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.
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.