This picture – which now hangs in my kitchen – hung in my grandmother’s kitchen from my very first remembrance. This, along with the food she cooked, are ingrained in my mind. When I dream of my grandmother’s house, this picture is in my dreams.
Grandmother was a superb cook – her baked chicken and dressing – even though it’s been over forty years since I’ve tasted it – was so exceptional I can still remember it, taste it. The perfectly browned, almost crunchy outside, and the soft, delectable, moist inside that melted in your mouth. She put raisins in her dressing, which gave it an added sweetness and surprise. And so I, too, put raisins in my dressing! The chicken baked in the oven in an iron skillet, with the dressing nestled snugly beside it. I have tried and tried to recreate this recipe – I come close, but never to my grandmother’s perfection.
This picture, for which I am so grateful, is a constant reminder of my grandmother, Mary Alice Montgomery Carrico. She, herself, wasn’t as interested in genealogy – she was passionate about cooking – but her mother, Frances Barber Linton Montgomery was as passionate about genealogy as I. For both genes I am thankful!
Grandmother bought this picture from a cousin for $5.00. It had been handed down in the Carrico family for years, although no one knows for sure how it came to be in the family. My mom says there was a German newspaper between the picture and backing. The picture is not painted, but engraved.
As you can tell, the picture was damaged before it came to me. But that just makes it more interesting. I consider it a war wound rather than a blemish. I consider it a good omen to be able to see the picture as I cook my meals, much as my grandmother did in her days.
This is the only photo I could find that shows the picture in my grandmother’s kitchen. At the table from left to right, my dad, my Uncle Paul (my mother’s brother), my Uncle Cleo (married to my mother’s sister Ann) and my cousin Larry (Uncle Paul’s son – who is my age!).