Wednesday, July 1, 2009

FOOD FOR THE WINTER

If you have read any of my posts about my favorite things, you already know that my favorite food is vegetables from the garden. I absolutely LOVE any of them....peas, green beans, corn, squash, okra, and tomatoes.....add a slice of onion with the meal, some cucumbers in vinegar, and make some hot cornbread and I am in heaven! Being a girl who was raised on a farm, I have so many wonderful memories and thought it was exciting on the days my mother and aunts would spend time under a tree shelling peas, snapping beans, and cutting off corn. I didn't realize then how much work it was....I just saw how they laughed and talked as they worked. As I got older I found out that it was work---but work that I truly enjoyed. When I married there wasn't any question about gardening....it was something that was a part of me. So each year we have had a large garden (usually with my brother-in-law). Those days of harvesting our "crops" would be times that I would pull out the pans for shelling and my mother-in-law and I would do our canning together. It would be those times where she shared knowledge with me that I will treasure forever.
As the years have passed, I no longer have my mother, aunts, or mother-in-law to share these days of shelling, etc. It's during these days that my mind goes back, and I remember the things they taught me.....maybe not in words....but in observation. There's a song that we used to sing many years ago in church "Count Your Blessings". It's on these days that I am counting my blessings for having these people in my life. People who HAD to work hard but I NEVER heard complain. People who had few material things but were rich in the things that mattered. People who taught me that it is important to sit with family and work....to slow down and enjoy life at home.

I worked at school with my daughter, Amy, last night helping her hang curtains in her new classroom. When I got home my husband had picked a bucket of peas (our first this year). He had even shelled this big bowl himself. I was thrilled....I'm counting my blessings for him today!


11 comments:

Darlene said...

I have never been around any kind of gardening and I think it would be so neat to shell peas and snap beans. Hard work that leads to a wonderful meal. That is a huge bowl that your hubby shelled! YUM!!

City Girl Country Heart said...

I have never seen these before! Learn something new everyday !! My peas and beans are just now starting to come up. I am going to try and can most everything I can get ahold of this year!
~Stephanie~

April said...

My granny and grandpa lived on a farm in northern Arkansas and they had a huge vegetable garden. They worked in it from sun up to sundown, but the rewards of their labor was well worth it. There's nothing better then vegetables straight out of the garden!

Vickie said...

Sue, I grew up just like you did. What knowledge I have today about gardening, quilting, sewing, cooking, canning, know-how and much of LIFE is because of those hours spent with the women in my family, my mom, my grandmothers, my aunts. I will treasure them always and I still think about all that when I'm shelling peas or cutting the corn. I have a big grocery sack full of purple hulls sitting on my kitchen cabinet right now. The first batch! Yum! Good post, Sue.

Lorrie said...

Sue, this is a great post, not only the delicious home-grown veggies, but the tradition and memories that were passed down to you by the older ladies in your family. It's true that the day does come that we don't have these wonderful older relatives with us any more, but how wonderful for you to have had those special times and the wisdom of these ladies which has now become a part of the person that you are.

Have a wonderful Fourth of July weekend.

Zaroga said...

You are having me wishing our beans would grow a bit faster!

Love everything you showed.

Ann's Page said...

I can remember seeing my Granny and Aunts doing this...Wow what memories.. I wish I would have appreciated it more then!!! My family is from Centere Alabama,I dont know if you are familiar with that area? I hope you and your family enjoy your veggies....

Blessings
Ann

Lisa W. said...

This makes me homesick! What is better than veggies from the garden?!!?

NanaNor's said...

Hi there, I loved this post and although I don't have a garden right now I too love fresh veges; but I've never tried Okra. I think I shall have to try some sometime soon. I have memories of eating fresh green beans at my dad's grocery store when I was little. I still love them.
Have a great day.

Gwen said...

Oh I am right there with you Mrs. G. I love summer veggies from a garden. Last year my Daddy didn't have his garden and I discovered the big farmer's market on Finley Blvd here in town. I LOVED going there and buying squash, zuchinni, beans and peas. This year I was thrilled to learn that Daddy was planting our garden again! It's been so nice to have an endless supply of these yummy seasonal veggies (even tho Wayne doesn't like them). Nic helped my dad with the garden so he is learning all the wonderful things you blogged about. He tells everyone how he helped Papa in plant the squash! I have my first 'mess' of beans to snap of my own. I had to beg for them to be saved for me to do!

YaYa's Funhouse said...

This post brought back simular sweet memories for me. I love fresh veggies. We don't live in the country anymore and don't have a garden. I do miss it so much. Thank God for the local farmers market. Thanks for sharing.