"Basically it was great country cooking. Grandmother (Ruth) learned to cook from her mother-in-law who was a great cook and had a little restaurant in Belhaven years ago called the Dew Drop Inn. They used a lot of what was available to them at the time. There was always good country sausage for breakfast. Links and loose patties, bacon, grits, fried fish were sometimes served for breakfast. Just plain scrambled eggs or fried eggs. Biscuits with jelly.
In season there were always many vegetables on the table at "dinner time" which was the noon meal back then. Later we had supper and that was usually leftovers from dinner. She would start usually before 9:00 a.m. making dinner. Ham or ham hocks were the stock that most green were cooked in which includes collard greens, kale, cabbage, and green beans (Kentucky Wonders) were the green bean of choice for every body down there, also black eyed peas. All cooked with ham, country ham, ham hocks, or salt pork of some kind. They were all cooked until very tender. Greens usually had potatoes added towards the end of the cooking time and white corn meal dumplings.
Fish were caught locally and someone usually brought her 'a mess of fish' to cook. They were rolled in a cornmeal base coating and then fried. Don't ever remember having other than fried. Rockfish was the favorite fish to eat. Delicious! In the fall somebody would always bring her a wild goose that they had shot. She would cook it in the most delicious way with an orange stuffed inside that gave it such a wonderful flavor and took some of the gamey taste out. Okra were always served in season. Some time sliced and sometime fried whole but always fried in the corn meal base coating. The figs were picked from her fig tree when ripe and put into a very large pot with sugar and lemon and simmered for hours on the stove. They smelled so very good."
Linda Lee Shavender Sluck, 2012