26 January 2009

Monday Memories - Learning to make Biscuits

Mom: I was telling Valerie about, um, when my mom got married - um, really young - my mom got married real young. And so, she didn't know how to cook. So she had to teach herself how to cook. So, um, one day she was trying to teach me how to cook biscuits and I was not doing a very - I, I just couldn't understand it - I couldn't do it. And, the way your Grandmama would cook biscuits is she would take the flower, and she had it in a big bowl and then she'd make a little well with her hand. She's sorta stir it so you'd have this little impression there. And then she just put her ingredients in there and mix 'em up - with her hands. And with your Grandmama, whenever she was cooking, she didn't measure anything. It was just like she knew how much to put in there. And then she could feel when the biscuit dough was right. And so, whenever I tried to do it and she was trying to tell me, she just go so frustrated. And, um, because I was tryin' to do it and the dough was sticking to my hands. And she was tryin' to explain why. And so finally she just made the biscuits. And so, um - but she told me, uh I - I was frustrated and I said, "I'm never gonna learn how to make biscuits" - which I never did. But, um, she was saying how she had to teach herself how to make 'em. And I said, "Why didn't your, um, your mom teach you?" And she says, "Well one - one day my Grandmama was gonna teach me how to bake biscuits. And, uh, she - she told me to come home by a certain time 'cause she was teachin' me - gonna teach me how to bake biscuits. And she said, but, um, what happened was she come home and, uh, she washed her hands and she went to go help her make biscuits. And she had put on - she had been over at one of her girlfriends house and she'd put on finger nail polish. And when her grandmother saw that fingernail polish on her hands, she had a fit! And told her, "how dare she think she's gonna make biscuits in her kitchen with that stuff on her fingers. And just get outa there." And, uh, she never would teach my mom how to make biscuits after that, because she come home wearin' finger nail polish one day. She just thought that was shocking that she was gonna make biscuits with finger nail polish on.

Valerie: What about other food?

Mom: She, she didn't teacher her how to cook anything.

Valerie: What about her mom - did her mom teach her how to cook?

Mom: No, she didn't know how to cook anything when she got married.

Valerie: Not a single thing?

Mom: Not a single thing.

Valerie: Did she talk about what they ate when they first got married?

Mom: Your Grandaddy used to laugh and say she didn't even know how to boil water when they got married.

Valerie: So what did they eat?

Mom: I don't know! They didn't starve. I guess got - like I said she taught herself how to cook.
Well, you know, for a while - for a little while she lived with, um, they lived with Aunt Tootsie.
Daddy's sister in South Carolina. And so finally Mama got fed up with that. And one day she just told - she just packed up and moved back to her parent's house. And she told her Daddy - she told Daddy, um, my Daddy - that he could either find a home, provide her a home or, or do without her. 'Cause she wasn't livin' with people anymore unless it was her people. So, he got a job in Atlanta and, and they got a hou- an apartment. And that's when it started... [unintelligible] So, I don't know. She just - she just taught herself how to cook.

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