While digging through the recipes this week to decide what I wanted to make out of Nanny's vast collection of half written recipes on old library cards, something occurred to me.
Our generation put their noses up at convenience ingredients simply because it's all we've ever know.
We grew up with Bisquick, cake mixes galore, and as many variates of milk as you could shake a stick at.
Our grandparents did have the same ridiculous luxuries, at least not the grandparents who grew up in the rural South.
Both of my grandparents grew up in farming families. My Nanny's family were share-croppers and Pop's dad was a small farmer.
My grandfather had to milk the cow everyday before school, they both recall when electricity became a big thing in their area, and Nanny swore that if you picked less than your share of cotton a day you got the spanking of your life.
Everything for them was from scratch in the 30's and 40's. Nothing came easy, you took a bath on Saturday to prepare for church on Sunday.
According to Nanny the bath water was run once and it was from oldest to youngest, Nanny being the oldest got a better deal. While I recall Pop joking that you could stand a stick up in the water by the time it got to him (he was one the younger kids in his family, while Nanny was the oldest).
Knowing that, it makes perfect sense as to why the 60's and 70's recipes were filled with convenience items.
After years of living "from scratch" who on earth would want to go through that again?
This is precisely why the Southern recipes you see coming from my mother's childhood all involve biscuit mix, pre-made this, boxed that.
I sure as heck would think Betty Crocker and Jello brand anything were God sent if I had to pick cotton or milk a cow once in my little life.
It's almost comical to me that we stick our noses up at something that isn't organic, when just a few short decades ago it was all Southern farmers ate.
If you didn't make it, you didn't eat it.
I do however appreciate the convenience ingredients that turned "from scratch" into semi homemade, especially Saturday when I realized we were out of bread and had to quickly hit up the store before throwing my casserole into the oven.
This casserole y'all, it's everything I ever wanted in a breakfast casserole.
Southern Breakfast Casserole
8 eggs, slightly beaten
6 slices bread, cubed (I used whole wheat)
1 lb sausage, cooked & crumbled (Smithfield make it with no preservatives now)
2 cups milk (2%)
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dry mustard (or 1 tbsp of prepared mustard)
Mix together. Put in a 9 x 13 greased pan and refrigerate at least 12 hours. Bake 35 minutes at 350.
Poppy Seed Drop Biscuits
1 cup sour cream
2 cups of pancake mix (I used Pioneer Brand baking mix)
Combine sour cream & egg. Add pancake mix. Drop onto parchment lined cookie sheet and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes or until golden brown.
I laughed when trying to make this biscuit recipe, unlike many of Nanny's recipes this one actually has directions. Then again if it had a name on the recipe card it wouldn't really need many directions.
What to know what it was missing though?
A bake time and temperature.
To solve this problem I looked on the back of Jeremy's beloved box of Red Lobster biscuit mix (that I cringed at him buying in bulk from Sam's Club).
Cheater on this particular half given recipe?
Not right now, but I'd like some.
I really hope that everyone in my family who's keeping up with the recipes (I promise it will be printed out in book form when I'm done) gets a good laugh from the enormous pile of half written recipes and now understands what took me to long to get this going.
I have seriously sat on this cookbook idea for four year, I even started it once or twice.
Just typing it up wasn't going to do it though, everyone would be just as confused as I am every time I pulled out a card with no directions.
So that's why I'm taking the cook it all myself and photograph it road, it'll make a prettier book with the pictures and the recipes will be complete.
Oh these Southern women and their lack of recipes, they all cook from their heads.
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