I grew up an oil brat. My Daddy moved us about every 18 months to 3 years until I was in middle school. We rarely spent big holidays at home. My Dad's parents had long since passed away but my Mom's parents were still living and made their home in Homer, Louisiana for the duration of my childhood. We went to my grandparents home on my Mom's side for most of the big holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas until my Meemaw passed away when I was 21 years old. I also spent lots of time in the summers with her in my time off from school. It was a place that acted as an anchor for me in the midst of all the change we had with my father's job. It was a familiar cozy lovely nourishing place to be for me.
Meemaw rarely shook things up when she cooked for us. We loved the familiarity of her meals. She always said that she would make something different if we wanted it but we never wanted that. There was just something very comforting in those same meals each time we went.
We had black-eyed peas made with salt pork or bacon and onion with just about every meal. She would slow cook them all day and the whole house smelled heavenly! We also had roasted chicken and cornbread dressing for big meals with vegetable sides. Holiday and Sunday meals were very similar to each other. We rarely deviated from that tradition. I don't even think I ate turkey for Thanksgiving until I was in my teens. My Dad and my Meemaw preferred chicken and no one else minded or complained.
She also kept things on hand such as homemade plum jelly that she or a friend would make each summer. She kept hamburger buns stocked for toasting in the little toaster oven. She would slather them with butter and pop them in to get a golden crunchy top to them. There were always homemade biscuits stashed in the freezer. She would put them on a tray in the oven at a moments notice. She might do that 3 or 4 times in a morning as we would straggle out of bed one at a time and work our way to the kitchen. She always had fresh coffee and as a young girl I would have a little of that coffee with my milk and sugar in my own special mug.
Her pantry held things like peanut butter to go with that plum jelly for lunch or a snack. She kept small single bags of Fritos to go with our sandwiches. Fritos are still my favorite! There were little 8 ounce cokes in glass bottles chilling in the refrigerator. She kept several little snack items on hand but the one I remember most were the Honey Buns. I loved it all... she never made anything that I did not love.
There was one thing, though, that was and will remain my most favorite thing she ever made.... her BUTTERMILK PIE! She was a master pie maker and did do many different kinds over the years but that Buttermilk was always the one we asked for first. It is a pie that many people today don't make anymore. It is rich and sweet and it does not take much to satisfy the craving. It is fantastic with a cup of your favorite coffee.
Here is the recipe I pulled from her stacks after she passed away. I have kept all of her handwritten and clipped recipes but this one gets the most use to this day. Second most used is probably her cornbread or ice cream recipes.
Meemaw's Buttermilk Pie
1 (9-10 inch) unbaked pie shell
1/2 cup butter or margarine (I only use butter unsalted)
2 cups sugar
3 slightly rounded Tbsp. flour
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla
Cream margarine of butter and sugar. Add flour and eggs; beat well. Stir in buttermilk and vanilla. Pour into unbaked pie shell and bake 45 to 50 minutes at 350*. Cool completely on wire rack before cutting and serving.
Want a list of other pies people don't make much anymore? Here are some articles I found about Retro Pies