This section features words of wisdom from my mom, Essie Mae Brown Chever and good old fashioned recipes that were served at our dinner table or served by family and friends.
I grew up in the early 1950’s – late 1960’s. My family was not as concerned with the affects of pure sugar, eggs, pure butter and other fats, meats and white flour upon our bodies. We were more concerned with the taste of good food that we were blessed to have each day. Chicken fried in Crisco, macaroni and cheese made with Kracker Barrel cheese and lots of eggs, biscuits made with buttermilk and Crisco shortening or lard, beans and corn bread, collard greens and ham hocks, neck bones and rice, light moist cakes made with eggs, butter, sugar served plain or iced with chocolate or caramel frostings and thirst quenching Kool-Aid sweetened with sugar. Eating was a pleasure to be savored and not worried about. Not knocking the healthy benefits of clean eating that we hear so much about today. Heck, in my life, I’ve been a vegetarian, eliminated meats, cheese, fried foods, dairy, breads, sugar, sodas, unhealthy fats from my diet. But, now as I’ve become a golden ager, moderation is the key to my existence. I rely more heavily on vegetables, non-starchy carbohydrates, fish and chicken, baked, broiled and now air fried. But, occasionally, I allow myself the simple reminiscent pleasures of fried chicken, fried fish, cheese grits, pound cake, lima beans, cornbread and wonderful sweet potato pie. I must add that I also walk for at least 30 minutes to an hour about 4 to 5 days a week and drink lots of water. This removes some of the guilt. And as long as I continue to feel good and I get good reports from my doctor, I will continue my occasional indulgences.
Family meant the world to my mother and her grandchildren were always at the top of her list. She always managed to make each of her children and grandchildren feel special. Although we grew up in the projects, we thought we were rich. Mom was always preparing special meals of fish sticks and pineapple salad and her motto was presentation, presentation, presentation.
Summer trips were extra special. There were five children in my family and my mom’s cooking conjures up the most cherished memories. One of my most memorable ones are of mom preparing a boxed meal for us to take on our annual summer trip to visit our grandparents in Sumner, GA. My mom and dad in the front seat of our 1956 Chevrolet and us five kids crammed in the back seat; no seat belts back then. Mom packed a shoe box full of fried chicken and pound cake. I can see her now examining the slices of pound cake and commenting how a good pound cake requires pure butter, lots of eggs which resulted in a cake with no holes, a good texture and a good height. While she made many types of cakes from old fashioned pound cakes to 7-up pound cakes to plain and iced cakes, my favorite cake was her 7-up pound cake.
I hope you get a chance to try it and enjoy it as much as my father, brothers, sisters and I did.
7-up Pound Cake Recipe
1 c. butter
3 c. flour
3 c. sugar
2 tbsp. lemon extract
3/4 c. 7-up
Cream sugar and butter, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat well. Add
flour; beat. Add lemon extract and 7-up. Pour hatter into well-greased and floured pan. Bake at 325 for one hour.
Essie M. Brown Chever
Other memories and recipes are listed in Essieisms and the blog section under Recipes.
Copyright ©2019 – Mary Chever-Watson