A taste of my childhood…
June 6, 2007
When the weather gets hot, I am always reminded of the summers I spent at my grandma’s house in southern Georgia. I think I was really lucky because all of my great-grandparents were still alive when I was a kid. They were all farmers in that area. So I spent a lot of time with them as well. Going to visit them meant I got to experience picking and eating fresh vegetables and fruits right from my own family’s farms. Most kids these days will never experience anything like that. I think during those summers I ate some of the best but most simple foods I have eaten my whole life. These are some that remind me of my childhood.
My Nana always made the best grits. She would make them for me every morning in the summer for breakfast. Always the right consistency and lots of cheese!
Another thing my grandma would always make me was a tomato sandwich. And there is nothing better in the summer than fresh, ripe tomatoes. It’s just a simple thing; bread, mayo, salt, pepper, and sliced tomatoes but she always made it taste so good. She even cut it into 4 tiny squares just the way I liked it.
My dad’s favorite hobby is fishing. He would do it every day if he didn’t have to work I think. He and my grandfather would always go fishing in the summer and bring back tons of fish to eat. We would invite family and friends over and have a traditional southern fish fry with fried potatoes, hush puppies, coleslaw, and pickles. I don’t eat fish now, but whenever I smell fried fish I always think of those fish fries. Watermelon-
Another of my favorite foods as a kid was fresh watermelon. We would pick them right out of the garden and bring them back to my grandma’s house. She would set them by the air conditioner in her kitchen to get cool before we ate them. My sister and I would spend summer days swimming in the neighbor’s pool and then come back to eat ice cold watermelon. It’s better than any frozen, sugar-filled popsicle that kids eat nowadays.Cucumbers-
My mom and grandma loved to make their own pickles. So in the evenings when it was cool outside, we would drive out to the farm and pick cucumbers. Then they would spend days in the kitchen making pickles. But not just regular pickles, red cinnamon pickles. They were so good! I need to call my mom and get that recipe.
I think the food that brings back the best memories for me is peas. I know that may seem silly, but it is one food that brought us all together. I remember many, many summer afternoons sitting on my great-grandma’s swing shelling peas with my great-grandma, grandma, and mom. We would talk and laugh all afternoon while sitting there just shelling peas til our fingers were sore.
I never really appreciated getting to spend time with my family during those summers as a kid until now. I got to experience a way of life that most people never will. Even now, with my busy life and hectic schedule, thinking about those times makes me smile.