Have you ever wondered about my name Coedith? My name is Nichole Edith. (Say them together) When Mav and I were dating he started calling me 'coedith, as a pet name that reflected my Okie roots. He took that picture of me in a cotton field where I grew up in the San Joaquin Valley. Okies are the people who came out to California to escape the dustbowl in Oklahoma during the 1930's. The term is also used for those from Arkansas and Texas. They loaded up all they had and headed to Californi-a. Most became migrant farm workers. That's the story of my mother's side of the family. She was actually born in '36 while her parents were hitch hiking to Cal. She was born in Yuma, Arizona. Shortly after her birth they hit the road again. She was born in April and hitch hiking in the desert sun resulted in a sunburn. My grandma said my mother had practically no skin left by the time they got to the San Joaquin Valley. That's my family pictured above while still sharecroppers in Oklahoma. My grandma Lois is the little girl on the right end. Her parents, Frank and Ehthel, stand on the opposite end.
This all has heavy influence on how I wear vintage. I will post on that another time, but for now I thought I would share a bit of my Okieness with you by way of food. Here you have chili beans and cornbread with a couple variations. Nothing fancy- pinto beans, ground beef, el pato, and a little chili powder. Of course the original recipe had bacon grease added. (most things did) Now I must say my mothers childhood consisted mainly of plain beans and fried potatoes. Occasionally there would be meat to go with the beans, beans that have evolved through out the years into the chili beans I cook for my family. I bake the cornbread in muffin tins, but originally it would have been cooked in a cast iron skillet. Traditionally we would have tacos the night before and use the left over meat in the beans.
I have a picture of the meal plated. Cornbread crumbled in with a dallop of mayo on top. My mom was strongly opposed to us eating it this way when we were growing up, although other family members did and once I tried it I had to have it that way too. My parents simply had their beans with saltines and a sliced onion. Okies were poor and had to stretch a meal so if there was leftover corn bread you had it in milk for breakfast. (Buttermilk is best- but not in my opinion.) If you were fortunate enough to have chocolate cake...yep, you put your beans right on top of it. (my mom doesn't approve of that either)