15.a.2. LUCY TAYLOR (cont)
Lucy would cook dinner every day, both for the family and for the field hands. When she cooked turnip greens, she would put a little pile of them on the corner of the cabinet, before she cut them up, for me to sample. Boy! Were they good!!!
Along about mid-morning and/or mid-afternoon, I'd get hungry. (Mother Minnie always said that she thought I had a "hollow leg" to put so much food in. Once she told Mother that I should drink a dipper full of water before I ate so I wouldn't eat so much.) In the morning I'd ask Lucy for a "hole-in-a-biscuit-with-'lasses-in it." This meant poking her finger into the edge of a cold biscuit and slowly pouring homemade sugar cane syrup into the hole allowing it to soak into the biscuit real good.
Afternoons called for "cornbread in buttermilk." Corn bread crumbled into a glass, then pouring home churned buttermilk into it and eating it with a spoon.
When Lucy had dinner ready for the family, she'd say, "Sonny, tell 'em dinner ready!" I'd tell the family, then go out the back door to ring the dinner bell for the field hands to "take out" for dinner. By the time the hands got to the house, fed and watered the mules, if plowing was being done, and they washed up, the family would be through eating, the table dishes cleared and re-set so the hands could come in and eat.
Lucy would have to cook a certain amount of food for dinner, depending on what sort of work that was going on around the farm. Most every day Tommy Land and Dennis Turner would be there for plowing, cutting wood, hoeing, etc. Then, there'd be times when one or more of Dennis' family (Ludie, his wife - daughters Geneva
, Francis or Nancy [Nancy was my age and usually hung on to Ludie's coat tail as she was so shy.], his boys Bud, Clifford and Nelson.) Sometimes Leatha Land and Willie Taylor would be there, too.
On the days when Lucy was churning for fresh butter and buttermilk, at least one of us younguns would be sitting on her big broad lap to look at the Sears Roebuck and Company or Montgomery Ward catalogs and dream about all the things we were gonna buy when we got big so we'd have the money to get them.
Or, Lucy would tell us stories. Also, she'd tell us stories or sing to us if we went up to the spring with her when she was washing clothes.
Lucy, like her Mama, "Singing Lillie" never married, but she had two children that grew up (Nora Lee, after Mother, and Sam, after Daddy), and one who only lived about a week or so (Minnie Jo, after Mother Minnie and Joe). She had a couple of miscarriages. Willie Taylor was the daddy of Sam and Nora.
Lucy would work the batter for biscuits by squeezing the flour, lard, baking soda and buttermilk through her fingers. Then, when it would stiffen up some, she'd knead the batter up and "choke off" nice sized "cat head" biscuits. Sometimes, she would roll out four little elongated rolls of batter to make each one of us younguns a "snake." (Mother would make us a "Billy Boy" similar to a "Gingerbread Man.”) Lucy's good ole biscuits with home churned butter, Daddy's homemade cane syrup, along with a good helping of fried, home raised and cured ham, and grits with "red eye" gravy and a glass of buttermilk, cooled all day in a syrup bucket hung in the spring was truly a feast that I'd sho' like to have, "rat now!"
Lucy would usually cook the breakfast biscuits and Mother the supper ones, as Lucy would go home just before dark. I'd go to the spring each day just before dark. I'd see the evening star and say the little saying, "Star light, Star bright, I wish I may, I wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight." Then I'd always wish that we'd have syrup, butter and biscuits for supper tonight. That way, I'd always get my wish!