Three Sisters Essentials

Three Sisters Essentials logo

If you want to understand where we came from, you have to know Horace and Cindy Prater. 

They’re our heroes, spanking-giving, adventurous, road-tripping, lake-loving, get-together for a Sunday meal, parents.

Our daddy raised us to be independent women (Some might say to a fault. Go ask Dearal, my husband).

He taught us how to change the oil in our cars, plant a garden, and change a PVC house fitting under the sink. 

From him, we learned to make the best pan of biscuits to go with fried pork chops and flat-fried potatoes you ever had. He also had me carrying bundles of shingles up a ladder with him when he was fixing the roof. 

And he’d send me off looking for a “left-handed” hammer on Saturdays when he wanted to get rid of me while he tried to fix something. 

Momma, on the other hand, always had a soft heart and voice that tried to stop some of the spankings that we truly deserved. She would always say, “Horace, is that really necessary?” in the sweetest voice, making Daddy think twice for just a second or two. 

They were the best team even when we were the worst children.

We always sat around the table and had supper, like it or not. During the summer, those suppers usually had something from his garden, our Papa or Granny’s garden, or some veggies left over from the canning process that happened over the weekend. 

There were always veggies…. always. Butter beans with slimy okra, vinegar, and chow-chow. Oh yeah, tomatoes, too, and cucumbers. Even cucumbers in vinegar. And collards for days.

New Year’s Day, you better bet we headed to Papa and Granny’s on the Mill Hill for the staple of black-eyed peas, collards, hog jowl, rice, and chow chow. Granny wouldn’t let me in the door first, though. On New Year’s Day, the first person had to be a male and I didn’t mind. I had the best Daddy, so who cared?

When it came to cooking, Daddy always said, “You ain’t gonna learn if you don’t do it” and he was right. Practice really does make a difference.  

He learned from his Momma and he passed it on. He never used a recipe. You just had to try it while you were cooking and add what you thought best. That was the learning process. 

It was a wild ride with three girls but they did it and are still doing it, now with six grandkids. We’re doing it, too, right here at Three Sisters Essentials. 

We might make mistakes but that’s the learning process. Who’s perfect?