So, briefly (if you call this brief) I was talking to a dear friend on the phone about food The food of the South is distinctly different than the North or midwest. I described Daddy's cooking as he is the one who reared me and my two brothers. He always made a big Sunday dinner for us for all the years we lived there at home with him. There would be (of course Southern) fried chicken, pan made gravy, biscuits, his excellent salad, home cooked and snapped by him green beans, potatoes that were buttered and in quarters...not mashed. A cake made with cake flour and home made icing. I learned at his knee and after reaching my early teens I took that over mostly.
There is something Daddy had at all times when he cooked. He used it as a tester, a food turner, a tenderness indicator and as a whisk. When he was finished with all those functions and after putting the meal on the table, it was his personal fork. Here it is. Aluminum tines, a wooden handle and two brads of aluminum to hold it all together. Oh this is an old old fork. Daddy had it when he and mother were married back in The War Between the States times. When he passed away (Oh, my friends, I still miss him terribly and it has been many years) I took this fork that was so sweet a reminder of him to me from my childhood home. I wanted to use it myself I missed him so terribly but I never did. It is still darkly stained if you will, by a VERY very VERY long time of use. I would never do anything to remove that old old dark "patina" nor refurbish this fork in any way, The only thing that he didn't do is bend the tines. That is my fault through the years.
I had told my friend how a Southerner cooks fried apples. They are not dessert-like in the least. I see Daddy standing at the gas stove, after putting the cut-up green apples into the cast iron frying pan with some lard in there all melted, and shaking a few teaspoons of table sugar onto them while "stirring" them about with that fork. Then, turning them with a spatula. The whole cooking period was only 10-13 minutes or so. They went with certain meats we had, usually pork chops or ham. Green peas as well. I will close this. Sorry. I saw and remembered the fork and I had to tell just that part of daddy's story.