Summer Has Become a Rough Time of Year for Me
July marks the three year anniversary of my Mother’s death. I’ve been missing her a lot these days. I have so many things I want to discuss with her. So many changes so many new things I want to bounce off of her. She was a comfortable woman to talk to, and I mean really easy. When I was a little girl, I remember standing in the checkout line at the grocery store (I think it was Lakeland Florida, so I would have been seven or eight at the time) while the cashier told my Mother her every heartache. My Mom just stood and listened, and when we left, I could tell the woman felt comforted and lighter. As we walked back to the car, I asked my Mom “Do you know that lady?” My Mom said, “No, people just tell me things.” It was true. Something about my Mom gave people space to tell their pain, heartaches and secret shames. It’s probably no surprise she was big on her comfort foods, too; she was a Texas girl born and bred after all! One of her go-to favorites was Navy Bean Soup.
My Mama and Food
My Mom was a great cook, but she did not enjoy it and pretty much stopped doing it when I was a teenager. She wanted homecooked meals but left to her own devices she would eat fried chicken and Wendy’s salad’s every day. When I could, I would make a week’s worth of food for her and leave it in her fridge. She loved simple foods. It made her crazy when I tried to fancy things up. She loved pimento cheese, summer squash and onions, navy bean soup, baked beans, fried chicken, saltine crackers with butter, cucumber and tomatoes, and field peas and rice. If I tried to add herbs to her squash and onions, she would fuss and fuss at me, and there was no sneaking a little extra something in the marinade for the grilled chicken. She also knew there was nothing better than ripe summer tomatoes fresh from the field. She might have loved simple food, but it was always high in flavor.
When the weather turned cold, she loved to have a big pot of chili or a bowl of navy bean soup. The one she made started with canned beans, and you can do that too if you want. I start with dry beans because I think the flavor is better AND its just so much cheaper to buy a bag of beans than it is a can of beans. My Mom’s navy bean soup did not include the parsley I add to mine, but otherwise, this is pretty much my Mama’s soup. I know its the high heat of summer right now, but for some reason, I had to make this soup recently… maybe because no matter how delicious cucumber and tomatoes are, they lack the comforting feeling that a bowl of soup gives ya? Who knows. All I know is I wanted this soup more than anything.
Spicy Orecchiette and Broccolini with Jus’ Garlic
Jus' Garlic: The Garlic Lovers Condiment There are unsung heroes in your kitchen that deliver quick flavor to even to even the simplest meal. I think half of my fridge and pantry are just taken up by various condiments. I adore a salsa, fancy mustard, hot sauce, even...
Quick, Healthy, Delicious: 5 Easy Ways to Have a Delicious and Healthy New Year
Its that time of year! The time when we all try and recover from all the sweet treats and fatty foods we ate during the holiday season. More veggies you say? Eating clean? Going low carb or Keto? Here are five foods you can prep to make sure you can always throw...
Spanish Style Shrimp and Garlic
Gambas al Ajillo I think the first meal that hit me as "Spanish" is a classic tapa called gambas al ajillo. At that moment I realized it was going to be harder to navigate a Spanish menu than I anticipated. This was quite a surprise to me. I speak and read...