Maxine Brown – Spring 2014
By Maxine Brown
Everyone keeps asking for more of Momma Brown’s recipes. They’re in this newsletter, and I hope you enjoy them. It’s fun to hear back from those who try the recipes. Here’s a few simple words first.
I have good news. I just celebrated my 83rd birthday. I never dreamed that I would live this long and never in my life would I have revealed my age to anyone. What the heck!! I don’t get any propositions or whistles anymore. At this stage of my life there isn’t much to do except sit around and wander what it is that I need to do next, then wind up doing absolutely nothing. I guess you could say that I have reached the age when it takes longer to rest than it does to get tired.
I spend a lot of time on my computer, still learning how to turn it on and off. I have a past time, and that is Facebook. I have been called a Facebook junkie, but that isn’t quite true, I have never learned how to post anything. I have a Facebook friend in Scotland named Emma Robertson who tries to teach me this, that and the other, but by the time I learn one thing, its changed and here we go again. Emma was so happy that I finally learned where the lock box was located. I can’t remember now what is behind it but you can bet she does.
FACEBOOK has a way of bringing old friends together, and making new ones. I have been re-acquainted with some class mates I knew in the third grade. Not many of those old friends are living now but they have other friends or relatives who say they are related to us, in some way or the other. Maybe they are. I never realized that The Browns had so many cousins. I always wondered if perhaps there was “one” in the woodpile, maybe two, or three, who knows? I am glad to meet some of my fist, second, third, fourth, and fifth cousins. I also enjoy the friendship of my Italian, German, UK, Canadian, and Australia friends as well as those in the U.S. I know I will never meet them or Emma in person but Facebook has brought us all together in a special way.
When you go to my WEBSITE and read this story in the NEWS section, the first thing you will see is a picture of me sitting in the middle of two rows of sugar cane, with the title “Sugar Cane County”.
It was a hot day in August, 1968 when I made the trip with a photographer, to a little town just outside of Nashville, Tennessee called White Bluff. The photographer obviously knew about this sugar cane field and the owners, Howard and Margaret Deal. When we arrived they treated us with royalty. They showed us the perfect place in the middle of the sugar cane rows for some photos. One of those was near a little shed where Mr. Deal said they manufactured their sugar cane into sorghum.
It must have been a hundred degrees in the shade that day. All of a sudden, here came Mrs. Deal and their son Eric with a huge pitcher of ice cold Lemonade. I remember it being a bit windy that day and Mrs. Deal helped me with my hair and makeup right out in the middle of that sugar cane patch.
We had been out In the hot sun all afternoon and both of us needed to go to the restroom. The Deals said we could use their facilities, but it was too far away. I have a bladder about the size of a hickory hut and I had failed to bring along my wide-mouth fruit far so I told the photographer to hide his eyes, I had to get out of those overalls before it was too late. He said, “don’t worry, I need to go also”, so he disappeared. He didn’t have to go far, as those rows of cane was to thick no one could see us. As a matter of fact, Mrs. Deal had trouble finding where we were when they brought the Lemonade. I have wondered a lot of times why we didn’t get lost ourselves, he was good looking, sexy, and single. Now, that would have been more than just a “Photo Shoot”.
We sat around the Deal’s kitchen table for hours, talking about this, that and the other. I told them that the way they made sorghum was a far cry from the way we had to make it when I was about the age of Eric. I always hated to watch that old black mule go ’round and ’round a pot of hot boiling cane until it got thick enough to pour into jugs. It would take all day and every once in a while we would let the poor thing stop, rest and drink some water. Mrs. Deal served us with some cookies she had made using sorghum. It reminded me of our Mom having to use it in place of sugar when we wanted something sweet to eat. Sugar was rationed, and since we lived so far away from a little place called Sparkman, we failed to get our allotted amount every month, which was only one pound. World War Two was ragging in the world and our dad had been drafted in the Navy. Many nights we went to bed hungry but we always had sorghum and a cat head biscuit.
Sorghum is a staple in my home. I love it and so does my son Tommy, who runs my website from Arizona. One time I sent him a bucket of sorghum on Southwest Airlines. During flight the lid came off. I don’t need to tell you what a sticky mess they had to clean up. To make matters worse, UPS then delivered the bucket to Tommy’s home with no lid. Tommy and his wife Colleen were not as upset over the mess on their porch ,as they were about not having any sorghum.
One day about three months ago, Eric Deal was scanning the web. He saw something that looked familiar. It was their cane field. He recognized my picture right away and remembered his parents had kept it on their piano for years. They would tell everyone about Maxine Brown coming to their home and making that photograph in their sugar cane field. I kept up with the Deals for years but as time went by, we sorta lost touch with each other.
Go to the search bar on Facebook, look for “DEAL SORGHUM”. They now ship all over the country. You will enjoy seeing their manufacturing plant. The Deals have promised me and my son some of this years crop when its harvested. I am looking forward to it and most of all, keeping in touch with Eric, Donna, his wife, and all of their family
This has been 46 years ago. I would say this is a “DONE DEAL”.
I am proud that FACEBOOK had brought me right back to where it all originated, “SUGAR CANE COUNTY”
Thanks Everyone. I hope you will enjoy some more of Momma Browns recipes.
(Note written by Momma Brown about the following recipe: “This is one of the recipes I remember from my early childhood. It seems to have been forgotten by everyone except me. They are just as tasty today as they were then. I hope you will share my memory of “Old Fashioned Sorghum Molasses Pie”.)
l 1/4 Cups Sorghum Molasses
1 Tablespoon Butter or Margarine
3 Eggs, beaten
1 Tablespoon Flour
2/3 Cup Sugar
1 Un-baked Pie Shell
Place Sorghum and Butter in saucepan & let come to a boil. Remove from heat and add beaten eggs and remaining ingredients. Beat until light and fluffy. Pour into Pie Shell, bake about 15 minutes at 425. Reduce heat to 375 and continue cooking for another 45 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.
COLLEEN’S BUTTERMILK PIE
3 Eggs, beaten
1 2/3 Cup Sugar
l/4 Cup Flour
l/2 Teaspoon Salt
l Cup Buttermilk
1 Tablespoon Vanilla
1/2 Cup Butter, melted
Mix all ingredients together, adding melted butter last. Pour into un-baked Pie Shell. Bake at 400 degrees for l5 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 & continue baking for one hour. (Note: A puddle of butter may form in center, but don’t worry, it will absorb into the filling. (This pie is Delicious).
10 Twinkies, sliced in one-half
3 Bananas, sliced
1 Large Can Crushed Pineapple, drained
1 Can Coconut, divided
1 Can Eagle Brand Milk
1 Large container Cool whip
Chopped Nuts for garnish
Slice Twinkies in half, lengthwise. Place in bottom of a 9 x 3 inch casserole dish. Layer sliced Banana slices, Pineapple and one half of the Coconut. Mix Eagle Brand Milk with whipped Cool Whip. Pour over. Sprinkle the rest of Coconut and nuts on top. (Easy and so delicious).Note: You can use Strawberries instead of the Bananas, for a variety.
EASY ORANGE CAKE
1 Box Yellow Cake Mix
1 Package Orange Gelatin (small)
3/4 Cup Orange Juice, or Apricot Nector
2/3 Cup Oil
Mix all together & pour into a greased & floured tube pan. Cook according to cake box directions. Mix 3/4 cup Orange Juice and 1 cup sugar. Cook together for 5 minutes. Punch holes in cake with fork or ice pick. Pour the hot juice all down through cake and on top. Use all of juice, this makes it moist and delicious.
1 Small Package Noodles (medium or small size)
1 Can Tuna (Large can)
1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 Can English Peas (or large can English Peas & Carrots)
I Onion, chopped
Grated Cheddar Cheese
Buttered Bread Crumbs, or Croutons
Cook Noodles as directed on package. Drain. Mix all together. Top with buttered bread crumbs, and cheese. Bake until bubbly and cheese has all melted. (about 30 minutes) in 350 degree oven.
l Can Red Salmon (with juice)
1 Small Onion, chopped
1 Egg, beaten
1 Cup Cracker Crumbs,( or more if needed, also same some to roll the patties in.)
1 Tablespoon Flour
l/2 Teaspoon each of Salt & Pepper
Juice of one Lemon
1/2 Teaspoon Celery Salt (optional)
Mix all ingredients together. Shape into patties. Roll patties in cracker crumbs. Fry in hot oil, turning to brown on each side.
PINTO BEAN GOULASH:
1 1 LB. package Pinto Beans
Cook Beans until tender: Season with
1 Tablespoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Oil
3 Tablespoons Sugar
Cook 2 lbs. ground Beef with 1 chopped Onion until brown. Drain well.
Add to cooked Beans along with the following:
1 Can Ro-Tel
1 Can Tomatoes, diced
1 Teaspoon Chili Power (or more to suit your taste)
1 Teaspoon Cumin (or more to suit your taste)
2 Cloves Garlic, crushed (Optional)
Simmer Beans & all ingredients together for about 45 minutes or until thick. Serve with some good Old Fashioned Cornbread.
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