place . . . not too far down the road . . . and to another time . . . fifty or so years ago.

Life was much slower then, and my world was so very small. We couldn't hop in the car and run to the store for groceries - at least not very often - and we certainly didn't have money to buy things we could raise or make ourselves.

So, Daddy grew vegetables, raised hogs for meat and had a milk cow that produced our milk and butter. When we got a freezer, he sometimes raised a calf for beef. We always had chickens, so we never ran out of eggs, and on Sundays we feasted on fried chicken! Speaking of hogs, I can still smell big slabs of bacon being smoked high above a smoldering fire in our smokehouse! And I can still taste it along with Mama's mouth-watering homemade biscuits. Nobody could - or can - make 'em like Mama did!

Which brings me to the butter . . . delicious, golden butter molded to perfection! Which brings me to the churn pictured above . . . the churn that produced that wonderful stuff that seeped out the edges of a lightly-browned, hot buttermilk biscuit.

Mama usually did the churning, but Connie and I sometimes helped her. The arm got quite a workout moving the dasher up and down . . . up and down . . . over and over until Mama said it was ready. I can almost feel the splatters that inevitably escaped the churn - which is why we often churned on the back porch, if the weather permitted.

Then Mama took the top off the churn and scooped out the butter that had risen to the top. But it wasn't yet ready for eating. She carefully "washed" it and worked it, placed it in a bowl (I don't remember special molding dishes) and refrigerated it overnight.

And you can guess how the story ends . . . well, if you're a country girl, you can! Picture the breakfast table back then . . . a plate of hot biscuit; homemade butter and preserves, jam, or jelly; bacon right out of the smokehouse or sausage that Mama and the aunts made on hog-killing day; and eggs gathered from the chicken house - or wherever you might find a nest. Sometimes the menu varied and we ate fried squirrel that Daddy killed, and Mama "stretched it" with delicious gravy. I always loved syrup, too - Blackburn syrup - poured over my buttered biscuit. Back then we "sopped" our biscuits in syrup or gravy, too! Ahh, what delicious memories!

Now Mama's churn sits quietly in my dining room . . . a reminder of those simpler days and growing up with so little of earthly goods. I never knew back then just how poor we were. But I never remember wondering where our next meal would come from. So I wasn't really poor was I? With a spread like I just wrote about . . . not so much!

God supplied all our needs, saw us through the difficult times, and blessed us with parents who made sure we had what we needed. And His blessings continue . . . He's never failed us - nor will He ever!

Well, my intentions were to write about Mama's churn, but instead lots of wonderful memories "churned" in my mind! It was fun to scoop up the best ones that rose to the top!

Are you hungry now???


Southern Lady said...

Starving! I am a country girl. I have many similar memories. My grandpa milked the cow and my mom churned the butter. The whole family was involved when a hog was killed. Thanks for churning up some memories for me today! Carla

Connie said...

Thanks for sharing this! And of course so well written, as always. Made me cry and smile at the same time. For some reason, Mama has been on my mind so much the past few days. I'm trying REALLY hard to think of happy times spent with her and Daddy. I too remember the "churning" and the delicious butter. Also remember how much I loved her biscuits with coffee poured over them AND broken-up pieces of bacon on them!

Carolina Gal said...

YES! I am hungry for biscuits!
What beautiful memories you have. I grew up with older relatives in my family that farmed, raised hogs, chickens, cattle, etc. I remember exactly what you're describing, too. The food just tasted so much better to me.
Have you tried making butter? It's fun but a lot of work!

Anonymous said...

A beautifully written, heart-warming post Glenda. I loved biscuits with syrup when I was a kid too. Blessings, Mildred

Karen said...

Yes, I am ready for a buttered biscuit now! I remember the home churned butter and fresh milk. Enjoyed your post.

Dorothy said...

You have written about MY life growing up on the farm!! It was almost exactly like that, only I think several years before yours:)
I'm thankful for those years and the lessons learned there!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

What a neat post, Glenda... I'm so glad you have that churn ---and can relive those wonderful memories growing up... As hard as life may have been back then, there was love and God all around... Right?????

Thanks for a wonderful post today.

Kathy said...

My grandmother churned on the back porch too. We ate our biscuits with sorghum syrup and also had fried chicken for Sunday dinner! Thanks for the memories, Glenda.

Anonymous said...

Dear Glenda...I loved all that you heartwarming...such wonderful memories! Hugs ♥ Teri

Karin said...

What a precious story you just told! Thank you so much for sharing it! You were so privileged! I know I would have loved the buttermilk; it's one of my favorite summer drinks.

Carmen said...

Yes! And I just ate dinner! I would love those simpler times back again. At least we knew what we were eating!

Anneliese said...

Beautiful memories. My mother-in-law wroked hard on the farm and now she remembers those years as good years... it seems like she'd do it all again, if she could.