Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Country Cuisine

Huckleberry Pie and Polk Salad ....does that get your salivary glands going when you read that? Maybe and maybe not since you may have never heard of either one! A lot depends on if you're from the city or the country. If you're from the city, then maybe you don't even know what I'm talking about! Late May and early June is the time of year for both of the above....polk salad and huckleberries. Since we live out on a farm, we partake of both. Actually WE don't but my husband does! He picks them and I cook them. I did taste the pie and it was really good. The polk salad I have tasted but definitely do not like and do not eat.

I was raised in town....not really what some would call a city.....but most all of our food came from the grocery store. I do remember my Mama being thrilled to get the occasional "mess" of polk salad each spring from a friend or family member who lived in the country. I don't recall ever even hearing about huckleberries until B. and I got married. He introduced me to all kinds of strange foods and eating customs! Not long after we were married I was introduced to the annual
"hog-killing" at my in-laws house. Talk about something that will gross-out a city-slicker! I had always gotten my ham, sausage and bacon at the neighborhood grocery store and didn't actually even want to know where it all came from! Being the only one that day who had never participated in such a thing, I was given the job of helping to cut up the belly fat of the hog which jiggled and wiggled til I thought it would never get cut up! Just the thought of it even now makes me cringe! The fat would be put in a big black three-legged pot set up outside over an open fire. Then came the job that B.'s daddy was the best off the lard and making "cracklings". He also made the best cured ham I ever ate. Seems a paradox that after being raised on pork neither me nor my husband can eat it now without getting sick. Go figure!

I have not always been easily persuaded to cook a lot of the things B. insisted I cook.....for instance: making homemade "souse meat" from cooking the head of a pig and then taking all the meat off the bones (tedious job I tell you!) and then mixing with all kinds of spices....or cooking a beaver....which, not surprisingly, tasted a lot like sawdust he said....I didn't taste it nor the souse meat! I may cook unusual dishes for him but that doesn't mean I eat it!

I only wish that I had not been so easily aggravated in the early years of our marriage. It would make me mad when he would ask me to cook something for him that I considered to be bizarre. I would usually cook it but with a terrible attitude. I wish now that I had just considered it as "making memories" because that's what they have become....funny, cherished memories of our early married life.

"But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content." 1 Timothy 6: 6-8

So.... did I freak some of you out with my honest testimony of our "Country Cuisine"?
I hope not! What are some of the most "unusual" things you have ever cooked? I'd love to hear about them! (And lest you might think that country is the only way I can cook....I make a mean Baklava! )

God bless you....



Honest to Ya~Ya said...

Hi...I found you through Deborah's KJV blog roll.

I'm from Ky but have lived in Ohio for 3 years now. Some of my Husbands family live in Alabama. We made a visit there and the hostess made a poke salad. She fried it up with bacon grease and vinegar and boiled eggs. Being a "town gal" I had never tasted it, now I'm a big fan!

I've never had the berries that you mentioned though.
Blackberries grew wild where I'm from and that would be our cobbler of choice.

I enjoyed reading your post!☺

Deborah said... have me curious...what's in poke salad?? Now boiled eggs and vinegar I've had...yummy!
No huckleberries in Manitoba...but we have blue berries and saskatoons.

Marilyn said... try and answer your question about the poke's not really a "salad" per se. Just the greens themselves are called Poke Salad...or "sallet" it is called around here. I have never eaten it raw. I understand it may be poisenous that way. It tastes a lot like cooked spinach. I wash the greens real well and then put in a dish pan, cover with water and bring to a boil until the leaves are dark green and wilted. Then I pour all that water off and put fresh water in. Boil again and pour off water.....a total of at least 3 or 4 times. Then add water again and whatever seasonings you want....salt, cooking oil,salt pork fatback, etc....and cook slowly until all the water is cooked out. I usually do this part in a large black iron skillet. A lot of people like to have scrambled eggs along with this or some even like to scramble some eggs in with the poke salad the last few minutes. Serve with a large pone of corn bread and a glass of "sweet" milk or sweet tea. I really don't care for the poke salad but many of the old-timers around can't wait for it to be ready to pick every spring. By the shouldn't eat a lot of this at one setting. Can be very hard on the tummy!


Lysa TerKeurst said...

Oh you know from reading my blog posts about my son's cooking what my answer to your question would be... smiles!

Thanks for your constant encouragement!

Sweet Blessings,

Leah said...

Yes, I am a country girl. I know what poke sallet and huckleberry pie both are. Yummy!!!


elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Absolutely nothing! In fact, the most bizarre thing about my cooking would be the fact that I was doing it.

And yes, I am a little nauseated, but I still love visiting you here!


Joyful said...

OK....I've never heard of either, but then again, we Canadians probably have other strange dishes! Can't say I would relish either on your menu - I'm not one for anything exotic. Plain and simple - that's me!

Have a great weekend friend,

De'on Miller said...

I love Baklava and I love garden anythings.

I've never cooked mountain oysters, but used to watch my dad cut them (wow! those things that make a large cow VERY MUCH A BULL!)

Sadly, most of my cooking is so dull. Greg isn't much on trying new things.

The Spanish people here make a mean dish of every kind from pork, so I bet they've done a lot of what B.'s dad did at one time.

My favorite meals come from the garden. I miss that as much as anything when I think of my grandmothers.

When the gardens came in, our tables were full of fresh tomatoes, creamed and/or fried squash, fried okra, green beans and fresh peas. Little onions, carrots, oh my. I better quit. The Dole salad mix in my fridge does not add up!

I love this post and I love the country! My paternal and maternal grandparents were all cotton farmers. My paternal parents were also dairy farmers. They even supplied milk for the school their kids attended. My dad grew weary of it all, but for a granddaughter who just got to reap the rewards of the farm, it was great!

De'on Miller said...

This sounds a lot like a salad my mom used to make. A slight amount of boiled egg, rings of purple onions and then she poured bacon grease on it. Wilted leaf salad! That's it. Hmmm!

Pork and bean sandwiches. And creamed tuna. That's what I used to eat a lot and I love those old "bad budget" foods!