Saturday, November 27, 2021

SEASONED SOUTHERN STYLE: A List of Basics From Mom's Kitchen Cupboards


I was checking my kitchen cupboards one day, making a list for the grocery, when I realized something was wrong. At first I didn't know what the problem was. Then I realized they didn't resemble Mom's--nor mine up to the early 90s--much at all. Yes, I do cook from scratch, but today's recipes call for items my mother would never have dreamed adding into her dishes. . .Recipes nowadays seem to call for so many ingredients that will only be used for that one dish. . .My shelves were full of items I knew I really didn't need. . .and most I did not want. . .You see, I have found that I am not a fan of many dishes that are different from the basics of Southern cooking. . .Although I do appreciate trying new ones whenever we eat out or by my own hand, I most often return to the foods I know so well. . .I don't search Pinterest for new recipes much anymore either because I have more than enough in my own collection from the family. . .tweaking them when necessary for my gluten free diet. . .

I thought about all this as I looked at those stuffed shelves while visualizing Mom's kitchen cupboards. . .She had less of them for one thing. . .Yet, none were stuffed full. . .All were well organized, too. . .Maybe I should follow her example? . .It would certainly be simpler. . .

I had to sit down and think about this. . .for a while. . .

So. . .what WAS in Mom's cupboards? Pretty basic stuff. . .however, she created absolutely delicious, nutritious and a wide variety of meals. . .True. . .most of our vegetables and fruits were home canned or frozen fresh. . .The meats came from the farm or the chickens in the backyard. . .Daddy fished all the time, so at least one meal a week was fried fish and hushpuppies. . .Cornmeal was about the only addition needed. . .but what else did we have in our cupboards? . .I began to make a list. . .and went beyond the cupboards. . .to add the refrigerator and freezer, too. 


Flour, Cornmeal, Oats, Sugar, Brown Sugar, Powdered Sugar, Karo Syrup-Light, Cocoa, Unsweetened Chocolate, Salt, Baking Soda, Baking Powder, Cream of Tartar, Vanilla Extract, Almond Extract, Vegetable Oil, Crisco, Cake Mixes

White Rice, Elbow Macaroni, Shell Macaroni, Spaghetti Noodles, Egg Noodles, Crackers, White Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes in season, Dried White Beans, Dried Pinto Beans

Pecans, Chocolate Chips, Raisins, Jello, Instant Puddings

Black Pepper, Bay Leaf, Chili Powder, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Oregano, Thyme, Mustard Seed, Dry Mustard, Celery Seed, Allspice, Cinnamon, Cloves, Ginger

Vinegar, Prepared Mustard, Ketchup, Salad Dressing/Mayo, Salad Dressings, Lemon Juice, Pancake Syrup, Sorghum Molasses, Worcestershire Sauce, A-1 Steak Sauce

Home Canned: Green Beans, Tomatoes, Tomato Juice, Tomato Relish, Pickles, Chow-Chow, Kraut, Beets, Pickled Beets, Pears, Pickled Peaches, Pickled Okra, Hot Pepper Vinegar

Strawberry Jam, Blackberry Jam, Peach Jam, Pear Jam, Pear Butter, Apple Butter

Bought Canned Goods: English Peas, Green Beans, Whole Kernel Corn, Cream Style Corn, Pork and Beans, Mushrooms, Hominy, Tuna, Vienna Sausage, Salmon, Treat or Spam, Tomato Soup, Cream of Mushroom Soup, Cream of Chicken Soup, Vegetable Beef Soup, Chicken Noodle Soup, Sliced Pineapple, Crushed Pineapple, Fruit Cocktail, Mandarin Oranges, Peaches, Flaked Coconut, Evaporated Milk, Sweetened Condensed Milk

 Coffee, Tea, Kool-Aid

Fridge: Milk, Buttermilk, Eggs, Butter, Parmesan Cheese, Cheddar Cheese, American Cheese, Onions, Celery, Green Pepper, Iceberg Lettuce, Cabbage, Carrots

Freezer: Meats: Beef, Pork, Chicken; Homemade Sausage and Bacon; Lake Fish; Cream Corn; Corn on the Cob; Okra; Eggplant; Yellow Squash; Purple Hull Peas; Baby Lima Beans; Green Peppers; Hot Peppers; Mustard Greens; Collard Greens; Turnips cooked with a hot pepper; Red Hot Fried Apples; Apples; Pears; Peaches; Strawberries; Wild Blackberries, Pecans, Ice Cream 

ONE MONTH LATER: I have thought about it long and hard. . .and made a commitment to returning these old farmhouse cupboards to those stocked pretty much as Mom's. . .and probably just in time since grocery shelves are becoming bare of anything but basics. . .I totally believe in the health benefits of cooking from scratch. . .eating fresh anything when available. . .reducing meal sizes back down to those portions of my childhood. . .not eating between meals. . .cutting down on sugars and all junk foods. . .and most of all, enjoying what is cooked, baked, or roasted with our own hands for the pleasure of it. . .While I admit that it does take a lot more time, work, and planning, the benefits I believe will be worth it. . .Let's see how it works this year. . .as we go. . .BACK TO BASICS. . .Mom's basics, that is. . .

Watch for More RECIPES in the coming year. . .

1 comment:

breeze in the night said...

I am so amazed to see all your mother's kitchen cupboard. I hope i can make them all someday in my kitchen cupboard.