Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Cast iron pot...

Our mom had a big cast iron pot...I don't think it had a handle.  I also think hers was taller and not quite so wide in diameter as this one.  I don't remember where she kept it, or what has happened to it.  She only used it a couple times a year that I know of...well, maybe give or take a time or two.

She made lye soap in it.  I don't know of anyone besides her that ever made lye soap.  And I think when she made a batch of it, a batch lasted longer than a year.  I don't even recall what she used it for.  I think I remember her using it for laundry occasionally.  Maybe rubbing on a stubborn spot and washing on the washboard.  I almost think she maybe added some to the regular wash water.  (We were washing with a wringer washer.)

She also used this same pot to make lard in.  When I was growing up, we raised and butchered 4 hogs every year.  I say we...but I really didn't have much to do with it.  It was my mom and dad and brothers.  At least that I remember.  But the one thing I did do was help cut the fat into chunks for mom to make lard with.

I can remember every thing just being coated with grease from us handling the fat and cutting it into chunks.  I can remember the feel of it on my hands.  To the best of my memory, we cut the fat into chunks an inch or so...we were not exact.  

I don't know how long mom could wait till she made lard.  I would think she would have had to make it within a day or two because we had no place to refrigerate the pieces of fat.    Anyway, she used the cast iron pot.  She always built a small fire, and I think she used bricks to set the pot on over the fire.  And the pot was filled to the brim almost with the fat.

She always used a small fire...didn't want to get it to hot.  I am not sure why.  Hoping one of my brother will maybe fill in the pieces for me.  For stirring, she had a stirrer similar to the one the woman is using in this picture.  I can remember mom making me stand and stir...I think the fire was kept small and we had to stir almost constantly to keep the lard/grease and cracklings from scorching.

And she always made the lard outside, and sometimes did it for other neighbors.

How I wish I had written stuff down back then....or had better memories.

Sarah sent me the following conversation between Lorelei and her daddy this evening:

Lorelei:  daddy, you're not the boss of me.
Jeremy:  excuse me?
Lorelei:  you're not the boss, God is.

I don't know what they were talking about...I didn't think to ask.
The house was just soooo quiet after we got back from taking her to meet her mom.   While she was here, one of the morns we were talking about what we were going to have for breakfast.  She says, "I know what we could have!"  I ask "What?'  She says, "Biscuits, gravy, and sausage!"  Of course I fixed it the next morn.

But that is not the point of the story...the point is on Sunday night she was talking to her mom and dad...she told them, "I'm coming home tomorrow."  And I forget what they say...something along the lines of Oh, okay.  Then she pipes up, "But I Got to Eat First!"  I just figured she was saying that because I always tell her we have to have breakfast before we can leave.  She is fine the time she stays here, but usually on the day she says she is going home, she would like to get up and just leave.

Anyway, that night as we were settling down for sleep, she was asking me if I had packed her stuffed toys, and did I have her dirty clothes, etc....and I said yes, I thought I had everything but we would check before we leave the next morn.  She says, OK, but I got To Eat First!  I figures she was leading to having biscuits and gravy a second timem or more of her papaw's pancakses, so I asked what she wanted.  She didn't know...she just knew she had to eat!