Biscuits, Tea Cakes & Neck Bones

By: Chaunte McClure

I can already visualize my sister facepalming after reading the title of this blog post, but don’t worry, I’m not about to embarrass you.

biscuitsI was just thinking about Grandma as I do from time to time, reflecting on fond moments. I miss that lady and sometimes I wonder what life would be like if she were still here. I’m not sure what I’d love most – just having her around or enjoying her good cooking. Surely she’d be disappointed that I spend more time at restaurants than I do in my kitchen. I wonder if I would have developed that bad habit of eating out with her here? Probably so. I’m not sure if she could change that, but I could be wrong. That woman cooked two or three meals every day and loved doing so. What’s more, we loved it too. We, the grandkids and grand nieces and nephews, were guaranteed a meal when we got in from school. An aroma met us at the door every single day.

Fried chicken made everyone happy, but my favorite was neck bones. Yes, country I am; country to the bone. I know there’s hardly any meat on neck bones, but they are good. It was something about the way Grandma seasoned them and that gravy . . . oh my goodness! I try my best to cook them like Grandma used to, but mine aren’t quite the same. I usually cheat by cooking them in the Crockpot, but that shouldn’t affect the flavor, right? Anyway, I always wanted seconds with that good gravy covering my rice.

And those Saturday or Sunday morning homemade biscuits. Oowee! Many times I watched her sprinkle flour over the counter and knead, roll and cut biscuits. It’s a shame that I can’t make them. Okay, I haven’t tried. But back to Grandma’s biscuits. When they came out of the oven, all I needed was that bottle of Cane Patch Syrup and I would dip and chew, dip and chew. (I think that Cane Patch also came in a can.) As kids we’d do the I-want-some-more-dance while holding our plate or bowl, asking Grandma for another biscuit. Even when her children were adults she’d make them biscuits and they never turned them down.

And they never turned down those old-fashioned southern tea cakes. I don’t know who was most excited, the grandkids or the adults. I was never really into sweets so I didn’t react to tea cakes like I did to a pot of neck bones. If she happened to bake them on a day when I had a taste for something sweet, then great, but they were always a treat for everyone else. If I just say “tea cakes” around one relative, it brings a smile to her face because she loved Grandma’s tea cakes as much as she loved the fact that Grandma would make them when she asked.

Those were the good ol’ days, as we like to say. It seems like you don’t realize how good they were until they’re gone or the people who made them special are gone.

So who wants to make biscuits, tea cakes and neck bones just for me? Not everyone at once, please.

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