Southern Railroad Caboose

My grandfather was a retired railway cook for the Southern Railroad back when trains still had cabooses. My “Grandpa,” Herschel Legg, was always cooking grand meals even though it was just the two of us. This was the 1970’s in the rural Southern Illinois town of Sims. It’s where my passion for cooking starting and holds some of my fondest memories. My grandfather cooked on an old gas stove. Inside the oven compartment was a beautiful assortment of shining black cast iron pans, some of which I still have 30 years later. There was no pilot light and always a box of strike anywhere stick matches nearby laying near a can of Prince Albert and some rolling papers. Breakfast seemed to be the magical time. I would wake to the smells of frying bacon and the sounds of a morning radio show crackling from an old AM radio.

Upon slowly slipping from my warm bed, I was welcomed by the prior night’s chill and a small gas stove sputtering various colored flames as I walked past it into the kitchen. The additional heat from the oven was welcoming along with the coffee percolating over an open flame. There was a large bowl of warm, soapy water fresh off the stove for a quick wash of my face and hands. Grandpa would say “Good Morning,” ask how I slept then turn back to the stove. We would have homemade biscuits, gravy, and fresh sunny side up eggs with slightly crisped edges, bacon, sausage and thick sliced ham. The table overflowing with side dishes of sliced peaches, real grape jelly, a thick slice of glistening honeycomb, sweet softened butter, sugar, and always a can of Milnot for our coffee. Memories I can never forget, even the smells are forever a part of me.

The simple thought of eating causes our brains to react unlike any other stimuli . It alters our mood, releases chemicals such as endorphins into our blood stream, and impacts our entire body. Therefore, I specialize in writing in a way that causes your reader to experience these same reactions while placing your product, recipe, or idea in their mind can make you their first thought for the rest of their lives. That’s my goal is to write copy that earns you lifetime loyal customers, not one time buyers

Tim Hargraves