Sunday, March 16, 2008

Mom's Red Bowl


I grew up in a small, rural town. We had eight children in our family and I was the oldest girl. Looking back I suppose we must have been poor, but I guess we didn't know it. We raised our own chickens, pigs, had at least one milk cow, raised our own beef and planted a huge garden every year. My dad worked hard to provide for his eight kids and my mom stretched every dollar they had to the max. My dad worked the garden with Belgium horses because he liked doing it that way. I grew up helping my mom can all that stuff that we raised and my whole family helped when chicken killing time came around. So we probably ate better than most. One meal that mom fixed for us on special occasions or on Sunday mornings was chocolate gravy with homemade biscuits. Those biscuits as well as homemade bread was made in a very special bowl that we called "the red bowl." It sat in a special place of honor on top of the kitchen cabinet probably so it would be out of reach of the eight kids. Mom's recipe was simple. It consisted of self-rising flour mixed with milk. Instead of rolling them out, she would simply drop them by teaspoonful into a hot, well-oiled cast iron skillet. Then they were popped into the oven and baked until they were fluffy and golden brown. And they were best eaten while they were so hot you could hardly hold them and with butter dripping down the side of them. Boy, were they out of this world! Mom would also make what we called chocolate gravy to go with them. I am going to try and find that old recipe, because I would like to make it and see if it really did taste as good as I remembered it. For some reason, I think it was more like a chocolate pudding, but she served it hot with those delicious biscuits. My mom is now in the Alzheimers Unit in the town in which I live and all her old recipes that did not get written down are now lost to us. Unfortunately, the red Fireking bowl was dropped and broken . But thanks to the wonders of Ebay, I was able to purchase the identical bowl, which now sits on top of my kitchen cabinet beside my mom's old perculator and my grandmothers rolling pin. I love being surrounded by the old things we use to have when we were kids and when I see them, they take me down memory lane to a time when we were poor and didn't know it and to a time when life was so much more simpler than now. I find it interesting that the old dishes and things we used when we were kids held no value to us then, but now a whole generation my age is searching antique stores as well as flea markets trying to find those same old things we wanted no part of when we were young. And we are now willing to pay big bucks to get them. Go figure. By the way, check out my new nanas-treasures.com web site.

1 comment:

Noel Wright said...

I had completely forgotten about chocolate gravy until I read this post. I remember going to my aunt's house and she would always serve this for breakfast. I always thought it was weird that I could have this tasty dish for breakfast and that my parents would encourage me to eat it all!