Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Don Thompson

Yesterday (Sunday, 10/9/05) was another Family Reunion at the Carter Homestead in Quickman. This is a Humble cousin reunion, and my great grandmother -- Mary Elizabeth Humble Wootten -- was the basis of the cousin connection.

This reunion is really a fun event. There's a hay ride around the farm, rides on Honda ATVs, and lots of good food, potluck style. I pondered what dish to take and I had an inspiration based on some fond memories of growing up in Searcy. I remember one cold November day when I was about 9. I rode the bus out to Steprock to spend some time with my mother and stepfather, Boyce Bryant, and his parents. Granny Bryant had just baked some cracklin’ bread and I got a piece of the warm, wonderful smelling, cornbread chock full of crunchy cracklin’s. I remember sitting by a wood burning potbellied stove and munching that bread. Oh my, what a tasty morsel!

So cracklin’ bread it was. I had never made the bread before so the Internet came through again with several recipes. Now, cracklings are the crisp residue left after the roasting of chitlins, which are the small intestines of hogs. Chitlins are usually prepared by boiling until tender. Fortunately I found a package of prepared chitlins at Krogers. I didn't want to bake them in the oven so I treated them like bacon and crisped them in the microwave. Ah, modern conveniences.

Now there is no way to prepare cornbread except with soda and buttermilk IMHO. Here's a pic of the finished results.

The dish really impressed the seniors like Paula and me. The younger set had never heard of cracklin bread and weren't about to experiment when they heard about the ingredients. Their loss, to be sure!

At the reunion, we all wore T-shirts with the family tree emblazoned on the front. Here's a group of us taking one of the hay rides around the farm.

The Carters have a garden there, but most of the 50 acres is leased out to sorghum cane cattle feed farmers. There is a grape arbor which is fairly productive.

Much fun was had by all.

Don & Paula Anne

Tom Pry

Just a couple of quick translations. “IMHO” is webtalk for “In My Humble Opinion.”

So far as chitlin’s go … Don’s spelling it phonetically. You can always tell a yankee ‘cause he or she will pronounce it as it’s properly spelled: “chitterlings.”

“Prepared chitlins at Krogers?!?” Surely, you jest!


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