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Friday, July 1, 2011


This post began Wednesday night with # 1 Grandson (9 1/2 yrs. old)spending the night.  Earlier that afternoon, I had put a spiral sliced ham, glazed with my Mama's concoction from the 50's, into the oven to warm.  The day before, I had made some potato salad with those special touches that make my potato salad taste like...well...MINE.  I use only red potatoes and my newest secret ingredient is "Creamy Peppercorn Salad Dressing" from Kraft.  Shhh...don't tell!  I mix it in with my Hellman's mayo and sweet pickle juice.  For a 5lb. bag of red potatoes (boiled in heavily salted water), I boil 4-6 eggs, Vidalia onion to taste, sweet pickles chopped fine.  You see, I'm not the kind of cook that measures...I just start putting ingredients in and taste as I go.  That's how my Mama did it and that's how I roll too!

GMAMA's Red Potato Salad
I don't like ANY store bought potato salad and very few if any made in a restaurant.  I've often wished I could pick up some potato salad from a local deli and be on my way...yack!!  Neither me nor #1 husband will eat it.  
So...I digress...
#1 GS arrived about the same time I took the ham out of the oven to cool and later slice for dinner.  
GMAMA's Glazed Spiral Sliced Ham 
 I must admit, the smell was pretty intoxicating!
My GS is not a big sweets eater and to be so skinny, he can put away some food!
He liked *helping* me slice the ham, take a bite, slice, slice, bite, slice, bite,...you get the picture??
The Food Police would lock me up forever but I wasn't going to be the one to tell him he couldn't eat Grandmama's ham straight from the pan!  
It's so much BETTER that way, don't you know??? Ask me for my Glaze recipe!

ABOUT THIS TIME...PAPAW rolls in from the garden and asks #1GS to go Blackberry picking with him.
In a FLASH, and I do mean FLASH...both of the boys had a bucket and were off.  Luckily, we live on a farm and the Blackberry bushes are plentiful. BTW, where do wild Blackberry bushes come from???  I promise you,we have a ton of new bushes where none grew last year, or the year before that.  I guess the Birds of the air carry the seeds and with God's goodness, delicious Blackberries grow in abundance around here.
Blackberries are just beginning to ripen so the boys picked JUST enough for me to make a Blackberry cobbler.  TIP:  wear long sleeves, long pants, and sturdy shoes,( preferably boots), when Blackberry picking.  Why?? Blackberry bushes have some major THORNS and for some reason snakes LOVE to hang around a Blackberry thicket!

HOWEVER, the conversation that occurred while the cobbler browned and dinner was being plated is at the heart of why I wrote this post.  My precious Grandson asked me a question that warmed this Grandmama's heart and started me thinking.  I'll try to recount our conversation as best I can.

GS: "Grandmama, how come you're always in the kitchen?"
Gmama: "Well, I'm usually cooking for all my hungry guests, invited or uninvited"  Giggle
GS:  You make everything Homemade and that's why it's so good.  It's *gooder* than fast food!"
Gmama: " Thank You sweetheart, Gmama's glad you like her cooking.  That makes me feel so good"
GS:  "Oh I DO LIKE your cooking.  You're about the only person I know that makes everything Homemade.  I really appreciate how hard you work to make us good food.  I think you make nice quilts too!  When is mine going to be finished?"
Gmama:  "I cook homemade because that's how I learned to cook from my Mama.  We didn't have    restaurants to go to for dinner.  Everyone ate at home and once in awhile we would get Hot Dogs from the local DQ".  And...I'm almost finished quilting your quilt.
GS:  " I want to watch you sew while I go to sleep tonight" (Wiping Ham Glaze from his mouth)
 Gmama:  Gives GS a BIG OL HUG with TEARS in her eyes.

I haven't stopped thinking since this conversation with my grandson occurred about what has been lost in our current culture where dinner consists of whatever Fast Food line is the shortest.  I would have hated missing out on all those *kitchen conversations* as I call them.  Those times when one of my Three children would hop up on the counter and start talking while I was peeling potatoes for REAL mashed potatoes or taste testing my homemade deviled eggs. It was their job to tell me if I needed more pickle juice! 
I always watched Andy Griffith and the NEWS while cooking which provided more than ample occasions to laugh over Barney Fiffe shooting himself in the foot with that famous ONE Bullet or watching the news feed when we began bombing in Desert Storm 1990.  I would have missed one of the most historic times with my son who happened to be the child on the kitchen counter on that particular evening. 
Memorizing multiplication tables happened over making the cheese sauce for HOMEMADE Mac n Cheese or licking the beaters after mixing a chocolate cake mix.
Everyone sitting down together at the dinner table, talking, laughing, storytelling, and 
sometimes disagreeing.  
We weren't perfect!  
Nope, sometimes a child pouted over their mashed potatoes or refused to eat and regretted it later once they were "over their mad" as I used to call it.

Of course, I ordered Pizza and bought my share of KFC chicken but it wasn't the Norm...it was a treat for the kids as well as for me!  As they got older, even the kids helped with the cooking.  In fact, #1 Daughter had a crash course in cooking when her Daddy and I contracted Mono at the same time!  She was in 6th Grade and ended up cooking dinner for an entire month while I slept.  But that's a story for another day!
I wouldn't take anything for all those *kitchen conversations* that were allowed to *marinate and simmer* rather than *unwrap and throw away*
I'm Now Grateful my Grandchildren notice that Grandmama cooks good food and has all the time in the world for another Generation of KITCHEN CONVERSATIONS..the HOMEMADE KIND!

Easy Peasy Cobbler
1 stick Butter
1 cup SR Flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup Milk
1 1/2 cup fruit (Blackberries, peaches, etc..)
Melt Butter in 8x8 pan.  Mix dry ingredients with whisk.
 I sprinkle about 1/2 c. extra sugar on blackberries due to their tartness.  If I use can peaches I don't drain the peaches but allow a lot of the juice to remain on the peaches.  Makes the cobbler juicier to use some of the liquid from the fruit.  Mix dry ingredients while butter melts.  Pre-heat oven to 400*.  Add milk to dry mixture and pour over melted butter.  DO NOT MIX!  Add fruit over top of batter.  Bake for approx. 30 min. until golden brown and edges look done. Time will vary due to ovens. Mixture will appear undone in center (edges should be dry and crispy)but will thicken after taken out of oven and left to cool.  Serve plain or with mild, ice cream or Cool Whip.


  1. It sounds like you had a lovely time. From the dinner to the berry pickin (Snakes...EEKS!) to the sewing at bedtime...simple times are better!

    I haven't chatted with you in a week or so my new friend. Hope you have a wonderful weekend! I sure wish that I could have some of that cobbler. mmmm

  2. Aren't conversations with grandsons wonderful?? I can't wait until Sawyer holds up his end a little better. He's talking, I just have no idea what he's saying! Love you Jane! :)

  3. homemade vs "out" food...I agree NO contest. And, homemade doesn't have to be difficult. Thanks for this reminder!


  4. This blog brought tears to my eyes, how much fun we had in the kitchen and long talks, in fact my son became a chef and now is an Executive Chef and doing some consulting all over Canada. Like you Jane KFC etc. were just treats once in a while.I just love those little talks to with my Jonah but I have a bad feeling that they won't be for much longer. They are so honest and certainly tell you what is what.. Love and blessings Sandra

  5. I am sew with you...and tears in my eyes too..One of my grandboys...came up to me a month ago , and licked my face...I asked him why? he said "Mumm says you are so sweet" I wanted to be sure it was true...lol. He is 4... So I said sooo... I waited...and with his smily eyes, "nothing sweeter".... I get it...how lucky for you Jane, to have those who think you are sweet too..xx

  6. Jane that's just the sweetest story...I'd have been bawling! I make cobbler exactly like you - I bet that doesn't surprise you. :) But I'm not the cook you are because frankly, I just don't like cooking. I wish I did. I would love to have your glaze recipe though and I'm going to start this post so I'll have your potato salad recipe. :) blessings, marlene

  7. Love your story Jane! And I wholeheartly agree. I'm a young 'old soul', just turned 41. My kids are all under 16, and yet, they all much prefer my homecooking, made from scratch meals, over restaraunt food....even my very picky 6yr old!

  8. you know my mama's favorite meal for me was...YES, ham and potato salad...miss it!!!

  9. This was my first visit to your blog and what a wonderful feast you put on. Can I have seconds on the ham, or the recipe for the glaze?
    Thanks so much for your kindness. Oh, and I may sneak in for dinner tomorrow too. (shhhhhh)

  10. Oh so true! We cook from scratch too, most of our friends don't. We don't have the health problems they do and I have to wonder if the chemicals, extra salt, sugar, etc. in most processed foods don't have a very detrimental effect on health. People at church seek out our food at potlucks:>) Makes you wonder why they don't start cooking more themselves!
    Conversations like the one you had with your sweet grandson sure make all the work worth it!


Blessings to all of you who have taken the time to leave your thoughtful comments. I read each one and hope you will come back often!

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