Jason A Barr Why we celebrate Manchester man killed in single-car accident Adams County Election Results – 2017 Hubert Knauff To keep or not to keep Time again for the changing of the seasons November proclaimed as Adoption Recognition and Recruitment Month Local business is seven decades old and counting Local student gets Nashville call Senior Profile: Gabe Grooms Lady Indians fall in districts Quest For The Cup complete for Dragons Meeting a true sports hero WU’s McCarty named District Player of the Year With regional run, Pennywitt completes memorable career West Union eighth grade volleyball finishes as SHAC runner-up Senior Profile: Tray Brand Greyhounds drop home finale, finish at 4-6 Lady Devils fall in district semis Devils go down in district finals Matt Seas headed back to State XC Meet Senior Profile: Charlee Louden Lady Indians ousted in sectional final Lady Devils down Minford 4-1 in district semis North Adams volleyball claims fourth consecutive sectional crown Senior Profile: Brooklyn Howlett Afterschool fun begins at NAES Wearing it pink in October Kenneth L Austin Jay E Minnich Reuben E Hershberger Bobby L Williams 18 years just isn’t long enough Emotional, historic, and victorious Taking action against addiction Utilities commission approves DP&L electric security plan What matters and what doesn’t Oh dear, is that a deer? Junior Gaffin Charlotte J Thatcher Matthew D Miller Megan R Phillips Ralph M Swearingen Linda C Ackley Robert Ralston Shelly Seaman Increased access to treatment, Improving economic opportunity keys to combating Ohio’s Opioid Crisis Seas siblings are again SHAC Cross-Country Champions Lady Hounds cruise to sectional victory Senior Profile: Alyssa Hoskins 101 and another sectional championship Lady Indians claim sectional title North Adams tops Peebles for sectional soccer crown Senior Profile: Shay Boldman 13.5 seconds, heartbreak for West Union PHS JV Volleyball completes unbeaten season On the course that Nicklaus helped design On the ballot: Meigs Township Trustees West Union Christian Church will again be collection center for Operation Christmas Child Peebles voters will choose council members in upcoming election Seven candidates seek seats on ACOVSD school board A time for transformation What will future generations say? Finding all those treasures Janet K Campbell Robert D Hill Lady Devils blank West Union 7-0 in SHAC soccer finale Vikings invade and conquer the Greyhounds Outpouring of community support for local business woman with cancer Manchester mourns teen killed in single-car crash Kylie S Lucas Sharon R Grooms Steven L Wootten Forest J McDaniel Ralph O Grooms Adams County teenager dies in auto accident Charles N Vance Wesley M Baldwin James Kennedy Tom A Mihalovich Brand hat trick leads North Adams past West Union 5-2 in SHAC soccer action Senior Profile: Bryant Lung Lady Hounds pull off thrilling Senior Night win Volleyball milestones continue to pile up at North Adams Banner season for Lady Indians soccer SHAC holds Junior High Volleyball Tournament Tournament match ups set for volleyball and soccer Senior Profile: Morgan Edmisten Hounds dominate, improve to 3-4 Is this not the best time of the year? Volley For The Cure is another big success Getting everything we ask for Oh, that dreaded leaf project Manchester: Adams County’s oldest community looks to the future with hope Congressman visits Manchester’s newest business Six candidates vie for MLSD School Board Highway 41 road work stalls MFD holds annual Safety Day for kids, families Lenora Mckee

Oh, those aromas coming from Mom’s kitchen

web1_RickHouser.jpgBy Rick Houser –

Probably the most used room in our home when I was growing up was the kitchen. Our kitchen of course was used for eating and as a place where we would gather around the table to play cards or visit with friends or family, but there was one item that dominated this room and I feel it very safe to say no one who ever was in that room will deny the aroma from Mom’s cooking would set the scene then and it still does.
My Mom was a good farm cook. She was a “meat and potatoes” cook who could bake on an above average scale. As any cook who claims success, she had some items that she was way better than average at preparing and we in the family knew which was which and when the fragrance of baked bread, chuck roast, and mashed potatoes and gravy filler the air, we made certain not to show up late. One good thing about Mom’s cooking was that she cooked in large proportions because we never knew if company might just stop in or the farm hands that Dad was using had bigger appetites or maybe lunch was going to be rolled over into leftovers for supper. She was ready not to come up short on whatever she prepared.
Mom always told us that she wasn’t a fancy cook but one who could prepare an above average meal at an above average taste. We had lots of soup beans and white corn bread made in a black iron skillet that was always tasty enough for second servings or more. She seemed to keep a bowl of cooked and skinned potatoes in the fridge so on a moment’s notice there would be a skillet of fried potatoes and sausage or bacon or other quick to prepare items that one would think she had worked on all morning. We raised a large garden and we had a lot of vegetables with every meal. Fresh corn on the cob and fresh green beans with some bacon seasoning perked up many of her meals. She took whatever she had and turned it into a tasty and filling meal.
It seems to me that when the fall weather cooled down to where we were around the house more and we headed towards the holidays that the aromas of her kitchen seemed to become easier to smell and maybe we just sniffed harder expecting a pleasant smell. One thing was for certain, and this mattered not what the entrée had been, the end of the meal was going to consist of something sweet.
Mom wasn’t a great pie maker nor fancy at cake preparations but anyone who ate at our table knew Madeline could make pretty good deserts. When the strawberries came into season she had a nice variety of strawberry desserts she served, and Mom always inserted her secret ingredient, which was of course sugar.
It is time to tell it. Mom was a sugar-holic. Whether it be cake, cobbler, pie, or pudding, one of these dishes was always ready. Sometimes she made what she called brown bread and sliced it up into slices and served it with a dish holding Philadelphia cream cheese. When apples became ripe, the dish had apples in it, the same for peaches and black berries. She created many ways to serve them but rest assured the sugar was in there every time.
One thing I have to mention was her iced tea. So many people have told me they had never tasted anything like it and how the thought of it to this day lingers. She brewed it with leaf tea and did it in a concentrated formula so strong that two ounces to a 16 ounce glass made a strong glass of tea and yes it was very sweet. Put that glass beside whatever she was serving and it improved the entrée. It is also safe to say that farm hands always returned to the fields a little hyper from all of that tea. On top of that, I don’t ever recall our kitchen not having a pan of Toll House (chocolate chip) or oatmeal cookies setting on the counter ready to be devoured.
I have covered some of what Mom prepared and it is probably here where I will try to explain why folks liked to put their feet under her table or just snack at our house. Much of what my mother prepared was good to eat. Not super special great, but what made her preparations great was the way she served a person. You were served with the truest word and definition of “hospitality”. You always felt and believed you were a guest in our home. I don’t know how she mixed that into a bowl with the mashed potatoes or the cookies but it was there. Although sugar was her secret ingredient, open generosity to others was a super ingredient that she possessed and I’m not certain she ever really knew she had mastered that talent.
From homemade bread to fried cured ham with mashed potatoes and white gravy cooking, who could ask for more? Wanting to serve you all these items meant something special to her. Once I asked her that after a farm hand had complimented her on something because it seemed like he was getting preferential treatment and bigger servings. Mom looked at me and smiled and said “Son, a little bit of flattery goes a long way with me.”
I understood what she was saying and I tried to compliment her a little more from that point on. It is at times like now that I think back to that kitchen and I swear I can smell the fragrances that send me back to that time and I can see my Mom cooking and serving and having a most enjoyable time. I remember those aromas were just the smell of a special time for me also. “Please pass the biscuits.”
Rick Houser grew up on a farm near Moscow in Clermont County and loves to share stories about the farm and other topics. He may be reached at houser734@yahoo.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© The People's Defender - All rights reserved