Spellbinding stories of mystic love and soulful hope . . .  

Recipes from Family Graces

Gary’s Gritted Bread (as inspired by Pap Wilson)

First, don’t be nervous just because you are cooking something for the woman you are in love with even if she’s ignoring you and making you crazy. Use fresh corn that has dried at least over-night. Grate the corn from the cob. Mix together soda, salt, buttermilk, and two eggs, one egg would do if you were nervous and dropped the entire carton on your aunt Anna’s floor and only one survived. Add the corn and mix well. Then either fry it up or bake it in a cast-iron skillet or pan—if you want to smell good for the woman you are in love with who is as stubborn as a mule, then best bake it (or so Aunt Anna tells me once she put down her romance novel and lorded it over me in the kitchen so that I had to chase her out and tell her I knew how to make Pap’s Gritted Bread just fine). Eat with butter or honey, or both, or any way you like it.


Grandma Faith’s Biscuits (inspired by Granny Wilson and Granny Brent)

One way:

Sift near-bouts 2 cups of White Lily self-rising flour (if you have the White Lily and sometimes I do not) into the bowl. Grab a hunk of lard (but don’t let on it’s lard to Katie Ivene or else she’ll cry and carry on so) with your fingers and add it to the flour. Using your fingers, work the lard through the flour until it feels “right” and you have to know what “right” is so just practice. The dough shouldn’t be sticky. Add milk just enough to make a nice soft dough. Pinch off pieces of the dough and pat out the biscuits with your hand. Put the biscuits on a greased pan and bake them off in a medium hot oven until they are nice and golden. Tell Katie Ivene to stop begging for more, but give her more anyway.


Or another way:

Make a well in just right enough regular flour (when there’s no White Lily self-rising to be found). Add salt, baking powder, shortening, and milk. Mix that together by hand until the dough is Just Right. Knead it to the firmness you want, and then pinch off large hunks of dough and put in the greased pan one at a time until the pan is full. Dip a spoon in bacon grease (again, if Katie Ivene is there, use butter! She can’t abide by no pork in anything and will cry and cry over Petal Puss). Grease the tops of each with the grease or some butter if Katie is there. Bake at a medium-high temperature. When they come out of the oven, they will look like one giant biscuit, so then cut them into big squares.


Grandma Faith’s Chocolate Gravy (inspired by Granny Brent)

When there is cocoa to be had, this is a treat for the children, and even Luke will sop it up and smile. Little Katie Ivene does so love my chocolate gravy. Measure out the amount of sugar you need for the amount of syrup you want, add dry cocoa to the sugar, mix thoroughly. Then add water to dissolve (not too much as your gravy will be real thin and you will have to cook it down, but add enough to thoroughly moisten. Next add a little butter and a little vanilla to taste. Cook over a low fire. If it is too thin then cook longer and if it is too thick add a little more water. If there is milk from the skinny old cow, that can be substituted for the water. Eat with the biscuits and nothing is finer.