Everything that I know of childhood comes from one tiny, rural town in Southwest Georgia. Thinking about it today, it seems almost like a fairytale. It was a place where children could roam around the neighborhood playing all day or get on their bikes and ride “uptown” without worry.
There was practically no crime at all. People never locked their car doors and rarely locked their homes. It really was like growing up in the mythical town of Mayberry. Or maybe I’m just remembering it through a child’s eye. If that’s true, then I hope it never changes.
I’m not sure why, but there are simply certain smells and tastes that bring that childhood back vividly to my mind. I have so many memories that are tied to food – so many memories of people inextricably associated with certain foods.
OLD FASHIONED FOOD MEMORIES
To this day, I can’t open a bottle of Tabasco sauce without thinking of how my Daddy loved it. I can remember him drizzling it over a grilled steak and how he enjoyed the way it enhanced the flavor. To tell the truth, I do the same thing on occasion and the mere smell of Tabasco mingling with the steak brings memories of him flooding into my mind.
My Uncle Clayton, a true Southern gentleman of the old order, was famous throughout our area for his barbecue sauce. I still use his recipe to this day and it’s the only one most of our family members ever want. No grocery store barbecue sauce for this family!
His wife, my Aunt Bernice (pronounced BURR-niss in our southern way) was one of the most fantastic southern cooks I’ve ever known. When I think of Aunt Bernice I think of fried pies – apple and peach. I can see her hands holding the fork as she crimped the edges of the little pies and then slid them into the hot fat to fry. The smell of those pies could bring grown men in from the fields and barn.
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