Brainwashing Day 14

My great-grandmother was known far and wide for her homemade ice cream.  The area farmhands would fight to be one of those that came to work the Powell farm for harvest season.

The men knew that not only would there be fresh homemade ice cream every night, they would get to eat Grandma Pauline’s biscuits and fried chicken too. Those, in addition to the fresh sliced tomatoes, green beans – or whatever other veggie was on that day, mashed potatoes or potato salad and on Fridays her apple pie.  A short second behind her ice cream for fame.

Now, let’s be really, really honest – fried chicken and homemade ice cream for dinner, every night for as long as you were harvesting?  Just how long do you think those boys could stretch out that harvest?!!  😛

Once Grandpa died, Grandma gave the farm over to my aunt and uncle to run.  It was simply too much for any one woman, devoted helpers in the community or not.  However, despite the lack of farm, there was one aspect of farming we just couldn’t get out of Grandma’s system, no matter how hard we tried…  It wasn’t picking and canning her own apple pie filling.  She still did that, but it wasn’t the insane putting up that she did when my Mom was little.  It wasn’t the garden that stretched out for 1/2 acre.  She still gardened, but she “cut back” to just under a 1/4 acre.   🙄   It wasn’t even the chicken, pork and beef butchering.  She still did that, but with some measure of sanity.  (sanity being a relative term.)   She compromised and only kept two cows for milking.  (She lived with her brother.  Why they needed two cows I never could figure out.)

What we couldn’t keep Grandma from doing, according to her past habits, was COOKING.  Going to her house for dinner on Sundays was like facing a buffet at some restaurant. But rather than being intended to feed masses, she intended to feed our family of five, plus she and her brother.

Fried chicken. Fresh peas in cream and butter sauce.  A platter full (and overflowing) with sliced tomatoes.  Three full dozen biscuits.  A crock of fresh churned butter. Harvard beets. Home canned pickles – both dill and sweet.  Brookville slaw. Why, the mounds of mashed potatoes alone would feed her entire community!  (Granted, as of 2000 her entire community only had 300 residents.  It hadn’t been her community for quite a few years, but I’m guessing that when she was still alive they didn’t have more than 500  residents.  As farming became so difficult, many people moved on.)  All the food was served in dishes she used to use for the ranch hands.  Big.  B.I.G.

One never left Grandma’s table without being QUITE (too if you weren’t VERY VERY careful.  “Oh Honey, you jest need ONE MORE bite,” was a common phrase.) full.  Afternoons at her house were most often spent sitting on her back stoop, fan in hand, trying to digest enough food to be ready for chicken salad sandwiches and potato salad, the expected mutation of lunch, that would too quickly be served for supper.  And then…the ice cream would be brought out.  With fruit compote.  And homemade chocolate sauce.

The whole time you were visiting, everywhere you looked, there was food, food and more food.  Always an apple pie (or two) in the pantry.  Always a crock of sauerkraut in the corner.  Always a glass dome with some kind of cheese under it.  Always a basket with biscuits and a glass strawberry with jam in it  (Even if it wasn’t strawberry jam) as well as a pint jar of fresh honey. You couldn’t throw a cat (one of Grandma’s sayings) without hitting enough food to feed an entire Chicago tenant building!

Contrary to what you may be thinking, I didn’t share all that just to make you hungry.  I wanted to you to feel with me that sense of there being SO much food that it went from being delicious (which it was) to just shy of being taxing.

That’s kind of how I feel about faith.  There is SO much I want to share with you.  SO much I want to impart to you.  SO much that the Lord has taught us.  SO much that has changed our lives.  SO MUCH.

Because of that, I would ask that you would please pray with me, that I would hear clearly from Father on what to share with you about faith this afternoon.  I need some “extra” time to just sit quietly and worship Him for all that He has done for His children.  I need time to hear His still small voice.

SO, pray for me (by all means, go lay out chicken for dinner!)  🙂  and I will see you back here later this afternoon.


Brookville Slaw is a recipe that has been passed down through three generations now.  Someone got the recipe from “Helen” while working at the Brookville Hotel, way back when….

We (my Mom, Aunt and Grandmas) thought it was just one of those recipes that stayed in our family, but since I did a quick search, I found out we all were delusional.  😛   In this area, any way.  Here is a recipe for Brookville slaw for your family.  It’s the only kind we make.

Here’s a little blip into the history of the Brookville Hotel, too.  (Check out the Photo Gallery, if you have time.)  Fun.  🙂  Learn something new everyday.


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