Coffee Talk: Precious Memories – Fulton Sun

The wind outside was blowing strong and whistling around the corner of my house. I had been reading with an afghan draped around my shoulders. In the quite solitude of the house, my mind drifted to thoughts of my grandmother Katie Dowdy McGuire.
As a young bride, I lived about twenty miles from my grandmother, so I was able to visit her every week. The friendship and love that grew from those visits are cherished memories.
Grandpa died in 1948, leaving grandma a widow until her death in 1965. Her Scotch-Irish ancestry motivated her to successfully living along, on a limited income in a small four-roomed house in Morehouse, MO.
Every time I wash the dust cloths and car cleaning towels, a vision of grandma’s clothes line crosses my mind. Now I understand the old ragged pieces of material flapping in the wind. She was very thrifty. Nothing was wasted.
During the cold winter, she heated only the living room and her bedroom where she slept. A heavy old quilt hung across a doorway separating the two bedrooms and prevented the heat from escaping into an unused room. The wooden door between the living room and the kitchen was kept closed. She entered the chilled kitchen only to prepare her meager meals, then she would carry her food back into the warm living room to eat.
Grandmother was a devout Christian and read her Bible faithfully. That, along with the Reader’s Digest and the Capper’s Weekly helped to pass the days when it was too cold for her to be outdoors. Being rather frugal, she sat at the window with a shawl wrapped around her shoulders letting the sunshine provide some warmth as well as light for reading. Her adult children gave her money which she “socked away” to save in case she needed it at another time.
On the days that I visited, I always took a prepared meal. All we had to do was heat it once I got there. My first visit, after my husband Jack and I moved to Fulton was interesting. Grandmother knew I was coming and had shared the news with her neighbor. On the day I was to arrive, the neighbor asked what she was fixing to eat. Grandmother told her friend, “Oh, I don’t have to cook anything. Nola always brings dinner.” Unfortunately that time I didn’t, so we set about opening canes of vegetables for our meal. We both had a good laugh when we noticed she had two pans of hominy warming on the stove.
When I was a little girl, I was visiting and my grandpa gave me a nickel. Being the only grandchild at that time, I had to come up various ways to entertain myself. One day, I was making mud pies on a bench in the back yard. I had laid my nickel on the bench and forgot to pick it up when my parents arrived. It was years later, after grandmother passed on, the family was taking care of things. My mother had opened an old trunk and found my nickel, wrapped in an envelope with this message, “This belongs to Nola, a little girl.” I still have that nickel wrapped just as grandmother had wrapped it, and sometime I would tease my husband that he married me for my money!
Back to hominy — try this easy recipe.
Hominy Casserole:
2 cups hominy, drained 1/2 chopped onion 1 cup tomatoes, chopped.
1 pound ground beef 2 tsp. salt 1 cup grated cheese (or more).
Brown onion slightly in small amount of butter. Add meat and cook until brown
Drain well. Put meat back into skillet, then add the remaining ingredients, except the cheese.
Mix well.
Pour into a buttered casserole dish.
Bake in a moderate oven about 45 minutes.
Just before serving sprinkle with grated cheese.
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