Published on Sunday, December 1, 2013
When you come from a farm family of 12 aunts and uncles and 30 first cousins (that’s just my Dad’s side), there are bound to be a lot of family gatherings. Whether it was Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter or even just a Sunday after church, some of my earliest memories revolve around the kitchen on my grandma and grandpa’s dairy farm. It was there that I learned to play euchre, scrabble (my grandma was a pro), and how to make some of my all-time favorite foods.
I’m not sure about your family, but in mine, food was always a standard part of our get-togethers. From fried chicken, to meatloaf, to casseroles, breads, cakes, pies, (I could go on forever) we made it all. But as I’ve grown up, I realize that it was more than the food that made those times special…it was the memories.
Before I get too much further, let me introduce myself. My name is Chelsea Nord and I am a marketing associate at Beck’s Hybrids. I grew up in rural southern Indiana and have been around farming my whole life. While my parents don’t directly farm, I spent a large part of my childhood over at my grandparents’ dairy farm. And it was there that my love for agriculture, and food, was born.
As a segment of our Beck’s blog, I will be writing about family and farming. On my grandparents’ farm, as well as here at Beck’s, it takes the whole family for things to run smoothly. And I’m not just talking about helping out in the fields. On our farm, it was anything from milking cows, working ground, helping with homework, laundry, or in my opinion, one of the most important jobs, cooking.
That may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of family and farming, but food, and more specifically where that food is prepared, the kitchen, is a very important place on a family farm. It’s where we gather as a family, talk about things that are going on in our lives, and it’s where some of the most valuable lessons are learned.
The Whole World Needs A Kitchen
Country artist, Craig Morgan, gives the perfect example of this in his song, “The Whole World Needs A Kitchen.” The song talks about even though we live in a fast-paced world and it’s harder to take time to gather as a family, the whole world needs a kitchen like the one he lived in. And as you listen to the song, that kitchen is like the one on family farms all across America. One where you not only get the “smell of supper cooking on the stove”, but also “food for the soul, and a taste of Mama’s wisdom” along with being the center for homework, haircuts, and hugs and kisses before bed.
Take a listen for yourself and you’ll see what I mean:
The first time I heard this song, it literally stopped me in my tracks. And I’m not afraid to admit, it even brought a tear to my eye. It painted the exact picture of my childhood and all of those memories that I cherished so much.
And during our busy everyday lives, it’s those moments and lessons we learned around the kitchen table that we sometimes forget. So I invite you to join me as I share recipes, stories from growing up on our family farm, and those “kitchen table” values that are instilled in so many rural families across America.
From Glendia’s Kitchen
To kick off this series, I wanted to share a recipe from the kitchen of a very special and important woman at Beck’s Hybrids, Sonny’s wife, Glendia Beck. Learning from her mother and grandmother, Glendia has been cooking her whole life. One of her earliest memories in the kitchen was as a little girl when her great grandmother would let her step up on a stool, sprinkle the pepper, and stir the gravy.
Growing up with gardens and being a 10-year 4-H member, she has always enjoyed cooking. After marrying Sonny, Glendia began working full-time at Beck’s typing up test plots, doing mailings, and whatever else needed to be done, including fixing lunches for the small staff in the office kitchen.
In fact, she and Sonny’s mom, Pauline, along with family and friends, would spend several days preparing food for the first field days and “Ham and Bean Supper” meetings. And if Glendia’s cooking came up in conversation, it almost never went without mentioning her famous cookies.
With Thanksgiving last week, Glendia thought it would be perfect to share one of her Thanksgiving recipes, persimmon pudding. It was always the tradition to make persimmon pudding at Thanksgiving as Glendia was growing up and she still continues to make it for her family each year.
Anymore, persimmon isn’t always a common ingredient, but if you’ve never had it, in my opinion, it is similar to pumpkin – at least in this recipe – which makes it perfect for Thanksgiving. It’s not like chocolate pudding, it’s more of a cake-y or bar consistency. And Glendia serves it with whipped cream which is the perfect touch to make this a light, yet sweet treat.
I had never made it before, but we had it growing up so I was excited to try making it myself! It is a very easy recipe and was very good so I encourage you to try it! Even though Thanksgiving may be past, this would be a perfect treat for any family gathering!
As Jerry Steadham mentions in the Beck’s history book, Glendia has never stopped taking care of the Beck’s Hybrids family. No matter if you’re a long-time veteran or a first-year newbie, Glendia is so welcoming and treats you as part of the family.
Even when we met to talk about this recipe, I didn’t have one of the ingredients on hand and Glendia was sweet enough to go to her own freezer and give me the amount I needed. I don’t know many companies where the wife of the owner would do that for you. But that’s just how she is, she’d do that for anyone around here.
It’s something as simple as sharing ingredients that remind me of the value of family and friendship.
Author: Chelsea O'Brien
Categories: Family and Farming
Tags: Beck's Hybrids Blog, agriculture, farming, family farms, Beck's Hybrids, farm families, Glendia Beck, Nord farm, 4-H, Craig Morgan, The Whole World Needs A Kitchen, cooking, cooking on the farm, recipes, recipe blog, dairy farm, Chelsea Nord, family and farming
Beck's Hybrids marketing associate, social media specialist, southern Indiana native and advocate of agriculture.
12/3/2013 11:46 AM
Great article Chelsea ! Our daughter works for Becks and loves the family values. It is so refreshing to see a company that cares !!!!
4/8/2014 12:14 PM
Thank you Shirley! Glad you enjoyed the article!