Whitesburg KY

Cooking the old-fashioned way

Once again my mind wanders back to a time of long ago. A time when there was honesty and honor in these beautiful God-made hills of home.

But in this day and age it is hard to find either. In days gone by a man’s word was his bond.

One evening this past week about dark, I smelled the distinct odor of a coal fire. Since it wasn’t cold and a fire wasn’t needed for warmth, I figured someone was preparing the evening meal the old-time way, on a coal and wood stove.

Some folks still prepare meals in this manner, but they usually fire up the old coal and wood stove early in the morning and by the time the fire dies down they have prepared all three meals for that day. In this way they only build one fire a day and it doesn’t get the house too hot.

Some cook in this manner because they live on a fixed income and simply can’t afford a higher electric bill, but some do it simply because they like the oldfashioned way, and the food tastes better.

It’s hard to beat a pot of Life Savers (soup beans) cooked slowly over a low fire on a coal and wood stove, whether a heater or cook stove, with a chunk of sowbelly floating in it with a dollop of lard added and cooked in a cast iron kettle.

Back in the good old days one could go out on the porch in the morning and smell first the odor of a coal fire, followed by the smell of coffee perking and the bacon frying.

But the smell of a fine country cooking has all but vanished. Everything just tasted better fixed on the old coal and wood stove, but we are now told that we shouldn’t eat such fine table fare as this is bad for our health.


I knew an old man who had drank one beer a day for many years. Folks kept insisting it would kill him, and it finally did, but it took 102 years to do it.

That’s all from the funny farm until next time.

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