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November 2005 Neighbors

November 2005 Neighbors

From a cleft chin to an heirloom punch bowl, families hand down any number of things from one generation to the next. Parents pass down not only their possessions and traditions, but also their values and commitments.

For one Calhoun County woman, this also includes a love of the land and the work ethic it cultivates. This month, Linda Findley invites readers into her country kitchen, which is only a stone’s throw from the kitchen where her mother cooked while her father worked on their dairy and poultry farm in Alexandria.

“I was born and raised on a farm. Daddy bought this place in 1946. I was 5 1/2 years old when we moved here,” said Linda.

And even though she worked a few different jobs when she was young, Linda couldn’t find anything like farming.

“When George and I married, I came back home to the farm. I was a housewife when my children were young, but George and I eventually took over my daddy’s farm,” said Linda. “Daddy still lives on the farm, but he’s 90 years old now. We retired two years ago from the poultry houses, but we have beef cattle still, and we grow hay.”

Linda’s parents passed on more than just a love for their land. She also credits her parents for her involvement in the Alabama Farmers Federation.

“Daddy was president of the Calhoun County Farmers Federation for years. So, we’ve made many years of connections with other members,” she said.

Linda serves as secretary for the Federation’s directors and is active in the women’s committee as well. Her husband is also a director.

George and Linda have four children and 10 grandchildren, ranging from 6 months to 20 years.

“We’re pretty spread out now, but the family has several gatherings throughout the year,” she said. “When we’re all together I love to cook for the family.”

In addition to cooking for her family, Linda says she enjoys cooking for her church and for Federation gatherings. The recipes she shares with us this month are favorites from all these groups.

“Some are old recipes I got from family and friends. Others I changed to taste the way we like them,” she said. “These are the recipes that people ask me for after they taste them.”

And like Linda’s family farm, recipes are a fine tradition to pass on to the next generation.