Suppertime at Mama’s
I grew up in the early 1950s when mothers never gave a thought to saturated fat or cholesterol. Living well and eating right meant cleaning your plate. A mother’s main concern was good taste.
Mama Thel was among those Southern cooks who understood that to prepare good food, quality ingredients (fresh butter and eggs, whole milk) were a must. No, the meals were probably not the best for the body, but they definitely fed the soul and put smiles on family and kin.
Each evening mother dished up a scrumptious meal prepared with fresh vegetables, meat raised and slaughtered on the farm, eggs for the barnyard chickens, and milk products from our own Jersey cow. Nearly every supper included Irish potatoes smashed with fresh buttermilk for a bit of tartness and a hunk of home-churned butter crowning the pile. Hot buttermilk biscuits, fork split with a generous chunk of butter adorned each plate. No meal was complete without gravy cascading the potatoes and sopped up by biscuits. I have yet to find a dessert comparable to buttermilk pie, signature dessert of the South. That sweet vanilla aroma forever embedded in memory. The caramelized top with creamy custard center, crème brûlée’s cousin in a pie shell!
Each evening meal was an event that strengthened family bonds as we passed dishes, teased, joked, shared problems and made plans. Passing of time cannot erase such cherished memories of family togetherness around the supper table.