Aunt Mamie


My grandmother was very ill and had to go to the hospital when I was about eight years old.

Our grandfather hired a woman to come in and cook and clean for us. Her name was Aunt Mamie. We called her aunt because she was an aunt to one of our friends.

Aunt Mamie was a spinster lady in her mid-fifty’s. She had a heart as good as gold but she definitely was not a cook.

Our grandmother made the best things to eat. For breakfast she made ham, homemade biscuits, red-eye gravy and homemade jams and jellies. Or sausage, eggs and biscuits with jam or honey. Homemade flap jacks floating in butter she had churned and syrup. Once in a while she made us a big bowl of mush with butter and cream. On those days, we thought we had a real treat.

When we were in school we always came home for lunch. She made sure we had something warm. She made the best bologna sandwiches with mustard and warped them in waxed paper. Then she placed them in the top of a double boiler and kept them warm. We usually had a warm fried , fruit pie for dessert.

For dinner we ate a lot of beans. At least three times a week but we had a large verity. Pinto’s, Great Northern, Butter and Green Beans. They were usually cooked with salt pork, ham or jowl bacon and always served with fried potatoes and a big slice of cornbread. We had a lot of soups and stews as well.

On Sundays she went all out. We had fried chicken or roast beef with all the trimmings, homemade yeast rolls and either pie, cobbler or cake. She made the best banana cake in the whole world. She baked two round layer cakes, then split them in half and layered them with sliced bananas and whipped cream. Then she piled the whipped cream high on the top and around the sides. Delicious!

Grandmother had been in the hospital about two weeks when my brother and I got to go see her. The first thing my brother said to her was, "When are you coming home grandma, I’m starving to death."

Poor old Aunt Mamie tried to please us but it was just a fact that there was not much she fixed that was fit to eat.

One day we asked her to bake a cake. She went right to the task and when it was done it looked delicious. A yellow cake with chocolate fudge icing. She sliced each of us a big piece, our mouths were watering for something sweet. When we bit into it the middle was raw. She had not left it in the oven long enough and we could not eat it. I will say though, the icing was good.

It was not long after that till grandmother came home and things got back to normal, making two youngsters very happy.

A golden memory from childhood.

By Lora Cox ©2001