Mom’s Things 3

Here are some more of Mom’s things I am writing about to keep the memories:

Shaker and Funnel

When Mom was a young bride in the 1950’s she didn’t know a lot about cooking or baking. That changed and she became a great cook and baker. These are a few of her tools of the trade.

Every good baker of that era knew that to make baked goods, you started by sifting the flour. I especially remember at holidays when Mom would make dozens and dozens of cookies watching the flour drift out of the bottom of the sifter into the bowl like soft snow. It was one of the tasks I first was allowed to help with in the kitchen, too.

When I was young, Mom would make a heart-shaped cake on Valentine’s Day. She used a recipe on the Hershey’s cocoa can. She made homemade frosting, too. I doubt my brothers and sister remember this. I am not sure when or why she stopped the tradition. Maybe convenience of boxed cakes…

Mom used the funnel for a life-long habit- she would pour off and save the grease whenever she fried bacon. She kept a jar in the refrigerator with her bacon grease. It was used to flavor green beans- both the ordinary canned beans from the store or the fresh green beans and red potatoes she loved to cook in a big pot. Her favorite green beans were half runners, which she said her dad always planted in his garden. He was a farmer, and she trusted his word on the best garden produce. Another use for the bacon grease was making wilted greens. She would also sometimes melt a little bacon grease in her iron skillet when she baked cornbread in it. And, of course, the best fried eggs were cooked in a little bacon grease.

Mom was a master at making gravy. She would put flour, salt, and a little milk in the shaker. She would stir that into the drippings from the meat she had prepared and cook it until it “looked right” and then stir in the rest of the liquid for the gravy. Her most famous gravy went with her pot roast, which she always cooked with potatoes and carrots. We loved to smash the potatoes (and some of us, the carrots, too) with a fork and pour gravy over them. Another favorite was plain white bread with gravy on top- “gravy bread.”

The shaker and funnel live on my kitchen window sill now. It gives me a lot of comfort to see them there.

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This entry was posted in home and family, memories, SOLSC March 2015. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Mom’s Things 3

  1. arjeha says:

    The tools of the trade! Having the right tools makes any job easier and in this case, tastier as well.

  2. I continued to use my Mom’s sifter after she was killed in a plane crash at 42. I didn’t bake much but whenever I did it was such a comfort. It has since broken and when it broke it made me cry. So this really spoke to my heart as often happens when I read your words!

  3. Lori Sheroan says:

    You’ve captured these memories with such detail. I felt as if I were looking at photos from the past. Your mother’s cooking sounds delicious! It’s so nice to have special things that give us comfort just by looking at them. I hope to keep in touch on Tuesdays, and I really want to thank you for all the nice comments you’ve left over on Galley Street.

  4. Mandyn says:

    I lost my mom three years ago April. I have several of her things that she loved in my home, now. I adore them and the memories that are attached to them! I have written about her ornaments, but you have inspired me to blog about more of her treasures.

  5. blkdrama says:

    My mom was also a young mom in 1950 but sadly she never mastered the kitchen and never wanted to. She could make a mean sugar cookie and a good vegetable soup. We had to fend for ourselves and it was better that way. You were lucky!

  6. Jaana says:

    So sweet to read about your mom’s important things. My mom was a great baker as well, but I don’t even remember her or anyone back home owning a sifter. Is that a cultural thing?

  7. newtreemom says:

    Interesting question. I did look up a little info about sifting flour when I was writing. .The sifting was to make sure there were no lumps and that the flour was aerated. In general, with the way flour is processed now, it is not considered necessary.

  8. marc-aureled says:

    This is a beautiful post… These objects may be just things but they trigger treasured memories. For me it is the pink mixing bowls that were my grandmother’s. She used them for everything and so do I!

  9. tzawacki15 says:

    This was a beautifully written piece, Mom’s things 3. You left such a kind message on my last post… I too read through your slices. Your poems are amazing…reading through Let your Sadness Dwell in your Heart and Let Sadness Rise touched my heart. Thank you for sharing!

  10. Ramona says:

    Oh, the memories held in each piece. Sweet indeed! I never learned to make gravy like Mom, but I have a sister and sister-in-law who can both make great gravy to go with a big breakfast (scrambled eggs, sausage, and homemade biscuits) or the Sunday pot roast. I often request one of those meals when I visit or when they visit me!

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