Murdock has the strong sense of family that seems harder to find as time
goes by. From her grandmother to her grandchildren, Beverly said her
plans always seem to involve some segment of her family and meal times
are no exception.
cooked dinner every night when my children were still at home, but we
sort of take turns now. I’ll cook one night, my mother will cook the
next, and so on, but we usually have several people gathered around
somebody’s table," she said.
lifelong resident of the Henagar community, Beverly learned to cook from
the women in her family.
grew up watching and helping my mother and grandmothers, and I started
cooking at a young age. The first thing I learned to cook was cornbread,
then I made green beans and deviled eggs. I remember thinking I was
doing something when I could cook three things by myself," she
Beverly, it seemed like people used to have cornbread at every meal, and
cornbread at her grandmother Burton’s house was a special treat.
used to give us white Karo syrup over hot buttered cornbread, and it was
wonderful. I never heard of anybody else eating it that way. She could
fix anything," Beverly said.
surviving Grandmother Smith still makes delicious food from scratch.
makes tea cakes by hand, mixing the ingredients with her fingers like
people do biscuits. And she can have a homemade pie crust ready before I
can sit down to watch how she does it," she said.
husband, Danny, works at Dekalb Farmers Co-op store in Rainsville and
they raise cattle near their home in Henagar, where their family is
never far away.
son, Chad, has two children and our daughter, Holly, has three, and they
all live in Henagar. We also live across the road from my mother, Novie
Burton. We plant our garden with Mama, and we have a good time in the
evenings and on the weekends working in the garden and talking while we
put up what we’ve grown," Beverly said.
and Danny have also gained a fresh perspective on the joys of farm life
through the eyes of their grandchildren.
like to ride the 4-wheelers out across the pasture to check the cows.
Not long ago they pulled up to the barn at Mama’s and were throwing
handfuls of feed to the cows just over the fence. The cows kept pushing
each other so close to the fence we were afraid they’d all get
out," Beverly laughed like any grandmother would.
said she cooks a big meal at her house on Sundays, when she usually has
her children and their families visiting.
in our family likes home cooking, vegetables out of the garden and roast
or chicken, so that’s mostly what I cook," said Beverly.
the recipes she passes along reflect that kind of family table feeling,
calling for ingredients common to most pantries.
Henderson is a freelance writer from Troy.