Now that's a phrase you don't hear a whole lot anymore....feeling poorly.
It's definitely one I've heard my mamaw and papaw say before. What I wouldn't give to go back in time and capture all the old timey phrases and words they used. I remember many, but I'm sure my memory has lost just as many as I recall.
One thing I'm so glad I did was interview both my mamaw and papaw not long before they passed away. I recorded their responses to my questions, and created an oral history heirloom to pass on to the next generations. Since they are now gone, those stories I documented from them have become something I truly treasure. I highly encourage you to interview the older members of your own family if you have the opportunity to do so. It's time well spent, and we have so much we can learn from that older generation of mountain folk.
When I interviewed my Eastern Kentucky born and raised mamaw, she spoke quite a bit about the different ways they handled gardening, chores around the house, etc. when she was growing up. Hearing her talk was like opening up a window into old timey Appalachia.
"Oh, we used to clean chitlins and make soap with...put lye in and we made our soap then. I guess they's a whole bunch out there in the smokehouse now...."
|My grandparents' smokehouse where Mamaw stored her old lye soap.|
When asked if they washed the clothes with lye soap she said, "Yeah. Well, now, we didn't have washing machines then. We didn't have to have it. We washed on a board."
|An old washboard|
|My mamaw...back when people "had time for one another."|
And here is what Mamaw had to say about using lye for a much different purpose...
"Yeah, we used to make big 'kittles' of hominy. Well, we'd have what they call lye, we'd buy canned, and shell our corn and cook it with lye water to get the husk off of it. Then they'd have to cook it and wash it so many times to get that lye out of it. Course they wasn't no food to it time we got through with it that way. But we'd make big 'kittles' of it. ...we liked it. You could salt it. And we'd put it in a skillet of grease and it was good that way. And, well, we'd start eatin' on it without puttin' it in anything when they'd get the lye out of it."
Can't you just picture a bunch of little kids sitting there waiting for that hominy to get done, hardly able to contain themselves? Now that's a sweet picture!
My mamaw's description of frying hominy, got me craving some so bad that I just had to go and make it myself!
I used canned hominy. I know that's not very authentic, but making hominy from scratch would be biting off more than this girl can chew, so you'll have to pardon the error of my ways!
My mamaw would often fry her hominy in lard...but I don't keep lard on hand. At this point you may be shaking your head at my lack of conformity to Mamaw's original dish...but maybe I will get you back on board with the word bacon! You can't go wrong with bacon!
So I fried my canned hominy in bacon grease...trust me, Mamaw would approve!
I began by frying up 6 strips of bacon in a cast iron skillet until crisp. (Do make sure you use a cast iron skillet for this recipe. A non-stick skillet just doesn't cut it.)
Then I removed the strips of bacon but left the resulting bacon grease in the skillet.
I added three well-drained cans of hominy to the hot skillet, salted to taste (be careful not to oversalt as most canned hominy already contains salt), and cooked uncovered over medium heat, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes.
When the hominy has started to get flecks of golden brown scattered throughout, serve piping hot as a side dish.
Hope you enjoy this fried hominy dish, and hope you've enjoyed my mamaw's old timey tales about lye. Blessings, and see you back here again soon!
6 strips of bacon
3 (15.5 oz.) cans of hominy, well drained
salt to taste
Fry strips of bacon in a cast iron skillet over medium to medium-low heat until crisp, turning often to prevent burning. Remove bacon and set aside. Carefully add hominy to remaining bacon grease in the hot skillet. Use caution as grease can splatter. Cook uncovered over medium to medium-low heat, adding salt to taste, for about 10 minutes or until light golden brown flecks begin to form. Serve hot and, if desired, topped with the crumbled bacon bits.