Ten Favorite Foods That My Mother Made
1. Meat loaf. That one thing that, even though you do everything like your mother did, never tastes anywhere near as good. She would make it at least once every time we visited, because Briton and Hannah loved it, too.
2. Fruit cobblers. Especially peach. Ripe peaches right off the tree. . .
3. Brownies. I think that's the first thing I ever made with her. It would have been when I was very young, though, so I probably twirled a lot of flour out of the bowl. And ate a lot of the pecans.
4. Hot grease salads. (I know how it sounds. I also know how it tastes.) Leaf lettuce, grated boiled eggs, sliced carrots (except for me), green onions (double helping for me), shredded cheddar cheese, crumbled bacon, drizzled with the grease the bacon left behind. It sizzles, and it is so, SO good.
5. Pickled okra. The best, hands down. I've never had any other that even began to come close. I found a couple of jars when I was cleaning out my parents' house. It was like hitting a vein of gold.
6. Hog jowl. Southern enough for you yet? Fried like bacon.
7. Fried diced potatoes. Labor intensive, cutting all those little cubes, but I could eat a whole skillet full myself.
8. Rice pudding. Baked in the oven, it took forever to be ready to eat. But she always put raisins in it. I never understood the reason for them; I'd just eat around every one. (Sort of relatedly, Mama made beautiful meringue. Picture perfect. But I scraped it off every piece of pie that had it. Not a fan of the meringue.)
9. Sweet potato casserole. Along the meringue line, she knew not to put marshmallows on top, but, rather, a brown sugar/pecan/butter crumble. Again, I could eat an entire one alone.
10. I have to include something my father would make. We called it "Stuff." I'd ask him to make it when I was little (and when I was grown), and Briton and Hannah learned to ask him to make it, too. All it was was milk and sugar heated in a saucepan, stirred until it was the right consistency. Some of the sugar would singe, usually, so there would be flecks of brown in it. It was best right out of the pan. We ate it spread on saltine crackers.