My daddy’s first grocery store was a concrete block structure that was one of the tools used to fill my childhood with great memories. Supermarkets had not yet come to prominence so the small county stores served great purposes and ours was no exception. In addition to running the store, daddy also farmed cotton so he was very plugged in to what was going on in our area.
In addition to the availability of food, the store was a bit of an “information center”. If there was anything going on in the community – good, bad, pro, or con – it could be discovered through the many conversations, usually from farmers sitting on soft drink crates around the pot belly stove, well stoked with coal.
On this particular day, I was at the store with my mother since daddy had gone into town to pick up some inventory. In those days we could get delivery from the suppliers but it only happened once a week when they would make a run up our way. Unless it was something he wanted to wait on, daddy would most often drive into town and pick up his supplies.
It was very cold and we were starting to get a mix of sleet and a little snow. (more…)
It happened a long time ago when I was a little boy. However, I recall it easily, especially since the story has been repeated numerous times at family gatherings. It is the kind of story that was best re-told while sitting around the dinner table when most of the damage had already been done to a great meal. There was usually an interim period after the meal and before my mother’s chocolate cake was cut, when stories would abound. And speaking of chocolate cake that delicious dessert was actually a bit of a catalyst that started the whole episode that became a story.
It was Saturday so my mother decided she would make a chocolate cake for dessert on Sunday. As she put together her ingredients she realized that she needed two more eggs. Wiping her hands on a kitchen towel, she headed out the backdoor toward the chicken coop, (more…)
What does it mean to be a Southerner? Certainly, there are many ways to define us and we can be a little complicated. After all, we have our little idiosyncrasies from state to state, even in different areas within our states. For instance, in my native North Carolina, we cook barbecue…not a general term for what you do with a grill or inclusive of all kinds of grilled or smoked meats. In North Carolina, native barbecue is always pork, cooked in a pit or smoker. It is a specific dish, not just a style of cooking. There is a variance between the eastern part of the state and the western region about how the meat should be cared for after cooking. (more…)
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