Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Pains of Hunger...

Have you ever been hungry?  I mean REALLY hungry?  

When I was a little girl, my mom used to always cook the best meals.  
Even though you can't really see the food in this picture, this is generally how the table would look when the meal was about to be ON POINT!  By the looks of things, this meal looks like it was going to be Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Soup (We'll talk about how my mom makes her delicious soup later.), and Salad (This is another topic we can discuss later.).

While all of her meals were good, there was one that I loved more than the rest.  I can recall playing in my room when my mom would call my sister and me  down to the kitchen to clean the collard greens.  
This is pretty much what it would look like as we washed the greens.  I found this picture of washing greens on Google images.  I've never owned a white sink in my life!
Now any other child may have had a problem with having to stop their fun to help in the kitchen, but I knew what this request meant.  It meant that tonight mom was gonna cook a good 'ol Soul Food Southern Meal.  Some of you may not understand...let me illustrate...
First mom would brown the flour.  For those of you that aren't familiar with Southern cooking, you may be wondering, "Why are we browning flour to make mashed potatoes?"

Now do you understand?  The browned flour is what is used to make the gravy.

I don't know why mom's macaroni and cheese tasted so good.  Maybe it was the hand grated cheese...

Mom always made the collard greens using a pressure cooker.  The always turned out so perfect!
While there was always the cranberry sauce and blackeyed pea options, a true southern meal was not completed without the cornbread.  And the cornbread had to be made in a cast iron skillet.
Are you hungry yet?

While these meals always made me so very happy, they also caused me much sadness.
You see, these type of meals took time...much time to prepare and as each of the savory dishes were made they would smell up the entire house.  For a little girl, the wonderful aromas of all the foods cooking was just too much to handle. 
 I remember as I awaited the completion of these type of meals, hunger would take control of my entire stomach would begin to ache and tears would begin falling from my eyes.