Remembering Mom’s baking


Things I take pleasure in remembering: when my mother baked pies, after rolling out what she needed for the crust, she would slice the remaining dough into 2-inch wide strips. The strips would be plastered with a cinnamon mixture and rolled up and baked. I can still remember that delicious smell.

My dad worked evenings at Firestone when I was in grade school. He was usually still sleeping when I went to school in the mornings. But if it was raining he would get up early and drive me to school.

During the Depression years in the 1930s, some persons would knock on our back door and ask for something to eat. Mom would always make a sandwich or two, hand it to them and they would sit on the steps of the back porch and eat whatever we had to spare. I rather doubt we had paper plates back then, so I’m sure Mother thoroughly washed the plate that was left.

Also at that time, if a child came down with what is considered a childhood disease, such as measles or mumps, the local health department would tack a sign on the front door announcing said childhood disease was within. It also stated that no one was allowed in or out.

Now, I’m sure my dad was allowed to go to work. My mother, however, was mortified by the sign. In her mind, it implied she kept an unhealthy home and she really resented it. Sorry, Mom, but I couldn’t help getting those measles.

For my first Christmas, my folks bought a live tree that we could plant afterwards. I have a picture of me about 3 years old or so, standing by it. I rather imagine though, that after 79 years, it’s not there any more.

My dad always had a good size garden, no matter where we lived. One year he planted peppers and I can remember my mother taking a taste of one of them. I can also remember her running pell mell from the garden into the kitchen for water. Daddy would not have planted “hot” peppers, so I imagine it was just as much a surprise to him as to my mother. I can still see her running across that garden ….

My parents died within four months of each other 30 years ago, but I’ll bet she’s up there still bringing that incident up for review.

My parents were good people and always had the best interest at heart of my sister and me. We have tired to do the same for our children.

[Carolyn Cary is the official Fayette County historian and the editor of the county’s first compiled history, “The History of Fayette County,” published in 1977. She lives in Fayetteville.]