I was fifteen and I was yard-saling! There on the table was a huge cast iron “corn bread pan” and I bought it for my Momma. No one can make corn bread like Mom, it’s perfect. This southern bread comes to the table piping hot with perfectly crisp edges, only achieved in an iron skillet.
But cornbread was just Mom’s staple, nothing special, we had it all the time. It was nothing special that is, until I moved away. Even Mom’s Vegetable Soup went up in my estimation, above any restaurant fare, when I never had it anymore. It’s easy to take things for granted, to forget how things are done, to just let things change.
What does homemade mean? The definition simply states: “Something made at home, not made somewhere else as in a factory or store”. Yet upon my Google search “Homemade” pulled up a site that will send you “Homemade” food to your door, except it’s not. It’s not at all. . .
Yesterday, I spent 2 hours making a huge pot pie (pictured above) and I put it in the cast iron that has been passed back to me from my Momma. Cutting up chunks of meat and coating them with flour, I fried them for just long enough to get the taste of a good “brown” on them. With the drippings I made an old-fashioned gravy that I seasoned with thyme, salt and pepper. Next I chopped vegetables that my husband grew in our garden I boiled them until soft and layered it all in a crust I made from scratch. As I bustled happily about I was humbled with the knowledge that this work, THIS life is a privilege. I realized, not for the first time, that what I am doing is a great joy to my heart, it is the light load of Christ. (Matthew 11:30) Later, when I served my work of art and received compliments on it’s taste I smiled happily. I thought it was amazing myself, the crust was perfection and the steak inside tender.
I’ve learned a lot about cooking, “helping Mom” at home. I was learning lessons that I didn’t know I knew until later. Now, after 18 years of being a wife and a mom myself, I realize the value of calling in my helpers, so that they can learn too. My heart is deeper now, I look at things with a gratitude past the pride of cooking well. Sometimes, it’s a simple sandwich made for the littlest one who hasn’t quite learned how. It’s taking a time, even a moment, to say – you matter to me. I am thankful for the blessing of being cared for, in the form of a million homemade meals, by my Momma. I am thankful for the extra time she took to teach me to cook. She not only trained me to do everything she knew but encouraged me to pass her in ability. This generous gift of self is one I now give to my own 5 daughters and 2 sons. Yes, do it better than I can, dearest ones. Abigail, my oldest girl has passed me in biscuit making, no one can top her golden, tender offerings. I glory in her glory. This legacy has been a long time in the making. Homemade is a gift that I was given and I will continue to give.
A tribute to my Momma, who showed my how. . . I love you, Mom.