Navy Beans… Cornbread and Sweet Tea
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee
My beautiful mother, Earlene… and my special Grandma Alma
My beautiful mother, Earlene… I always wanted to be as beautiful as her.
My beautiful mother, and her sister came to ‘rescue’ me from my stepmother, and father’s house. Rescue me, they did. They would have fought her, if necessary.
They did fight… with words. While they did, I went inside to get my things. My stepmother, father had done the ultimate to me… she had caused him to hit me in the face for the first… last time he ever struck me.
All because of lies… one of my sisters used my father’s razor, put it back uncleaned… they all pointed fingers at me… knowing I’d take the blame, they would stay out of trouble. I did things like that to be a ‘big sister’… to be loved by them.
My stepmother loved it… she had real ammunition to make me look bad once again. Didn’t my sisters say that I had used my father’s razor… it had to be so. Truthfully, I never went into my stepmother and father’s bedroom, nor their bathroom… I don’t know what his razor looked like… even today. I didn’t do it.
Like water flowing under the bridge … life went on. I was fifteen, and I was very glad to see my mother. I was so proud she was my mom… she was beautiful. She looked like Elizabeth Taylor. Men loved her… she was the prettiest woman around… everyone always said so. People who knew her… say it now.
My mother really tried to be a good mother… there were times she couldn’t be. That’s another story… this one is about a favorite lunch she would make for me.
Life settled down into a routine. I began school; I walked to school. We lived in town. I began walking home at lunch time to eat. My mother would have the best lunches… sometimes, there would be goulash. I wish I knew that recipe now… something that was made with Campbell’s soup, mustard, hamburger. Oh my, it was wonderful.
She’d make me sandwiches, sometimes… banana sandwiches. Her sandwiches always tasted best… even to this day. Mamas have a special way of preparing food… no one else can do it like they can.
My favorite lunch coming home at noon… was navy beans, and the little cakes of cornbread she’d fried, and sweet tea. I loved the taste of the navy beans, and in that period of time… that’s the only time I ever ate cornbread. We would cut the little cakes in half, put a pat of butter in it. It was the best cornbread… I’ve ever eaten… in my life.
The navy beans were out of this world. Rarely, have I eaten them throughout the years… I don’t cook them. The ones I’ve ordered with a meal never tasted like my mother’s. The ones I did try to cook… in no way was like my mother’s.
I was sitting here thinking about my beautiful mother… and the good foods she cooked. One favorite being navy beans, fried cornbread and… sweet tea.