About me...

Pop the lid on my Mason Jar and meet my family. Jim {Jimma} and I have four kids, Creston (Ashley), Jami (Matt), Brandon and Chance. Our grandkids, Cade, Kirby, Eisley, Beck and Reed bring us more joy than any Mason Jar could ever hold. I am counting my blessings over and over and thanking God for His amazing love and grace.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Memories on Mother's Day

When I think about growing up, my thoughts always reflect on Mom’s sewing and cooking. Mom’s sewing skills were amazing and creative. A lot of her sewing was done without patterns or by putting patterns together. She knew what to do to make the pattern fit or how to alter the item as she was sewing, so it would fit. My sewing involved a pattern and the pattern had better be the right size, because I was clueless how to alter it to make it work. Many things were given away or trashed in frustration, which is probably the reason I didn’t sew more than what I did.

Mom made clothes with matching bonnets and panties for my dolls, and really sweet night gowns with matching slippers for me. One of my favorite things she made was an Indian costume for a play in elementary school. I’ll always remember looking at the other costumes and thinking mine was the best of all! Even as a teen, I loved the clothes she made for me and wore them with pride. From the clothes she made for me and my dolls, to my wedding dress, Mom was creative with her sewing and could make anything look store bought.

And Mom’s cooking... oh my goodness that lady could cook! I have so many wonderful childhood memories of meals that she so lovingly prepared. I can remember her reading books to me when I was little, while a pot of soup, stew, dried beans or rutabagas were cooking on the stove. Every day when Dad came home from work, our family would sit down and have supper together. In Mississippi, we didn’t have “lunch” and “dinner”, we had “dinner” and “supper.” And every meal came with a large pitcher of sweet ice tea.

Every Sunday morning Mom would get up, fix breakfast and dinner (lunch), and get four kids ready for church. We were always on time, and came home to a wonderful home cooked meal. My Sunday mornings with four kids were chaotic to say the least, and we always ran late to church. If I managed to prepare a meal before church, you can bet it wasn’t anything like the ones my mom prepared. Growing up, a typical home cooked meal on Sunday would be fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy and the works to go along with it. As a mom, my idea of a perfect Sunday dinner was to pick up Kentucky Fried Chicken with all the side dishes, and bring it home.

Every so often, we got a big surprise for breakfast. On those mornings Mom would say she SHOULD be giving us a healthy breakfast, but was giving us a treat instead. The treat was a yellow cake she baked covered with a “melt in your mouth” fudge frosting. That had to have been the best cake and frosting ever, as well as one of our favorite breakfasts.

And then there were Mom’s doughnuts. They were the best ever. She would make a big batch of them, glaze them with a powdered sugar glaze and we would devour them in no time. Another favorite was Mom’s fried apricot pies. She would take dried apricots, cook them down and add butter and sugar to them. Then she would get canned biscuits, roll them out, put the filling on one side, fold them over and fry them. We would eat them as soon as they were cool enough to touch.
It’s disappointing to have the best teacher in the world when it comes to cooking, and not even come close to being able to cook as well as she does. As much as I tried, my cooking can’t begin to compare to Mom’s. Not that her meals were fancy, they were just good, old home cooked meals. She never needed a recipe and could throw stuff together and make a mouth-watering dish. As for me, I use recipes and follow them to the letter. Where Mom took what she had on hand and created a wonderful meal, I went to the grocery store with my list, picking up the ingredients the recipe called for.

I am proud to say that I did learn to cook a few things from Mom. She taught me how to make “Chicken and Dumplings” from scratch, and the secret to making them - ice water. I can almost make “Chicken and Dressing” as good as she does, and I know that the secret to her spaghetti sauce is to add a little sugar. So many people liked Mom’s potato salad that we sat down one day and measured out the ingredients as she made it. Even with her recipe, mine doesn’t quiet measure up to hers. Truthfully I don’t think I’ve ever cooked anything Mom cooked, that tastes as good as hers.

I seriously think Mom’s sewing and cooking talents bypassed me and skipped a generation. My daughter is creative, has sewed some really cool stuff without a pattern, and can throw a wonderful meal together in no time, without a recipe. All this leads me to believe that one day Eisley will be writing about what an awesome, creative, mom she has. And hopefully the talents didn’t skip her generation!

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