Friday, September 28, 2007


Have you ever wondered where you picked up words you use, especially when no one you know uses them the same way?

I bought this cookbook yesterday. My job brings in booksellers once in a while and we can buy books at reduced prices. I don't know why I like cookbooks, I try everything to get out of cooking. Anyway, I was reading this book's introduction. They are talking about food history of the south. I've told you all before that my family is in the south, although I grew up in Ohio. When all of my friends called the midday meal "Lunch", I called it "dinner". While reading this book I learned why. "Another term peculiar to the South is the use of dinner to mean the midday meal, which was the main meal of the day in agricultural societies such as the South. The evening meal was often much lighter and was dubbed supper." When visiting my Grandmother, or Great Grandmother, dinner was always a huge meal. They started preparing for it after the big breakfast. Then for supper, they would warm up leftovers from dinner.
Other words that I have changed over the years are pronunciations that my old friend Nancy would tease me about when we were kids. I have leared that 'Tagger' is actually pronounced 'Tiger', Deesh and Feesh, are actually dish and fish. Pin (2 syllables of course) is actually a Pen. Ohia, is Ohio. I never called my Grandparents Mamau and Papau.. but all of my cousins did. My mother's parents were called Grandma and Grandpa, so that is what we called my father's parents.
Oh yes, now I'm the proper northern woman with no accent.
I remember few things vividly from my childhood. One of them is visiting my great-grandparents who lived far up a mountain. the road was so narrow, if you met someone coming the other way, one of you had to back to a spot in the road that one of you could get around. The road in front of my great grandparent's home was not paved. The red dust would fly into the air on dry summer days. I remember meeting all of my aunts and uncles and cousins there on our visits. There always a big meal with pies, and biscuits and green beans. The long table in the kitchen was laden with food.. There was a hand pump in the kitchen sink. I would walk with my great grandmother to the "spring house" which was a short walk out the kitchen door. It was a cool stone building which housed potatoes, canned goods, and apples. I still remember the sweet cool smell in the spring house. My great grandmother died when I was around 6, so let me tell you that is one LONG memory.
A trip to Great Grandpa's was a dream come true for a little girl that loved horses and had a big imagination.

My family always loved this fairly unbecoming photo of my great grandmother. Her name was Stata and she alway posed unsmiling in pictures. But when a little girl has a camera that everyone thinks is out of film, you catch them off guard. Here is everyone on the porch after a big dinner. G. Grandma Stata is laughing with her family as she eats pie.
A couple of summers ago, we found our way back up the mountain with the help of my uncle. My great grandparents house is still standing and was bought by out of staters to use as a hunting lodge. It is really grown up with foliage compared to the way it was when it was a working farm. My mother grew up in a house that would have been to the left in this picture. It has been gone a long time now, but I remember walking through the empty house when I was young. There was a stairway that was narrow and spiral, and is what I remember the most about the house.

This is the back of the house. When I was young, it was painted white and had orange/ or cheddar trim. This is the back door of the kitchen that I told you about earlier. We would walk on a stone walk to get to the Spring house.

This all started out as a discovery why I used some of the words I did when I was young, and I have expanded it to a walk down memory lane. I hope you enjoyed it.
This all started with my last post about my mother's old pot. I have thought about it and I never have to 'shake' the pot over the flame. I only put in the popcorn and let it sit and it comes out perfectly. Probably because of the even heat in the heavy pot. Also, I have found out how to control the popcorn as the lid comes up. Put some pressure on the lid until the corn stops popping and it's good to go. Just in case you cared. :)


Rian said...

What a great post. I love stories like these. We called it supper when I was growing up, I now call it dinner.

Nowadays I put a bag in a little chamber, push a button that says POPCORN, wait two minutes and open the bag. Grab a soda (or do you call it "pop") from the fridge.

Teresa said...

Nice memories. They call the noon meal dinner here in southern Minnesota, farming country and the evening meal supper. The noon meal is always bigger to feed the men who are working in the fields. Up to last summer the wife of the farmer my husband drives a grain wagon for fed all the men in the field. Now their operation has gotten too big and she doesn't anymore.