Grandma’s Green Beans & Tasting Life

Grandma's Green Beans

My Grandma Holderfield canned these green beans last year. I might be crazy, but I can’t cook with them.. It’s one piece of her I’m not ready to let go of yet. When Grandma came to see my house last spring she brought a cardboard box full of canned goods from her pantry.

These green beans may sit on my shelf until they rot. I look at them and see the hard work and time she poured into her family. I see hours spent in the kitchen. I see sacrifice for her children, her grandchildren, her husband and great grandchildren.

Grandma’s love language was cooking. She could make a meeeeaaaannnnnnnn applebutter biscuit.  What I would give for more of Grandma’s apple butter.

I so wish I could stand in her kitchen & learn from her. I want to ask her how she fried her chicken, what secret ingredient she used in her chocolate pies, and HOW ON EARTH does someone make gravy?!?! Grandma never used any pre-cooked mixes or boxes. She never used a cookbook. She never screwed up.

Except our very last Thanksgiving…she used cornflour instead of regular flour on her fried chicken. :) I was there early helping her get ready. She was so mad at her self!! She shook her head and stomped her foot “ack. Laura! I want you to look at what I did!!!” And you know what? The chicken tasted as yummy as ever! I don’t know how she did it.

Oh, and she always burnt the rolls. But I think she secretly liked them that way. ;) Grandma’s kitchen counters were overflowing every single family meal. Daddy would say “Now momma, we said just 2 sides each!” and Grandma would pull three more out of the oven to add to her 4 already on the stovetop. :)

If Grandma had one hand in her stirring pot, the other hand was a finger scoop from the stove straight up to her mouth. To Grandma, if it didn’t taste good mid-way, it wasn’t going to taste good finished. Grandma looovveeed to cut an extra sliver of her tomato or cucubuer, sprinkle some salt on it and munch away while waiting on the main dish to complete. Grandma tasted life. All the spicy, salty, and sweet flavors of life.

When I smell cucumbers I think of Grandma. I’m 10 years old, soaking wet from a summer rain shower, and begging Grandma for an extra cookie with my cucumber sandwich. A tomato & mayo sandwich on my Ashe Co. front porch is a tomato sandwich on our way to the garden behind the barn in Hebron.

Grandma tasted life. She lived, and lived, and lived.

I want that. :) And these beens may end up being my reminder. ;)



4 thoughts on “Grandma’s Green Beans & Tasting Life

  1. Aww, this is so sweet. I have tears in my eyes. So glad you have so many good memories w/ her. I don’t blame you at all for keeping those green beans.

  2. This is so true. You can be the greatest chef in the world, taste the foods of the world but NO food is anywhere near the simple taste of home. I have had some amazing food, I work with it everyday but nothing is as great as my Grandma Carpenter’s Mac and Cheese or my Grandma Crawley’s chocolate éclair cake.

  3. Pingback: Szechuan Green Beans « Beijing Daily Photo 2

  4. Pingback: Cooking Green Beans | jovinacooksitalian

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