Country Kitchen – July Neighbors
Ella Caraway summarizes her move from a small town in Pennsylvania to her husband’s
family farm in Barbour County in two words: very different.
“I had nine brothers and sisters, and my dad was a policeman. I lived in town and could walk most places I wanted to go, and then I married Charles and moved to what a lot of people would call the boondocks,” Ella says.
But when she saw their Alabama land, she jumped into farm life with both feet. Ella is
proud that she and Charles have returned to the farm full time after retiring from other
work to supplement their farm income.
“Farming is not easy, and sometimes the only satisfaction you get is knowing that you did your best,” she says.
The Caraways have previouslygrown row crops, but now focus on their beef cattle and timber operations, and both of them are active in farm organizations. Since 1979, Ella has been a member of Women Involved in Farm Economics (WIFE) and served as an officer at local, state and national levels.
“Through my years in WIFE, I have met many women from across this great nation, visited many states and seen farming operations in all areas,” she said.
Ella also serves as a member of the Barbour County Federation Women’s
Committee, the steering committee for Ag in the Classroom and the Barbour County Farm-City Committee. Her husband is on the board of the Barbour County Farmer’s Federation.
And even though Ella works with several other local organizations, she says, “My family is always my first priority.”
The Caraways have five children, all of whom worked on the farm when they were growing up, and she says they still lend a hand when needed.
“Ours was truly a family farm with everyone sharing in the work and activities that go along with farm life,” she says.
Ella and Charles met in 1955 when he was serving in the military. “He was stationed about eight miles from my home in Pennsylvania. I was one of those girls that loved to
dance, and I met him at a dance. Shortly after his tour of duty, we married and came back to Alabama to
make our home. Fifty-one years later, we still live on the same farm and are able to enjoy the many blessings God has given us. Our family has grown from the two of us to 35,” she says.
Ella says she has many good cooks in her family, and all contribute to the menu for family get-togethers.
“We usually decide on a meat, and then each family brings something to contribute to the meal. Always
lots of great food and good times,” she says.
Ella says rather than being a specialty cook, she enjoys different kinds of recipes from family treasures
to recipes gleaned from her collection of cookbooks.
“When it comes to cooking, I try to make something simple but good. Since July is Pork Month, I
chose some pork recipes our family uses and some side dishes that give any meal that extra flavor,” says Ella.
In addition, this month’s Country Kitchen includes a fun July Fourth recipe for summer gatherings from
TheOtherWhiteMeat.com. It tastes great with corn on the cob, baked beans and potato salad.