Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Family Heirlooms


These two bowls belonged to my grandmother, she used them for rising bread as did my mother after her.  It pleases me no end to see my David using them to prepare his bread too.  Growing up my mom also used the bigger light colored one to make our Thanksgiving dressing.  It was southern style, "one third biscuit, one third cornbread and one third light bread" my grandmother always said.  Saved bits of frozen and stale breads, torn into bits and then topped with celery and onions that were boiled in turkey broth and all poured over the top and stirred in with salt and pepper and sage and covered to steam until the bread was softened.  Then a couple of eggs were added to the mix and it was all pressed into a hot cast iron skillet to brown in the oven so the outside would be crispy.  Won't be long now till we get to eat that special meal, always my mama's favorite.  The combo of turkey, mashed potatoes and crunchy dressing topped with gravy is one of the best in the whole wide world as far as I'm concerned.  I'm getting hungry just writing about it.

Those cast iron skillets that we use to bake the dressing and the corn pones, those came from our moms and grandmoms too.  There is something so rich and special about touching these things that fed the families down through the generations, to hold the bowls and skillets that were held by our ancestors and know we've so carefully kept them whole into this milleniium.  It's a tremendous and wonderful thing.

4 comments:

janie said...

I think the same way. I have some of Mama's bowls and my Grandmother's wooden dough bowl. She used it to make a dry mixture of lard, flour, salt, baking powder (or soda?), and it would be stored in this bowl with a wooden lid. It is big, about 2' long. When she wanted to make biscuits, she would make a little well in the flour mixture, and add a little milk, working the flour into the liquid. When it was the right consistancy, she would put it in her old baking pan. When the pan was full, she would put the cover on her bowl and set it back in it's own place.

My daughter has some bowls and a few cooking pans. She has Granny's teapot as well. A little white enamel teapot, cute as can be.

Mary Delle said...

Ah, yes. To have things that long means that they speak to you each time you use them. It's so wonderful.

fairegarden said...

Yes, my mouth is watering at your wonderful descriptions! Thanksgiving is a very big deal here too. The kids and their families all come to my house for the big feast and sleep over. I love your stuffing recipe and will try it out. We have my grandmother's bowls and roasting pans too. Treasure without equal. :-)
Frances

Garden Girl said...

Janie- I love that story about your grandmothers big wooden bowl- so interesting how she just used it to store the dry mix and must have worked the liquid in at one end.

My mom would do that with pie crust, blend a big batch of shortening and salt with the flour and then just take enough out for one pie that she would add the water to.

Aren't we all lucky to have the memories and the objects that stir those memories to life.