Eastside Road, June 29, 2015—I FORGOT TO MENTION the other day, when I was thinking about hominy during my childhood, that on a few occasions we actually had fresh hominy. Freshly processed, I mean. In late August 1944, when I turned nine years old, my parents, my kid brother and I took up residence in Welch, Oklahoma, a small town in the northeast corner of the state. It was a bit of a lurch, I suppose, but the previous few years had been so unsettled anything seemed not only possible but fairly certain.
We were there to help out my father's mother, whose second husband had recently been killed in an accident. She lived in a big two-storey clapboard house on the edge of town, with a barn, a milk cow, a dog, a few cats, and neither electricity nor running water. That was our purpose, to wire and plumb the house, as I understand it. Dad worked at a synthetic rubber factory producing Jeep tires; Grandma worked in the local hospital; Mom I guess took care of the household.
Among the most vivid memories of that year is the taste of freshly processed hominy. Corn was sliced off the cob and set to soak in a mixture involving lye. I'm pretty sure the lye was home-made, from wood ash saved from the winter fires; I remember the hominy tasted soapy. Come to think of it the soap was home-made too, also from wood ash, and it burned like crazy. And the laundry, and the "clean" clothes that came from it, had that same wood-ash-lye-soapy-grey-water smell.
We had hominy again tonight, a can of it, and some fresh corn from the freezer, mixed into the onion soffrito and the chorizo (thanks again, Franco), all garnished with chopped cilantro, and it was delicious. Green salad. Fruit.
Rose, La ferme Julien (var), okay.☛Restaurants visited in 2015 are listed at Eatingday's Restaurants