Philip Gilbert

Bounty · Fried Chicken · Welcome

Food Consumer

Fried Chicken

I am a suburban eight year old…I see a simple house and grounds with good cheer and an elderly Aunt’s appreciation for our visit.

I have so many good food memories. One that really sticks with me is a scene from rural southeastern Kentucky. As a suburban child my family pulls into my Aunt Ellen’s drive up to her farm. I am surrounded by my three younger sisters and my parents are young and happy. The farm belongs to my dad’s much older sister. Reflecting on this memory, I aspire to Aunt Ellen’s simple grace and happy hospitality.

Food is the foundation of family and community.

Before we could get from the car to the porch, a complete farm-country meal would magically appear on the porch’s supper table. Cornbread and/or biscuits, green beans cooked in some sort of pork, cooked apples, fried chicken, and always a pie or two. All of the dishes and condiments were from their garden and farm. This bounty came from a very frugal and simple lifestyle.

The flavors are all familiar, bountiful and thick.

The soundscape is peaceful with the addition of Ellen’s laughter and sweetness. The compact hillside farm is filled with the smells of farm animals. On the porch the air is full of the smells of cooked apples, cornbread and other seasonal foods. These foods are seasoned with the tastes of pork and fried chicken. Although this little country farm is strange to me, I’m overwhelmed with welcome and generosity. This memory provides me with a model of simple hospitality. I have many memories that are tied to food. 

Food is the foundation of family and community.


Clear Creek Schoolhouse, near Berea, KY, is a diverse homestead, farm, and community arts and organizing center nestled in the Clear Creek Valley near Berea, KY. We’re fortunate to live surrounded by over two hundred acres of deciduous forests, hollers, spring-fed streams, and open bottom-land, where the foothills of the Appalachians rise above the bluegrass. We’re an intergenerational community of about a dozen, ranging in age from 1 year to 70, striving to learn how to live in place with long term integrity.

Philip Gilbert is photographed on his property in Berea, Kentucky on 120mm film. ]

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Bill Gilbert says:

    Exactly! So we’ll stated. Even today I wonder how she did all that. My first taste of country ham was there—a curiosity then but something I now savor on special occasions. And she lived to be 99.
    Thanks for stirring these special memories.

  2. Marilyn Gabriel says:

    Good memories! There was always great food to share.

    1. candidfare says:

      thank you so much for sharing!

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