Every generation of family has a home or a farm, a cabin, an apartment where you can find its center. This is the place where traditions are established and holidays celebrated, where we gathered for wakes, where grandchildren learned to ride bikes and where we grew up and grew older together. Think about it, you definitely have a place that reminds you most of your childhood. Sometimes, the same home is shared for more than one generation, and in the case of Josh’s family, that was Buford Talley’s farm.
Buford Talley was born in 1900 and lived his entire life up to 1995 as a farmer in Whitfield County, Georgia. Raising some pigs, chickens, occasionally cattle and oddly, pet owls. Pawpaw Talley focused on corn and sorghum, watermelons, cantaloupe and pumpkins for resale to provide for his family. A large vegetable garden stretched for about 2 1/2 acres beside his home. For a short time when times were tighter, Talley opened a service station in Dalton, Georgia where members of the family worked mid-day hours while still maintaining the farm by morning and night.
When Josh was a child, spending summers in Georgia, Talley was well into his 80’s but still farming his 50 acres and making and selling sorghum syrup from a roadside mill that he built. Talley’s oldest daughter, Violet, and her husband Charles had built a home along one edge of the farm and operated a plumbing and electrical business from a workshop there on the property.
Mimi and Nandy’s home, as Josh called them, served as the meeting place for family dinners, Christmas gift exchanges, birthday parties and was ground zero for long summer days exploring, building makeshift forts and learning about the farm.
Although Talley passed away 20 years ago, the food that he grew and the style of eating that he loved and shared has lived on in our family and is now shared. Meat and Three simply refers to the protein and 3-sides (and always bread) that dominated suppers in Georgia. Many of these recipes are pulled directly from Mimi's recipe book. She always served large portions and had plenty for visitors, making it a great fit for serving our friends and family in Richmond.
We hope these dishes bring back memories for you like they do so strongly for us.
Josh, Jessica, & family