Monday, September 22, 2014

Farming, Friends & Fried Bologna Sandwiches

Farming, Friends & Fried Bologna Sandwiches
By author: Renea Winchester
Mercer University Press
September, 2014
Idgie Says:
Goats, runaway goats, kudzu, goat thieves, grocery stores of the past, recipes, memories, good old story telling.  These are things you will find in this sweetly written book.  While clearly not the same, this book harkens back to the Laura Ingalls books for me - part biography, good storytelling, recipes, how to's and life lessons learned.

Renea shares some great stories involving all of the above topics and many more.  Combine this with simple, homegrown recipes and photos and you have a diverse and enjoyable book to spend the afternoon with. 

Renea's first chapter is so vividly descriptive of her Grandaddy's grocery store that I could see her in my mind, ducking his lit cigarettes and helping stock shelves and bring the boloney (bologna was never said in my house either) up front for slicing. I wanted to be there.  I actually wanted to be there for quite a few more of her stories too - I want to be part of that life!

Go spend some time with this book.  Then, as a bonus, if you live in the Atlanta area, you can take a Sunday drive out to Billy's farm and you might even run into Renea there!

Book Description:
Tucked behind a magnolia tree on a busy Georgia road is a magical place--a simple country farm, unchanged by time. On this little strip of land, chickens scratch greetings and goats bleat hello. Sweet yellow corn grows tall, and curly bean vines reach for the sky. A burly tractor and a fifty-year-old Chevy wait inside the shed, ready for action.
For some folks, farms trigger childhood memories, such as Sunday supper at their grandparent's table, or recollections of past generations smiling from picture frames gathering dust on the mantle. For 82-year-old Billy Albertson, his farm reflects a time before folks were hurried, or technology ruled our lives. Families grew gardens and feasted on fresh vegetables, adults spent time on front porches comparing stories, and children scampered barefoot through the grass waiting their turn at the hand-cranked ice cream freezer.
Spending time with friends on the farm is Billy's life. Here you don't have to be a gardener or blood kin to be family. Inside the pages of Farming, Friends, & Fried Bologna Sandwiches is a story about Billy and his magical farm.


Some of the great lines from the book are below:

"There is no shame in a fried bologna sandwich."

"Farming and cooking bind us together like peanut butter stuck to the roof of your mouth."

"Seeds comfort me. With their promise of treasures to come, touching their hard, smooth shells filled me with hope."

"Jars of canned goods contain prayers, pride, and so much love that the lid will barely seal. . . . We have made our people proud, preserved their memory, inside a glass jar."
And Here's a fabulous excerpt describing Hornless, the goat who would not be tamed:
Hornless was a compact, low-to-the- ground creature with a dirty blond mane and a strong, square chin. He'd arrived at the Albertson farm like many other animals, someone could no longer care for him.
Gazing upon Hornless the goat while he munched contently in the pasture, I realized that he had to be the solution to my kudzu problem. He alone could resolve the issue in an economical manner without poisoning the environment or costing me a fortune.

I soon located a Spiral Take Out Stake made by TopPaw™ with a 30-foot cable that boasted 920 pounds of break strength. Turning the package over, I read the two magic words all goat owners want to see, Super Strong.
Eradicating kudzu at my house would be super easy.

Billy and I pushed, turned, and eventually pounded the stainless steel tine until it wedged firmly into the ground. He then clipped the lead to the cable, made certain Hornless was secure, and steered his truck home. I went inside to pour a glass of tea, confident that my environmentally clean mower was hard at work. Minutes later, I stepped outside to inspect the area. Already planning the sales pitch I needed to convince my husband that Hornless was a worthy addition to the family, I searched the area where Billy and I had left him.

Imagine my shock when I discovered that attached to the end of the Super Strong cable was the super weak plastic clasp.

Hornless was on the loose.....