My Mama went to heaven in 2008... I still have conversations with her in my head, I catch myself picking up the phone to call and tell her something, I miss our talks, our shopping trips, our giggling and silliness. My Mama was my best friend and I won't ever stop missing her... so I talk to her through this blog... hey it helps me!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Corn and Green Beans and other summer Veggies

Dear Mama,

Stopped by the produce stand on my way home from the grocery store this morning... bought some green beans and field corn, among other things. We like a good, down home, vegetable dinner sometimes.

I sat this afternoon, watching the tear-jerker movie Carolina, and strung and broke beans, put them on to cook with some whole tiny red potatoes, an onion, and a little butter and salt... out of bacon or I would have used good ol' bacon grease.

Cut off the corn for "fried corn" to have with my beans and maybe I'll cook a mess of okr-y with it all.

Memories flooded as I broke beans and watched Shirley McLane as "Grandma Mirabou" on TV... a one-of-a-kind family, the Mirabous... just like we were always a one-of-a-kind family... not the same, but with similarities...

I remembered as a little girl, before the days of air conditioning, sitting in the shade of the apple tree in Nanny Sensing's back yard, many of us together helping out, many hands make light work... stringing and breaking green beans for canning. It was too hot in the house with Nanny's old pressure canner going with the first "run" of beans processing while we sat in the relative cool shade of that old apple tree stringing and breaking, and talking and laughing, making the tedious work so much more pleasant with the socializing...

Some years later, as a young married woman with little ones playing underfoot, you and I, and sometimes Linda and Marcia, would do the same thing at your dining room table with the fan going full blast, or sometimes in the back yard under the black walnut tree for shade... those were wonderful memories, the hard work, the aching back and feet, but in the end... 100+ quart jars of green beans canned for the winter... sometimes it was tomatoes we canned, sometimes peaches, pickles, jellies, soup... sometimes corn or okra or squash for the freezer... but it was always more fun doing it together and the hard work flew by as we talked and laughed and gossiped.

Remember the time you sent Beth into the kitchen for something while we were stringing and breaking and she found a black snake stretched out in the kitchen floor?

When I cut off my three ears of corn this afternoon to make a small "mess" of corn for just Hugh and me to have for dinner, my mind went back to when I was about 9 or 10 years old, watching Nanny Sensing cut off bushels and bushels of field corn to put in the freezer for winter... we teased her a lot about the fact that she ended up with more corn on her than in the plastic freezer containers or freezer bags she put the corn into... She would have corn all down the front of her flowered apron, all over the wall above the sink, and covering her glasses so thickly it was amazing she could see to cut... but when she thawed that corn and made fried creamed corn in the winter, it was worth the mess and hard work... us kids were in charge of carrying the corn shucks and cobs to the pig pen and throw them in to the hogs...

Which brings another amusing memory to mind... the time the hogs got out and Papaw and Daddy were both at work so you and Nanny had to chase them down and pen them back up... a funny sight to a seven year old... Nanny in her cotton house dress and you in your polyester pantsuit, sticks in hand, chasing hogs all over the neighborhood and finally VICTORY!!! getting them back into their pen and fixing the exit hole as best you could till Papaw and Daddy got home to fix it more thoroughly...

Hard work and laughter... those were truly the good ol' days!

I miss you Mama!

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