Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Recipes from Home

Everyone has a place they call Home. You may be living there now, you may have once lived there, and for a very few, Home may be somewhere you have never been yet but your heart is there and so you know that it will be Home once you arrive.

My Home is Tipton, Indiana. My mother spent her entire childhood (save very few years where she was born) there and my maternal grandparents and great grandparents lived in Tipton for most of their adult lives. When Grandma passed away in October, her body was flown Home to Tipton to be interred next to my Grandfather.

I spent every summer between my grandparents and my father, who lived, and still lives, in Michigan. We lived in Frankfort when I was a toddler and my father worked at the college. We attended Foster family reunions in Lafayette.

My grandparents were deeply entrenched in the community in Tipton, Grandpa being the Superintendent of the Wastewater Treatment facility there and grandma teaching piano lessons for 35 years out of their home on Poplar St.

They were beyond involved at their church, Ash St. Wesleyan, grandpa teaching Sunday School and grandma playing the organ, teaching the youth church and doing the accounting for the church for many years.

I remember going to Frankfurt in the dead heat of summer to Camp Meeting at the college with my brothers and swinging on the swings just outside the pavilion where the meeting was held, swinging in the light that spilled out from inside and humming along to the hymns that we knew so well.

I remember trips to Kokomo to shop at the mall, the closest to Tipton, and to eat at the Smorgasbord there. I can never recall the name but for some reason there was a large real stuffed bear in one corner of the dining room. There were visits to South Bend to visit grandpa's brother, Hershel and his wife and one of Grandma's closest friends, Aunt Dorothy. I still have family, from both sides, in South Bend.

I remember days and days spent at the Tipton City Park for church picnics, swimming at the city pool almost daily, hours spent in the cool air conditioning of the local
library, visits to the Five and Dime to spend our allowances, and dinners at The Pizza Shack By The Tracks which was once known just as The Pizza Shack until they moved. Breakfast at Jim Dandy, and the best fish in the world at Catfish Bob's.

I remember going to Atlanta for the best ice cream ever 
and a glimpse of one of the last one-street towns in America, and lunch at a fancy restaurant in Cicero by the reservoir that looked so much more like a pretty lake than a yucky word like "reservoir".

I recall going to The Polar Bear or The South Pole for "frozen custard" after Wednesday meeting. I recall the times we rode in the back of grandpas bright red Ford work truck with the big city seal on the side~back when you could ride in the back of a pickup without getting pulled over.

I remember the summer my oldest brother spent de-tasseling corn; how he would come home dead tired and sweaty, his hands red and raw, and the fact that he made over $300 that summer, the most any of we kids had ever made.

Mostly I remember what Indiana smells like when you cross the Eastern border from Ohio and cut up onto 27 to head towards Tipton...the sweet wonderful smell of corn fields-as far as the eye can see-and the not-so-pleasant smell of hog manure. But hey, it's still Home.

Now that I've rambled, I have several cookbooks from Indiana that are so precious to me, the most important being the fund-raising cookbook put together by Ash Street Wesleyan Church in Tipton. The other important one is a very old cookbook last printed in 1959 and so care-worn I can hardly open it without another piece falling off.

My family contributed many many recipes to those books and I will type them all up and share them with you.

I also have 3 other cookbooks specifically from Indiana~one is from the Indiana South District of the Wesleyan Church, one is from WWKI~in short, a radio station that raises money annually for the poor, and the other is a wonderful herb recipe book from The Brown County Herb Society. I'll pick and choose some recipes from those also.


KFarmer said...

loved your going home story- put in into a mind of my own. Only a few more years to go and maybe I will get there. I almost have the husband where I want him.

I cant wait to see the recipes too-epecially the herb one. I am so stupid when it comes to herbs- I am trying though and even planted an herb garden last spring. This year, I plan on it being even bigger.

Anne Coleman said...

K! Where is Home to you?

Mamacita (The REAL one) said...

I collect homespun cookbooks of local clubs, churches, etc. I think I have every denomination and every school and every social club and every hospital, etc, in southern Indiana. Any requests? My kitchen bookshelf is overflowing with good cookbooks. And a few clunkers.