This was in response to a remark I made on the Mullis emal list
asking if the Mullis women were very strong willed.
Yes, I think the Mullis women can be characterized as very strong
with a wide streak of stubborness thrown in, definitely. I also think
they had to be strong in order to raise all the kids they did while
living on a farm. The work they did was phenomenal, when I think
about it. My grandmother Stella also had a temper pertaining to
certain subjects. But she was quick to laugh, too. Her sisters were
the same. Each had a personality that was constantly bubbling just
under the surface of some quite devilish (at times) smiles.
I will also say that every Mullis I have ever known has been an
outstanding cook. I simply don’t know of very many people whose
skills can match theirs. Oh my, but my grandmother could take every
day vegetables and turn them into "gourmet sensations" so
And she could fry chicken that would put to shame anything I could
ever attempt. Oh- and her fried pies were to die for. Not to mention
her pear preserves and homemade biscuits. And she seemed to do her
kitchen miracles so effortlessly. Nothing ever ruffled her, it
seemed, where her work was concerned. I could tell that she took
pride in her cooking skills, as well she should have. But she never
went fishing for compliments (come to think of it, she never had to).
I’ll never forget the Christmas time I went to her house as a little
girl and there sat a batch of homemade divinity candy on waxed paper
on her kitchen counter. It looked like the kind you’d buy today in
some fancy bakery.
My mother learned from her, of course, and I learned what I could
from Mama. But I will never be able to duplicate the kitchen
masterpieces I grew up eating. I use my grandmother’s ancient and
deep cast iron frying pan every day, but my summer squash and onions
don’t come out nearly like my grandmother’s and mother’s did. Isn’t
it funny, the things you end up treasuring in life like this?