March 20, 2013

A Green Bean Story

At the tender age of six weeks old I and my mother went to live at our family homestead with my maternal grandparents and one of my uncles. We always had pigs, cows and chickens running around. A one acre garden was a must for our family. I remember working along side grandma, some picking of fruit and the pulling of weeds was the most important job, that’s why grandma gave it to me, saying I did it the best. On the dinner table you could count on our meals being the freshest of fresh. Tomatoes, corn, green beans, okra, squash, ect., we had it all.  When I was seven yrs. old my dearly loved and precious grandmother died in the fall of 1968. Although we had the garden full of veggies to be canned. Mother and uncle Omar, had full time jobs, it was enough for them to get the pastures, yard and animals tended to, there wasn’t any time left to do all the canning and preserving. So we shared our bounty with family, friends, and neighbors.
 By the time came for me to start back to school in the fall of 1969, the cupboards were getting  barer than I‘d ever saw before. Mother made a grocery list. Loaded me into the truck and off to the store we went. As it would never fail, I couldn’t keep my eyes off the big pickle barrel that sat by the deli counter. When I got the nod from my mother to go ahead and get one, I took off not paying any attention to what my mother was doing as she turned down the vegetable isle. When I caught up to her, with my prized pickle in tow. I noticed she was putting some cans in the cart or buggy as we would say. Looking down at them through my wondering eyes I saw pictures of green beans on the can. “WOW”, I shouted. Scaring the crap out of mother as she turned around with a puzzled look on her face. Picking it up I shouted “Green beans in a can????” I had never saw that before. This was totally amazing to me. I thought the grocery store was just for the things you couldn’t butcher or grow yourself. While she  continued to shop. I asked her, “Is this for real?” I had never seen anything like this in my life! I felt so excited! She replied with a “What?” I said “These Green beans in a can.” As the people around us began to over hear our conversation and started giggling . . . I wondered what was wrong? Was the world going mad? Why do you need green beans in a can? I thought. When we got home I asked mother if we could have them with supper. So she fixed a couple of them. And I was sure to pile them on my plate. I love green beans. The prayer was said. Digging in I just knew these had to be the best tasting green beans there ever were! My fork was so full I could hardly fit it in my mouth. After a few chews I quickly spit them out into my napkin. “Yuck!“ They were the most disgusting thing I ever ate. Well, they were on my plate so I had to eat them, of course, as I was the one who put them there.
 Let this be a lesson . . . Never trust anything in a can to taste good!!!

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