Here's another tale from when I was a young girl c.1939
When a little girl's Mama has to work everyday it's a lonesome feel. I can't ever remember when my Mama didn't work, not 'til she was past quitting age and then she still didn't stop. She kept busy puttering around the house. I missed my Mama but I grew up in a household of loving adults so that was second best.
This story isn't about Mama. It's about an aunt who took care of me while Mama was in town working. Aunt Annie had never married. She'd always been busy taking care of somebody. One of those 'somebodys' was me.
Aunt Annie was short - and dumpy - soft and squishy. Her blue eyes twinkled and she was seldom gruff. Most of the time she had an apron tied around her ample middle, the bib of the apron often pinned to her dress with safety pins. When I wasn't with my Pa, he was sick and in bed alot and needed me to watch over him, I'd follow her around the house while she did her chores.
There wasn't much foolishness in that household. There was too much work to do. It was a time before people had all these fancy gadgets so they swept and scrubbed and washed our clothes out in a washtub in the yard.
Aunt Annie was a good cook. She did almost all of the cooking for us and I remember her sometimes asking me what I'd like to eat and I'd tell her 'tenderloin'. We had a big old cast iron cook stove that had round holes in the top that was covered over with a round of cast iron. This was the 'eye' or as we say today 'burner'. I think that hole was where they chucked the pieces of wood in to keep the fire going under whatever they were cooking.
Anyway, she'd take a cloth and scrub the top of that stove until it was clean and shiny. She'd build a fire under the 'eye' and when it got hot enough, she'd throw on a piece of tenderloin, right on the top of that iron stove. It would cook until it browned then she'd flip it over and brown the other side. When it was done and cooled she'd let me eat it.
While that meat was cooking, my mouth watered, my tummy growled but when I took that first bite, well, there's nothing any better. I've eaten in a lot of fancy restaurants in my day but nothing has ever tasted as good as that fresh cooked, right on the stove top, tenderloin. I wish I had some right now.
(the photograph of the stove is not the one Aunt Annie had. I got it off the internet cause it resembled it some.)