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Saturday, January 28, 2012

January 26, 2012: Down home cooked meal with Aunt Bea

When I was a kid, I loved me some Andy Griffith show. And now thanks to Nickleodeon and other nostalgia outlets. I still love that show. What a great cast: Andy, Don Knotts, Jim Nabors, George Lindsey and that duffus, Howard the barber. To this day, I never get bored with it. And I like the whistling...maybe because I cannot whistle. Danged genetics!

But my point here is that Aunt Bea was a good cook and since I had an Aunt Bea too, when I was a kid, I thought EVERYONE had an Aunt Bea. So much for "magical thinking."

Fortunately, my Aunt Bea is still around and last November, she turned 90. She still looks awesome, lives independently, and does "her thing." I missed her 90th birthday party (I was in the hospital!), but I told her I would come celebrate it with her in January. SO this is the time, and Baker Hill, Alabama (population 321) is the place. It is in the rolling hilly pine forest near the Georgia/Alabama/Florida line and the site of my mother's family farm. Apparently, Baker Hill first apppears on maps in 1860. You can actually see my Aunt's house in this googlemap aerial photo!

There's a lot of farm land nearby and truck farms so one of the great things you get when you go there is FRESH veggies. Anyone who knows me knows I spent many years as a vegetarian and I love, love, love fresh vegetables. So my aunt made a country cooking meal for my supper.

Item 1: Green beans mixed with potatoes

There's a funny story about this. I love this combo and so does my aunt. But my dearly departed uncle, "Mr. Dorman" was his South Alabama moniker, liked green beans, loved potatoes but DESPISED having them mixed. So when my aunt was mad at him and felt he needed to do "something different," she made him green beans and potatoes EVERY DAY until he "fixed it." Ladies and gents, it beats yelling and seemed to be an effective communication tool during their 50 years of marriage! Her concoction was very good at dinner.

She also served white peas. \

These were great! I had two servings. They have so many different varieties of peas in this neck of the woods too: crowder, purple hull, black-eyed, sugar snap, lincoln ---that's just a few and when they are fresh, I cannot imagine eating anything that is more of a delicacy, even if all they good cooked in is water and dollop of bacon grease in a steam-pressure cooker!

She also used her pressure cooker to make a delicious smothered cube steak.
My grandmother frequently made this delicious concoction for BREAKFAST. Boy is it good. And although I kept thinking while I was eating it, "This cannot possibly be healthy," my grandmother made it 90 years and my aunt is 90 and still kicking! SO maybe I should reconsider.

I started the blog with a photo of Opie's Aunt Bea but I am gonna end it with my aunt---she is on the extreme right. She's still a marvelous cook.


  1. My grandmother ate a similar diet and was pretty fit her whole life. She felt well enough to go get married at 90. Maybe I need to include more gravy in my diet too.

  2. Yes, gravy is groovy! My grandparents were like yours. All lived till 90. They did NOT eat any processed food, except eventually they did buy their flour. They never did make their own sugar, but they did grow and use sugar cane and even made sorghum syrup.... amazing people and lived a LONG time.
    Bring on the gravy bowl!