Maternal Kin, North Carolina, Oral History

Possums and sweet potatoes.

My grandmother:  His mother used to cook possum. 

Me:  Used to cook possum?

My grandmother:  Oh, possum, honey.  They would cook those dern things.

Me:  Well, possum stew.  I guess I have heard of that.

My grandmother:  Naw.  They didn’t have no possum stew.  They’d bake this thing.

Me:  Awwww!

My grandmother:  And, look, wait a minute.  You know they’ve got big mouths.  Long mouths.  A possum.  And he’d put a sweet potato in the possum’s mouth.  [I laugh, hard.]  I don’t remember cooking one, but my grandmother sure used to cook ‘em.  And Papa cooked ‘em.  But I refused to cook ‘em.  Not me.  And you know these people when I came here ate muskrats?!


It was Harriet Nicholson Hart who fixed such special dishes for her favorite son.

Interview of Margaret C. Allen by Lisa Y. Henderson; all rights reserved.


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