Charley never spoke of Marzell’s visit. Coming down early the next morning, he sat down to breakfast with his father and Cora. He buttered a couple of biscuits and poured syrup over them. “I’m starving! Can I get some eggs and bacon, too?”
”Why, shore, Honey. You need to put some meat back on them bones.” She grinned putting a cup of coffee with lots of cream before him. “Them eggs will be ready in just a minute.” In no time, a plate of grits, eggs and bacon sat in front of him.
Charles was delighted to see Charley downstairs and hungry, but was careful not to overdo it.”Good to see you up and about so early. I guess you’re back trying to eat me out of house and home like your brothers.”
“I feel good, Dad. Do you think you could take me out to the farm? I want to work with Robert and Bobby. Farm work will make a man of me if anything will.” Charley was clearly ready to get on with life.
“Let me make a quick call. It’s my half-day and I only have two appointments. Dr. Jones can pick them up for me. He owes me, anyway. He just got back off vacation and ought to be plenty rested.” In just a minute he was back. “We’re all set. Cora, can you give Bessie a call and let her know we’d love some of her fried chicken for lunch if she has a fat chicken penned up.”
“Dr. Charles, could you bring me back some eggs, fresh cream, buttermilk, and greens. If the dewberries are ready, could Freddy pick me some? Oh, and if possible, could you bring me a rooster. Bessie done tol’ me she was gonna git Robert to fasten one up when I talked to her last week. It sure would be handy if you could bring it. I got to make some chicken and dumplings and chicken and dressing for my church’s Sunday Dinner on the grounds? You know I’ll make plenty for y’all, too. Ginny has been beggin’ to go to services with me ever’ since she found out we gonna have baptizin’ this Sunday. She never wants to miss that. I sure hope they’s enough dewberries for me to make cobbler and put some up. Y’all seem like you can’t never git enough dewberry jam.
After the weeks of languishing about, Charley welcomed the normalcy of the morning. He knew he’d always held a special place in Charles’s heart and Cora was simply, Cora, the only mother he’d ever known and his soft place to fall.
Just then, Ginny came banging down the stairs. “Cora! Charley ate all the bacon and grits! That ain’t right! You know bacon and grits are my favorite!”
“Don’t you go startin’ nothing with Charley. If you hadn’t been so lazy, you’d a got yore share. Sit down and drink this milk and eat a biscuit while I make you some bacon and eggs, but grits takes a while. Are you gonna still want some if I fix’em?”
“Since Charley got all the grits, can you make me some chocolate gravy? That don’t take long. I love that.” In a bargaining mood, felt she might have an advantage.
“How would know how long it takes to make chocolate gravy, young miss? I ain’t never caught you cookin’ none.” Cora was already getting out the pan and the cocoa.
“Ooh, thank you, Cora. I love you.” She leaned against Cora, always ready for a hug.
“Huh, you loves chocolate gravy. You’d hug a hobo if he made you chocolate gravy.” Her smile belied her gruff words.
Charles pushed out his chair and leaned back in his chair. “Can I get another cup of coffee!” obviously, basking in the wonder of a happy morning. They’d survived many hard times in the past and would face challenges in the future, but today was a good day.
Chocolate Gravy (Serve over hot biscuits)
1/4 c. cocoa
3 tbs flour (can sub 1 1/2 tbs corn starch for 1 1/2 tbs flour for ease in getting rid of lumps if desired)
3/4 c. white sugar
12 ounce can evaporated milk. (not sweetened, condensed milk) Add 4 ounces water to bring up to 2 cups. Can use fat-free if desired.(Ha!!)
1 tbs softened butter
2 tsp vanilla
Whisk cocoa, flour and sugar in dry sauce pan together till smooth. Stir in milk and whisk till well-mixed. (corn starch makes this easier) Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, 7-10 minutes till it reaches consistency of gravy. Off course it will scorch if not stirred constantly. Add vanilla and butter and stir till well-mixed.
Get all you want before you serve it. It goes quickly. I used to make this for my kids for rainy days and holidays.