While I call myself a “country” girl, I’m actually a poser. I was raised in South Mississippi near my grandparent’s home and THEY were farmers, but I mostly just reaped the benefits of growing up near these hard-working, industrious folks. Memaw & Papa raised cows and chickens. They farmed watermelon, corn and all manner of vegetables on their land. Back in the day, Papa raised cotton, and my mom never tired of telling me how she and her siblings picked cotton in the boiling summer sun. (Usually she would break out these stories when one of the little Dobbs sisters would whine about folding laundry or making our beds.)
Dig those high waisted jeans! Circa 1982
As a little kid, I remember gathering eggs in Papa’s spooky barn, shucking corn in a circle of cousins, aunts, uncles & grandparents, and I even picked butter beans–ONCE! I managed to avoid that chore for the rest of my natural born life. I say all this to describe my upbringing as a typical child of the 70s despite living in a rural area and being a member of a country community. My days revolved around getting on the school bus in the morning (we were the last stop on a dirt road) spending seven hours in an UN-AIRCONDITIONED school where my mom and all her brothers and sisters had also attended, coming home and having a snack while watching Gilligan’s Island on TV before doing a few measly chores and tackling my homework. Peg & Bill did make their three little hooligans work around the house, but I wouldn’t call it “work” in the real sense.
Daddy trying to get some manual labor outta his eldest slacker.
Mama left a chore list on the dining table every Saturday morning and the first girl up got to pick her jobs. I was always the early riser and quickly picked the easiest tasks before my sleepy-head sisters woke. So in a nutshell, I was a typical pampered kid raised by parents who grew up in the 50s and I count myself very lucky to be from THE LAST GREAT GENERATION IN THE USA! (OK, that last part was over the top, but c’mon guys, you do know what I’m saying?)
So recently, Jim and I were the beneficiaries of an abundant gift from a dear pal. Brenda is a true country girl and she recently loaded us down with fresh milk & butter from her cow Ashey,
32 ears of corn, 4 pounds of okra and 4 huge eggplants. Brenda’s husband Tommy took Jim to the field to reap our bounty so he got to be a country boy for about 30 minutes. When we got home we decided to put up the corn and okra the way my family did when I was growing up. We were clueless of course, but with Brenda’s help and a quick tour of some YouTube videos we were off to the races!
Jim cut and I squished out the rest with the dull edge of a knife. MESSY!
Our labor took several hours, but in the end we had a treasure worth the effort.
My youngest sister, Bob, used to call this “mooshed corn” and the Dobbs girls LOVED it. When I was away at college and Mama would ask what I wanted for dinner when I came home for a visit, I would always say mooshed corn, field peas and fried chicken. She always made it for me. Thanks Peg Peg!
After we finished the corn, we tackled the okra. This was MUCH easier and we had four bags completed and in the freezer in no time.
Blanched and ready to bag.
So now at the ripe old age of 53, I’ve finally earned a few points as a country girl and Jim and I are happy to have taken our first few steps into membership in the “Country Club”. Don’t laugh! This was a big step for us and we hope to be doing more of it in the future. So you know who to call if you have an overflow of farm vittles. Bring it!