We have all met or known somebody in our lifetime that we’ve considered to be “one of the greats”. I am lucky enough to be related to one. My great grandmother Louise Edwards whom we lovingly called Memaw.
Born in Arkansas to the Lovell family, Memaw grew to be a woman short in stature with a big personality, and with an even bigger heart. She was a wife to her husband Charles, as well as teacher and a mother to her 4 children and countless students. She was our family’s steadfast matriarch for many fulfilling years.
When she passed away I was in the middle of a busy semester at college. My now husband and I dropped everything to be present for her service and burial. She had left a few precious things behind that I had the privilege to inherit. One of these things was the front of a quilt that she had made before she lost her eyesight. I had the intention of finishing it and had started to do so, but the amount of space it takes to properly work on a quilt was not conducive to my small college living space at the time. So the quilt finishing fell by the wayside.
Some years and a proposal later, I found myself back in Arkansas busy with wedding preparations. My family had surprised me with a bridal shower, and there it was… the finished quilt… wrapped up with a bow. My grandmother brought it home with her and spearheaded the undertaking of having my entire family put in the finishing stitches, including great grandfather Charles Edwards. This was and still is one of my most coveted belongings.
One of the other things I cherish and remember most about Memaw is that she was always in the kitchen. From morning, noon, to night if you were in her home, she was your personal cook to order chef. She made sure everyone that set foot in her home was fed and happy. I think I inherited from her, my innate obsession to make sure everyone that comes to my home is full and comfortable.
When Memaw passed away, I asked my grandmother for some of her written recipes. She returned to me on one of her visits to Missouri with a big photocopied book of recipes all written in Memaw’s handwriting. The ones she made that were especially liked have the words, “Real Good” scribbled at the top for special emphasis. Sometimes I flip through the pages and read them as though she is talking me through how to make her delicious southern style food.
Part of why I am writing in this blog is to share my cooking experiences and recipes, and a lot of what I know of cooking came directly or was passed down from this wonderful woman. The first of her recipes I have shared with you has actually never been written down. It was passed down by experience from Grandma Lovell, to Memaw, to my grandmother, to my mother, and then to me. The first family recipe I have shared with you is Memaw’s Sausage Gravy. You can access it by clicking on the recipe button below.
It was not an easy task writing this recipe down, as most of the measurements and cooking techniques are by eye and by feel. Even with guidance it took me awhile to get it the way Memaw would make it. So if you do attempt it, be patient with yourself, and make sure you try again if it doesn’t turn out the first time. A side note for this recipe… You can make it with bacon grease just the same as you would with sausage grease.
Please feel free to comment on your experience if you do try this recipe. I would love to hear about the successes and troubleshoot any failures with you all. I have many more family recipes to share with all of you, so stay tuned!
Until next time…
The Ag Wife