Last night we had a delicious dinner that was incredibly simple, but satisfying.
Dried pintos cooked in the crock, homemade cornbread and sautéed cabbage with garlic. This meal is in the monthly rotation at our house not only because it's cheap, but it's nutritious and tastes like home. I know it's usually simple food, but I love continuing my heritage through cooking. When my husband, kids and I sit around the table that I ate on as a child, I think of the many hands that made this same meal throughout the lines of my ancestry. How many of my great-great grandmothers concocted these same dishes to fill the tummies of their babies? My maternal grandmother is from Mississippi and her family has resided there for a number of generations. Cabbage, beans and cornbread have been staples in the South for centuries. It's funny, though, because authentic Italian-American style spaghetti and salad create the same feelings of nostalgia for me--my paternal grandmother was an expert at "making gravy" as she put it. These smells have the power to hurtle me back years into my childhood--and give me a sense of comfort and connection with all of the strong women of my family lineage. It's part of my identity....it's so important for we humans to have a sense of belonging, isn't it?
I've also been reading this great book by noted vegetarian cookbook author Nava Atlas. I'm a fool for historically tinged recipes. I love reading all the little snippets from aged archives that go along with each entry. Another incredible book in this vein is 1000 Years Over a Hot Stove by Laura Schenone. Really fantastic reading....
We've also decorated our front porch for Halloween! The kids love doing this every year and I have to admit, I do, too. I have fond memories of constructing scarecrows out of my Dad's overalls and flannels.....so that's what we did.
|Our friendly little ghost is just some scrap white fabric dotted with a black Sharpie and thrown over a store-bought scarecrow gal we already had.|
I think I spent a total of $5 on the whole she-bang.
|My littlest two and I collected large, dead branches from our back woods to grace either side of the door. We made hanging bats out of black Duck Tape.|
|Plastic spiders and webs from the Dollar General down the road (it's the only store within 3 miles of our home).|
|Dollar tree ravens from last year's Halloween.|
|Not to disappoint, we stuffed some of Daddy's pants and flannel shirt with some old, plastic trash bags (yes, I'm one of those weird people who stockpiles tons of those grocery bags). His pumpkin head was bought 6 years ago--ha!)|