Well, it’s been a while. Not since I’ve written something, but since I got married.
He is a country boy. some of the things that he has been able to do in his life are amazing. He and his parents had lived in an area that didn’t have plumbed water, electrical lines, phone lines, and gas for cooking and heating. The water had to be carried in inside 50 gallon barrels. When it got dark, it was time for bed. Phone service was in town. Their neighbors were not within shouting distance. I used to call that being down in the boondocks.
Me, I was raised a city girl. I was used to traffic sounds all night long. Used to have trouble sleeping when there wasn’t traffic. The street lights would come in the windows in the front of the apartment house, so if I was awake at night, I didn’t have to turn on the lights. We cooked by gas on the stove. The house was heated with natural gas in the winter. During the winter, the snow plows would pass in the night so cars could be on the road for work in the morning. If the neighbors had a fight, we could hear the hollering. I had only seen wood stoves on TV. My husband and his family used to cook on a wood stove, and use one for heat. He knew about chopping wood and making wood piles.
During the holidays the food that my family was used to was different than what his family ate. Turkey and stuffing, green beans, mashed white potatoes or baked sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, mince meat pie, cranberry relish, dripping gravy, the stuffing was made of white bread. During his holidays, he ate turkey and dressing (cornbread dressing that is), sweet tater casserole, brown beans, greens (turnip or poke seasoned with ham), giblet gravy, sweet tater pie, cranberry sauce. sometimes ham and/or brisket were also served.
I never knew there was a difference between dressing (which never sees the inside of the bird), and stuffing (which is cooked inside the bird). Until I sat and talked with his sister and her family one day, I hadn’t thought about the differences in the things cooked. Her nephew-in-law and I remembered the same type of food. When we compared lists, we were told that he and I had been raised Northern. Regional cooking in our one country alone is varied and wondrous.
Soon my husband and I will have been married for 25 years. Country boy & city girl, it is amazing how two so different ways of doing things have merged.