Ruby T. Scott, my
paternal grandmother, believed that the consumption of an enormous sized,
succulent and juicy, country-fried pork chop could either alleviate the
tribulations of the world, or at least provide a temporary feeling of
satisfaction that momentarily allowed you to forget your encumbrances.
Personally, I agree
with her general hypothesis, however, I do not believe that the segments we
purchase today, known as the other white meat, have the vigorous flavor as
those homegrown segments of her era.
During my formative
years our Scott grandparents resided on a farm in rural Terrell County, less
than thirty minutes driving time from our home to theirs, but when I was a
young teenager, Granddaddy Scott was injured during a robbery at the country
store he owned and operated and was never able to return to work. After a
long period of convalescence, Daddy announced that they were relocating to
Richland for his recuperation; a situation our family considered temporary
transformed into a permanent one.
Personally, I was
delighted to be able to visit them in a moment's notice and Nanny and I
secretly plotted to spend as much quality time together as possible. When I
was grown, married and then had two sons, Nanny was always nearby with
support, advice, assistance, and comfort.
Nanny seemed to
recognize when I was having an especially difficult day, one that overflowed
with unpleasant events; and frequently on those extraordinary mornings, she
telephoned the office and invited me to come by for an early lunch. I knew
without asking what she planned to serve and before eleven o'clock my mouth
was watering just thinking about the promised banquet.
The pork chop morsel
was presented on a warmed plate and waiting at my place at the table when I
arrived; frequently resting at the back of the stove was the first cousin to
the entree, thick strips of fried side- meat. The accompanying menu was
inconsequential as long as cat-head biscuit were available; thinking about
it makes me hungry. But, like all those ladies who grew up in the south,
Nanny presented a plethora of vegetables; string beans with new potatoes
squash fried-up with sweet onions, lady-finger peas with okra pods, and
turnip greens with chopped roots.
Nanny did not like
turkey, granddaddy despised beef, daddy disliked chicken, and momma did not
eat fish but there was main ingredient in which we all agreed, pork; that is
what we preferred for dinner.