Mr. Smith was in the hospital for the first time in his life and in traction. He hit the call bell and yelled out loud enough for everybody on the hall to hear. “Hey, Nurse! I gotta s—!” Continue reading
Daddy loved going to doctors and taking medicines. He walked through one morning as Mother’s friend mentioned she was seeing Dr Bert Mason, praising him to Mother. Upon hearing this recommendation of a doctor he had no experience of, his ears perked up. Pondering Shirley’s recommendation as he went about his business, he did a total body assessment, trying to determine what imperfect body part might be most in need of attention. Like most people over forty, at any time he could likely zero in on problem or two. His knee was cranky, uncomfortable in foul weather. Seasonal allergies were an ongoing problem. Indigestion was a common visitor. Maybe he should see Dr. Mason. He made a note to have mother call for an appointment when he got back in the house.
Two weeks later, they hurried in to the doctor’s office. He settled in while Mother registered him. They were the first ones to be seen after the lunch break. As they waited, a couple of patients joined them. In less than five minutes, the nurse called out, “Billie Swain?” He was surprised to be called Billie, but followed her into the bowels of the clinic. As Mother waited, the room quickly filled with patients. Before long, Mother notice a commonality. The patients were all women, mostly obviously pregnant, or nursing newborns. Realizing there was nothing to be done, she settled back, looking forward to Daddy’s reaction to his visit with Dr. Mason, M.D., OB/GYN.
Within minutes, Daddy slipped out the door in the rear of the waiting room, signaling as he made his way out the door, hoping to escape notice.
Since my post yesterday, I’ve gotten many questions about grits. Grits are a hot cereal, made from treating field corn with a lye process. Afterward, the grits are simmered, served as a breakfast cereal with butter and maybe sugar and milk. At our house, we spoon grits over eggs. (no sugar or milk) One of the most succulent and delicious dishes on this planet is Shrimp and Grits. If you ever see it on the menu at a coastal restaurant in the South or Southeast, order it, no matter who laughs at you. Be prepared to guard it with your life when it gets to the table. Everybody who laughed when you ordered will want a bite when they see how happy you are. Let them suffer!
Another regional favorite is Hog’s Head Cheese. Farm kids learn early, it’s best not to be friends with a pig you plan to butcher. This delicacy has nothing to do with cheese and everything to do with a hog’s head. It is very simple to prepare, for those of you who are already smacking your lips. The next time you butcher a hog, save the head. Scald it in boiling, soapy water before scrubbing and scraping off the whiskers. With your fingers, pry the eyeballs out, taking care not to rupture them. That is extremely disagreeable and makes it harder to get the membranes out of the sockets. You can throw in the feet if you don’t plan to make Pickled Pig’s Feet. When the head is thoroughly clean, boil it until all the flesh, contents of the head, skin, and cartilage fall off the bone. Try to let it boil low toward the end, so the broth will be reduced. Debone, reserving broth. Chop meat, add large minced onions, about eight cloves minced garlic, 1 teaspoon of salt and black pepper per pound of meat, three to five tablespoons sage, red pepper if you like spicy. Add 1/2 vinegar. Mix in enough of reserved broth to mix till consistency of cooked oatmeal. Pour into loaf pans. Cover with foil and cool overnight. By the next morning can be turned out and sliced for cold cuts or rolled in egg and flour and browned in skillet. Store covered in refrigerator up to a week. Freezes well
I recommend you serve it with Poke-Salad, Fried Mountain Oysters, Buzzard Butter, Pickled Pig’s Feet, Hopping John, and Hush Puppies.