Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Scratch Dinner



Panhandle Pioneer Settlement, Blountstown, FL

This evening we had a rare treat. "Miss Francis", a local lady who does a lot for the settlement prepared a scratch dinner on a wood stove. This was done for two photo journalists doing a magazine piece on colonial homemaking.

Francis is an excellent cook and she used the kitchen in the Yon Farm House. (See ppsmuseum.org for pictures and find the Yon House at the "Attractions" tab.) She prepared the dinner for fifteen on a wood-burning stove from scratch, except for the chicken. She commented that she didn't have any live chickens and slaughtering, bleeding, and plucking several live chickens to feed fifteen would be a bit over the top for this event. She assured us, however, that she has prepared chicken from scratch many times.

The aroma of the dinner cooking floated over the settlement for most of the afternoon. I could imagine in days gone bye fathers, sons, and farm hands working in the fields with those smells coming from the kitchen. When the dinner bell rang -- look out!!!

Our dinner menu was: fried chicken, okra, rice w/chicken gravy, sweet potatoes, farmer's peas, and buttermilk biscuits. Beverage was tea (sweet or unsweet). Dessert was a delicious pear cobbler. The only concessions to modernity was ice and the store bought chickens.

Dinner was served on the large wraparound porch of the Yon Farm House with the dishes, glassware, and silverware from the house. The weather was kind to us -- a warm, pleasant evening with a light breeze. We all went home well fed and comfortable with another experience to add to our travel memories.