Summer Time, Dirt Roads, Fried Catfish, Shucking Corn and Bacon Grease: The Joys Of a Southern Summer.



Good Morning Y’all , sometimes I like to wake up early, have a cup of coffee and blog before work or starting my day. Many of you have loved my farm stories in the past, so I thought it was time to share another one. It’s summer time and the season that I have missed the most about being away from Arkansas. Every summer my grandparents grow 2-3 huge gardens with potatoes, radishes, onions, tomatoes, cabbage, peas, green beans, tomatoes, corn, watermelon and peppers. They grow enough to put up for the year. There wasn’t very many vegetables that they don’t grow. Since I am in Arizona this summer, I get to miss all the garden fun. My grandparents give lots of their vegetables away to everyone in the neighborhood. Growing up on a farm is something special. You learn where all you food comes from and you appreciate the simple things in life.

I remember papa Sonny bringing home a huge truck bed of corn on the cob. My mom, nana, papa and granny would spend two or three days shucking corn, cooking corn and making enough cream style corn to be put in the freezer for the entire year.

Sometimes papa would bring home a mess of fresh peaches. Nana would spend hours making jams, jellies and putting up peaches for peach cobbler. Or when the tomatoes were ready, she would make tomato juice, salsa, spaghetti sauce and stewed tomatoes for soup for the winter. We would spend time shelling peas or snapping green beans. These times were a lot of work, but were something I looked forward to each year. It was time spent with my family and enjoying the garden. I hope to involve my future baby boy and husband in the gardening once were done with the Air Force here in Arizona. My husband wants to have a garden of our own someday.

A couple of weeks ago, my grandparents brought home a mess of catfish from the river. Each summer we have fish cookouts. Now, my papa Sonny and Nana make the best catfish and hushpuppies I have ever ate. Its a real treat to be apart of their fish cookouts. Everyone brings a dish and we sit in the yard and enjoy each others company. Sometimes papa would cut a fresh watermelon for everyone too.

Our freezer always had deer meat, catfish, beef and pork that my grandparents either caught or butchered. Since we owned chicken houses all my life, we had access to fresh chicken daily. Our neighbors always gave my grandparents fresh farm eggs from their hen houses. Nana and papa would make us homemade biscuits, some sausage they had made from scratch and farm eggs for breakfast. Now, my papa fries his eggs in bacon grease and that’s the only way I will eat fried eggs haha. My husband thinks I’m crazy, but I fry his eggs every morning in bacon grease and he loves them haha. 🙂 I keep a container by my stove full of bacon grease just like my mom and nana. I add a little bacon grease to my pinto beans, corn bread mix, my fried potatoes or my cream corn. It gives such a delicious flavor without being greasy. Also, a cast iron skillet always helps. 🙂

I love running around barefoot in the fresh cut grass or smelling the fresh cut hay in the hay fields. I grew up swimming in the creek and river and fishing with my grandparents. But, I always look forward to dinner and cooking with my family. Even now at 27 years of age, I love staying the night with my grandparents and doing the traditions we have done my entire life. I hope to pass these traditions onto my children. No matter where I am located, my roots will always be on some country dirt road.






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