When I was growing up, dad always said, "Beans and Cornbread is a poor man's supper." Because when he was a youngster, it really WAS supper, A LOT!
The house dad grew up in....
Dad would say, "I moved off that farm and joined the Navy so I could come back for your mom and take her away from that life of beans and cornbread." He did want better for HER.
MOM AND DAD
When I was growing up, we weren't disgustingly rich but I had everything I ever wanted or asked for. We definitely DID NOT eat beans and cornbread every night. When mom made beans, maybe about every 3 months or so, we thought it was a treat! It was actually a meal that our whole family would eat. Nothing much to be picky about with a meal like that.
It wasn't until later as I got older that I told dad, "you know, I LOVE beans and cornbread." Dad would say that's because you didn't eat it every day. Probably true. But, I reminded dad that whenever mom made it, he lapped it up like a starving puppy. As if, you like it?
Dad never copped to the fact that he really did LOVE beans and cornbread. Maybe it was the flavor, maybe because it was a cheap and easy meal to make, maybe he just liked telling the story to remind us he grew up poor (parents thrive on guilting their children about how poor they were and how good we have it), or perhaps it was just a childhood memory that comes back to you when you sit down to eat that bowl of beans and cornbread. Hmmmmm....MAYBE!
(I still live here)
Now that my parents have passed, I still make beans and cornbread. I am not even ashamed to admit that I LOVE it, because I do. For me, it is that childhood memory. From the second I buy them in the grocery store, I am already thinking about the aroma that it will bring to the house when they are cooking and of course, dad's old stories and the laughter that ensued. It keeps me grounded. Although I could eat a T-bone steak every night of the week if I wanted to, but I don't, I will remind my daughter as she is growing up in this house that it is the "SIMPLE THINGS THAT MEAN SO MUCH."
This week, I made a pot of, yes, BEANS.....
Well, it might have been just a "poor man's supper" to my dad, but to me it is a MEMORY OF LOVE. I am pretty sure dad was watching over my family eating their beans and cornbread with a BIG smile....