Memories of a Pantry

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“Memory is the diary that we all carry about with us.” ~ Oscar Wilde

DSCN2113I only have one lasting image of my maternal grandmother’s pantry, she had cans of the most delicious chicken and dumpling stew I have ever tasted in my life. I have yet to find freshly made or canned chicken stew to beat it.

Yet, my paternal grandmother had quite a pantry down in her basement. She was well supplied and in the case of an emergency, she could have fed multiple families for weeks on end. My sister and I loved to “poke around” in her pantry to see what we could dig up. Some of the staples that sat on her shelves are still sold today, yet not as frequently as they used to be. The costs of them are pricey compared to in the 5o’s.

I’ll never forget my Grandmother’s talk of “putting food up.” As a kid, I wasn’t quite sure what that was but I figured it had something to do with the gross and disgusting pickled pigs feet and pickled hard boiled eggs we came across in her pantry in huge mason jars.  I thought, “Maybe putting up food meant putting those awful jars way up on the upper shelf to save for when the atomic bomb hits. Eating that gross stuff surely is enough to kill anyone on the spot. Grandmother will be saved from having to experience the horrors of the bomb, if she eats that.”  Coming across pickled pigs feet and pickled hard boiled eggs in the pantry was enough to turn any child off from eating. Eeeeewwwwww…..

My grandmother was born in 1900 and passed away in 1999. A long and fulfilling life for a woman who “never paid any never mind” to what she ate. She never checked a label and paid no regard to nutritional values – how many fats, carbos or calories were in her diet. She loved to eat, and saw to it that there was plenty on the family table. She, like others from her generation, had been through the depression and other scarce times, so she kept the pantry well stocked.

When I came across the two images I’ve posted in today’s blog, it brought a broad smile to my face because it made me think of my Grandmother, her pantry and my roots of growing up on the Mason-Dixon Line. How about you? What memories of regional foods do you have that take you back to a time to your childhood and growing up?

4 southern food groups

See you tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling. It is going to be a very special day. Don’t miss out! This blog brought to you by

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