Saturday, January 24, 2009

Sunday Dinner, January 25, 2009

As usual I spent a big chunk of time considering my options for Sunday Dinner this week. I finally made up my mind and now I just have to put it into action.

I'm making a big pot of pinto beans with ham tonight. When I get home from church tomorrow afternoon I'll put the beans on to warm while I peel some potatoes to fry and make either HOMEMADE BUTTERMILK BISCUITS, A SKILLET OF MY BUTTERMILK CORNBREAD or a SKILLET OF MY PANBREAD.

Or some combination of 2 of those things. One skillet of cornbread or panbread is never enough when I have a crowd for Sunday Dinner so I have to make at least 2 iron skillets of some kind of bread.

What's on the menu at your place? Share your plans/menu in the comments.My menu for Sunday Dinner is a typical meal from when I was growing up here in Northeast Arkansas. My daddy worked at the Singer furniture factory in Trumann, or Ma Singer as it was affectionately or sarcastically called, according to your inflection at the time.

The only time Daddy brought home more than $1oo for 40 hours work was when he was able to put in some overtime. We were blessed to have pinto beans and fried potatoes and some kind of bread for a meal most days of the week. Occasionally Mama would have enough money for us to have some salt pork, fried chicken or some other bit of meat to accompany our beans and taters.

For a change sometimes we'd have white beans, dried blackeyed peas or dried white lima beans instead of pinto beans. Instead of fried potatoes we'd have stewed potatoes, mashed potatoes or potato salad, but not very often.

MAMA'S HOMEMADE BUTTERMILK BISCUITS accompanied almost every meal but occasionally Mama would make an iron skillet of CORNBREAD or PANBREAD instead of biscuits. Daddy hated light bread except for a sandwich, and he wasn't overly fond of sandwiches. He preferred hot meals and Mama almost every meal. It was rare for us to have a sandwich for a meal until after Daddy retired from the Singer factory.

Daddy loved fried bacon and fried salt pork, or salt meat as we call it, and his favorite meal was one of those meats, homemade cream gravy and hot homemade biscuits. I've sat down many times to gravy and biscuits for a meal, and in leaner times the gravy and the biscuits were made with water because we couldn't afford milk and buttermilk at the time.We had homemade pancakes for supper tonight and I had only a small amount of pancake syrup left in the bottle. I left most of the pancake syrup for Lamar's pancakes and only took a bit for myself.

I used some light corn syrup along with that dab of pancake syrup on my pancakes, and can I say, "Eh."

Not the best thing I've ever eaten, but it stopped the hunger pangs for a while.

But it just made me think about how much less we had when I was growing up. It makes me a little ashamed of myself that I was whining a little that I didn't have enough pancake syrup and had to make do when there are so many people in the world who have so much less.

I am blessed, but perhaps more importantly, I am spoiled, and our nation as a whole is spoiled for the most part. I'm afraid this recession (dare I say, "depression?") is going to force many of us to tighten our belts and look for ways to make do with what we have and stretch our resources to make them go farther.

I'm already pretty frugal but there are always more things we can do to reduce, reuse, recycle and use up what we have without buying more.It's nearly 10 pm and I still have a lot to do tonight so I'm going to get this posted and wish everyone a blessed Sunday.

May God meet all your needs and may you have enough to share.


Anonymous said...

sounds nice
have a nice new week

Eleanor said...

Well, let's see if demon Blogger lets this comment post. I did a long one for your previous entry and it disappeared. It was there briefly then poof, gone. And I forgot to go back the next day and do it again. *hangs head*

Anyway, I ate lots of various kinds of beans and spuds growing up and they're still staples in our diet. They're good eating, period, and it doesn't hurt anyone to economize on the food budget, regardless of income level. The bean family is also of vital importance to the vegan in our household.

Unlike your daddy, I do like sandwiches, and that's likely what we'll have for lunch tomorrow, along with some homemade minestrone soup. By the way, it was dinner to me, too, when I was growing up, but I switched to lunch to fit in with the city folk.

Wow, is there some kind of black cloud over me when I try to leave a comment on your blog? I'm sitting within earshot of the box that controls our digital TV and internet and just heard it give the "click of death". So, I have to wait a few minutes to see if it will reset itself. No doubt the nasty cold weather is the culprit again. This has happened a few times on really bitter days this winter.

Dum de dum ... waiting ... waiting ... *whistles and looks around*

Alrighty, there we go, back in business again. Not a long outage this time, and hopefully this posts now. Have a blessed Sunday and a great week! :) xxoo

Brenda said...

I think I've probably told you this but when i was growing up we would have a big pot of pintos with either corn bread or hearth bread (those big round loaves). I still cook them from time to time, making extra to freeze for refried beans.
When I was about 12 or so my mom taught me how to make the bisquits for gravy. From then on every Mon. was bisquits and gravy night. And, of course, I griped sometimes about having to do it every Monday.
I think I'm pretty frugal myself. And now it's kind of fun thinking of ways to reuse before automatically just throwing something out.
I did up about 10 days worth of ground beef and chicken...preparing and freezing for next wk's menu. Now I did so much I can think of what I want to make tomorrow! It'll come.
Have a wonderful week, Diane.

Brenda said...

allow me to correct my typo's in the previous comment...
#1 we had beans once a week.
#2 I can't think of what to make tomorrow.
I'm 'tard' and going to bed!

Susie said...

Hi Diane,
Seems like ages since I've been by to visit. I so enjoyed your memories of dinners of days gone by.
Yes, I do agree that some belt tightening times are probably in store for all of us. We certainly see the downturn hitting our town very hard.
We're still doing our Sunday dinners and tomorrow C is cooking. It's meatloaf, mashed potatoes and fresh green beans. I'll be bringing dessert.
Have a wonderful week.

Judith said...

Diane, Again, I've been away too long, but cornbread and beans, or peas will bring me back again. If it wasn't for them, I might not have made it through it through the first depression, and they very well may help keep us going as we get through this one. But we had other foods that sure went well with them. I think I was just about grown before I learned that potato sandwiches were not real sandwiches, and I still like fried sliced sweet potatoes. So keep on telling us about that Southern cooking. Keeps me connected to my growing up days.

tam said...

Hey Diane,
I love it when you talk about your mama and daddy, it makes me wish for those simple times. Keep those stories coming. Could you also write a little about what you are doing to be frugal these days? I know I could use all the help I can get and I am sure others would benefit also. Thank you.

Aunt Jenny said...

Sounds like your family ate about like mine! We did have fried venison steak in winter and fried fish in summer along with the beans and fried potatoes and bisquits or corn bread. Not nearly as many veggies and fruits as my own family eats now...just how it was.
Okay..our dinner tomorrow will be chicken and dumplins and a big green salad (I think) I will start the chicken in the crock pot in the morning since I have a busy day in store.
Have a great week Diane!!

Pearl said...

I so hope you have a wonderful day with your family.
Take good care of yourself.
Sending you hugs,

Mary said...


Your dinner sounds delicious. It's been years since I had salt pork. I'm not sure you can even get it here now. I've never seen it in the stores here since I was very young. Mmm!

Like your Mama, Grandma made biscuits for breakfast every morning, especially in winter. She never used a recipe either. She just did it, nor did she need a recipe for a cake. I still know how to make a cake from scratch without a recipe.

Many of us are spoiled, me included. We are so used to having lots that we are going to feel the pinch during this time of economic strife. I was directly affected when one of the sites I write for announced they will be closing. That hurt. I will being more frugal in my decisions, not that we ever had a lot but this will certainly change the way to buy groceries.

Enjoyed my visit.


Lucy Stern said...

Diane, your memories are so fun to read....They make me think of my days living at home with mom and dad...My dad was the cook in our family, mom couldn't boil water...By the time I was 10 years old, I was doing a lot of the cooking. We ate a lot of beans too, but we had rice with ours instead of potatoes...We would have corn bread too. We ate so many beans growing up, that I couldn't eat beans for a while when I was first married. But Dad would fix pintos, navy beans and whatever he could get. He made the best biscuits ever...yummmm. They were so light and fluffy and I never could make them as good as he did. He also cooked without using recipes most of the time. He could pour salt in the palm of his hand and know just how much he needed. I was always in awe of the ease of his cooking.

This afternoon we are going to have hot dogs with chile....The grandkids are coming and they love hot dogs. Tonight I'll cook some real food for all of us. Guess, I better take a chicken out of the freezer.

Loved your memories, have a great week......Going over to see Jessica.

Linds said...

I love readign about your memories too, Diane, and I do think that in the coming months and possibly years, all those memories will help out a great many people. Like Judith, I love sweet potatoes, too.

For lunch today, I am having the left over roast shoulder of lamb I made last night, with scalloped potatoes and creamed spinach with salad. I think there is enough for tomorrow too, so that takes care of that!
Have a lovely Sunday!

Hootin' Anni said...

Hi Diane...
We're going to have Italian Subs tonight. I have some leftover meatloaf in the freezer and I'll make some marinara sauce and oven grill them and top them with mozzarella cheese. Probably with some waffle potatoes and our always tossed salad with corn relish as a side dish.

Your beans and ham sounds perfect. It's one of my favorite meals.

Now if it were me with the pancakes I would have opted out for the corn syrup and used some jam or preserves and sprinkled it with confectioners sugar and made myself a 'crepe'. LOL

Have a glorious Sunday.

Dawn said...

We've had pancakes 3 times in the last couple of weeks because the kiddoes were here and that's what they like best. I m about worn out from having them since Friday morning so Kristen could have a break and go skiing with high school friends that she's reconnected with on Facebook. She needed some fun!

Today I think we'll take them to Wendy's or something because I didn't get to the store - DC was gone most of the day and taking 4 kids to the store was not my idea of a good time!

Have a great Sunday, dear friend!

Barb said...

Our family was in just about the same boat when I was growing up, Diane. I still don't know how my parents managed to feed six growing kids, but they did. The meals you describe remind me a lot of the meals my mom made. It's funny, my memories are that we always had wonderful food.

That cornbread looks wonderful. I have got to get myself a cast iron skillet!

Hope you have a very nice new week.


Boo-Bah said...

Beans and ham sounds good to me. I miss all the dishes I grew up with. Meatloaf, Macaroni and cheese, apple dumplings. I know we are supposed to be health conscious, but one of my gripes is trying to find a piece of meat with enough fat marbled through it so it will have flavor and be tender, not like a piece of leather.
We won't have dinner today, husband works late but tomorrow I am making a big pot of chili and cornbread on the side.
Have a great week.

Jess said...

I like hearing about those memories...sometimes I wish had listened more to grandma and grandpa... I miss them very much and sometimes food takes me back to those times with them...

Hope we will be there in a bit... Emmy and Jason are both napping.

Love you,

the voice of melody said...

You had me at homemade buttermilk biscuits! :)

We're going to a party later on so no cooking here tonight. Have a great week!

MightyMom said...

oh yes, we are certainly spoiled!!

great post.

Linda said...

I love your stories about your Mama and Daddy. My Dad looks back at his childhood and wonders how, during the depression, his mother was able to feed their family of nine so well with the little that they had.
I agree, we are all going to have to learn to live more prudently, and I can't help but think it will do us good.
Have a blessed week Diane.

kansasrose said...

I love reading your recollections of your youth hon...and they are very powerful and apropo for these times now! Your family had lots of love to feed on too! Lots of us are are in the same kettle of stew together in 2009 ...and I call this a low-key sneaky kind of depression. My parents lived through the last real depression of the 30's and my mom especially grew up in poverty on a dust blown rented farm in western KS. My grandma was new a widow, trying to feed/clothe/educate 3 children. Mom said they had lots of fried eggs. My Granny raised chickens for the eggs and she butchered one chicken a week for meat. Sometimes that chicken was given away to beggers or gypsies who came to the door in her Christian way. My dad and mom are very frugal..and raised me and my sis to live frugal and use what we have up, and not waste resources. ( I haven't always done this, but the learnin' is there) Dad showed me how to use the grease and meat cracklin;s to make 'grease bread'. He'd sop up the good grease and meat burnin's with a piece of white bread and fry it till it was crispier and golden brown. It was a real treat! Dad was always built like a bean pole. Not good for the cholesteral, but nothing was wasted, and it took the childhood hunger pains away. We ate lots of beans and stews/soups fav was navy beans, chicken stock and a big ham bone, sauted chopped onions, simmered all day in a big pot. OHHHH talk about a good, satsifying ( noisy) meal! Mom's ham/bean soup was THE best! Which is just was I am fixin' today for dinner! Thanks for sharing your memories and tips for gettin' by and rockin' out these tough economic times hon! You are loved on much, and prayed for daily. God Bless, Jen

kansasrose said...

Oh forgot to mention...when I run out of maple syrup..I melt a little jelly you have on hand and honey, butter and mix the three together. YUMM!

Tammy said...

Pass a plate of fried taters and the bottle of ketchup please!

We'll be having roast beef sammies on this snowy Sunday afternoon!


mer@lifeat7000feet said... always make me hungry!

Thanks for sharing that tip about buying dried beans and freezing them. I bought a bag of them at the store this week to try!

Rachel said...

Beans and taters!! Yeah, that's what I grew up on too!! Pinto beans, cornbread, fried taters, and onions. Ain't nothing no better!

Summer time we had all the goodies fresh from the garden. Winter time we had shuck beans!

My dinner today was 2 sausage biscuits. Same as last week I think!

I think you are right about us having to cut back. We just don't know anymore what will happen. My parents were frugal in everything since they had lived through the depression!

Hugs to you dear Diane!

Lucy Stern said...

Diane, I've been thinking all day about this post...I have been putting up lots of beans and rice and wheat for bread making so that we can get through the hard times, if they come. My new pressure canner came in the mail last Friday and I can't wait to use it....I will start buying jars at the store and looking on Craigs list, then I'll put up some chicken and beef and whatever else I can do....A friend of mine has been putting up pinto beans. She puts some in each canning jar, fills it with water, lets it soak over night and then pressure cans them. I think I will try it but I can still get beans at the store cheaper. Thanks again for a thought provoking post....PS. Love reading Jessicas challange.

Gigi said...

You're absolutely right, Diane...we are indeed spoiled and oh so blessed in this country.

Your dinner sounds scrumptious and I'm sure it tastes even better with family gathered around the table!

I wish you a blessed week my friend...thank you so much for your prayers for my Mom!

Jeanette said...

Gday Dianne ohh your dinner sounds delish and fit for a king....

thislittlepiggy said...

I'm another beans and taters gal! Count me in! :o)

I had an orange and some pretzels. Jay and Sweetums are both sick, so no one is hungry.

Baba's Blog .. Babies Are Special said...

Hi Diane, my husband grew up on pinto beans and cornbread....the first time I ever tried cooking him some pinto beans,I ended up with four pots of beans on the stove...I cooked the whole bag !!! I still don't know how to cook cornbread except out of the box....

I got my awards on my side bar under my picture with the link to them.. come see if I did it right?/ Thanks for your help with this project!!! Hugs, Baba

RennyBA said...

Yummy; homemade pancakes! My fave is with blueberries!

We had salmon for dinner on Sunday and we where thinking of you :-)

Love and hugs,
Renny :-)

Betty said...

OMG, Diane, your dinner for yesterday is my kind of meal. Like you, I grew up on meals like this. You reminded me of my Mom when you said you gave Lamar most of the syrup and only kept a little for yourself. My Mom always waiting until the rest of the family got what they wanted from the family dinner table before she took anything for herself.

I haven't forgotten about the meme with the letter "B". I hope to get to it soon.

Have a good week.

Minx's Den said...

Hey there Diane!

I say praise the south! You southerners sure know how to cook good food! The ham and beans sound so good! It's very wintery and full of southern comfort! our sunday dinner? Chinese food! yippee!I feel a little better today, so when my hubby comes home from work I will make him a good home cooked dinner...yummy asparagus, some yummy pork shoulder in a delectable pepper sauce, and some good ol' cornbread...hope you are having a god week, my sweet friend!



Minx's Den said...

I meant to say good week, but you can also have a God week too! God rules! I make so many typo errors! hehehe!

Mountain Mama said...

Diane I am beginning to think your mama and mine went to the same cooking school! I grew up on bean soup with ham hock and fried potatoes. I still love them. Mom made cornbread more than biscuits. She also made a lot of potato soup and macaroni and milk. I still love those too.
One of my sisters and my favorite momories is being outside playing with hungry tummie's and smelling mom's potatoes frying with onions and bacon in them. Oh my was that a wonderful fragrance.
We also had a lot of bread and gravy. Usually brown gravy made with flour bacon fat and milk poured over a slice of bread.
I haven't had that in years.

PEA said...

I wish we lived near each other because I have 2 big bottles of my brother's pure maple syrup that he made last Spring:-) He makes sure I never run out! lol

Diane!!! Guess what I found at the grocery store the other day??!!! Black eyed peas!!! I never knew they even carried them here. lol Now I'll have to give them a try and cook them the way you do:-)

We certainly are spoiled and like you, it makes me feel so guilty when I think of those less fortunate. I guess it's human nature to forget that and complain about what we DON'T have. Loved reading about your childhood memories! xoxo

Nancy said...

I actually cooked last Sunday, believe it or not! My daughter came over and so I always cook when she comes. I am going to post the recipe on my cooking blog first chance I have....don't know when that will be, though! LOL

Your story sounds like the ones my mom used to tell, about when they were kids and what her mother would fix for dinners when times were lean. Fortunately, I never had to live during lean times myself. But we are getting into lean times now with this economy the way it is. At least gas prices dropped! Everything else skyrocketed due to those gasoline prices, but nothing came back down even when gas prices dropped! Go figure, huh? Pet food is killing me!!! It has about doubled! But they have to eat, too...just makes me work even harder and longer hours.

You sound like a great cook, Diane! Wish I lived closer!!!

((( HUGS )))

Anonymous said...

this page is neat Mrs.Diane!! from kelley